How social media affects mental health. Social media can have both a positive or negative impact on mental health depending on a number of factors. The connection between the mind and gut can turn depression and anxiety into headaches, nausea, etc.
How social media affects mental health.
Most people will agree social media can negatively affect mental health. Why is that? We are delving into how social media can affect how you see the world and yourself. Besides negativity and bullying that can run riot on the internet.
The increasing popularity of daily social media use is still pretty new. Thus we do not have enough data to go into the long-term effects of social media. Nevertheless, numerous studies have linked it to multiple mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem.
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Social media can worsen anxiety and depression symptoms
Continuous social media use can make symptoms of anxiety and depression worse and increase feelings of isolation. Research has been carried out and studies have found that excess social media use paired with a high emotional dependency on the platforms can result in worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, a survey by the University of Pittsburgh found that people who report using seven to 11 platforms are three times more likely to experience depression or anxiety when compared to people who use no more than two platforms.
However, the issue cuts both ways. Surveys have found that some people use social media to cope with feelings of anxiety or depression. It may become a vicious cycle of scrolling through social media when you are bored or feeling anxious without realizing those behaviors may be making things worse.
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Social media can cause feelings of inadequacy
It emphasizes interaction or the likes and comments you get on your pictures and videos. You feel good when you post something and get a ton of interaction. This validates why you posted in the first place. However, what happens when your pictures or videos don’t get the interactions you want? In the event that your self-validation is tied to social media, you may feel down when you don’t get what you expect to receive.
When you compare yourself to others on social media, it can lower your self-esteem. Using filters that smooth the skin or making the water of the beach-side selfie a deep and alluring blue, it can feel impossible to live up to what others are posting on social media. Moreover, unrealistic body image expectations can lead to what experts call “body surveillance” or monitoring your body to the point you become judgemental of it, especially among adolescents.
Social media can interrupt your sleep cycle
From a 2018 study, 70% of people reported getting on social media in bed before falling asleep and 15% spent an hour or more a night on their phones. Not only that, for most people, this is common; checking the feed before falling asleep is part of the nighttime routine.
Well, what if I told you that it shouldn’t be? More findings from the same study found that people who check social media in bed are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Social media usage while in bed can delay your bedtime and cause you to sleep less, and what you do get isn’t quality sleep.
The next issue is the blue light your phone emits, which interferes with your circadian rhythm. Nevertheless, another factor is that social media stimulates your body and mind. It would be better to set your phone aside if you want to sleep better.
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