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Unveiling the Dark Side of Social Media on Your Mental Health

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Let's explore how social media impact our mental health & well-being. Nowadays, it's common to observe everyone delving down on their mobile phones. Our phone has opened the door to the vast virtual world, including social media, where we interact with friends, families, and strangers. We prefer to spend most of our precious time online; However, it's essential to understand its Influential potency on our mental health. This article will unfold the intricate connection between social media and mental health.

What is Social Media?

Let's start with a fundamental question. How does social media impact our mental health & well-being? Social media is a virtual space created online where anyone can create text/media content and share it with friends, family, and even strangers if they are on their social media friends network. Currently, we can witness numerous social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc., that enable users to connect and make friends online. They can also communicate and engage with other users through "like," "share," and "comment" buttons. Social media is a virtual space with positive and negative impacts on our well-being, depending on its usage.

We all know that in today's world, the invention of Social media has wholly changed the perception of communication, sharing information, entertainment, business promotion, and virtual socializing, like it would have been a few years back. And undoubtedly, it appears as a boon for all those staying away from their loved ones. Through social media platforms, they now feel more connected and secure. Like a coin has two sides, social media has its ups and downs. Despite its positive feedback & responses from numerous users, we couldn't hide our sights from the grave adverse effect of Social media on our mental health & privacy.

How Social media impacts our mental health & Well- Being

1. The influence of social media on image projection

In today's world, everyone, especially youngsters, is under constant pressure to present their lives on Social media through Rosy lenses. And it's not an exaggeration to say that constantly diffusing our personal & family moments on Social media could be troublesome & alarming. It is undeniable to observe that Every second person on Social media wants to portray "A beautiful and picture-perfect life online. And every other person on their network gets a perception of a "happy and content life," For some, it hardly impacts their personal life, but for few people who lack somewhere to achieve these things in their life might feel unsatisfied and develop a feeling of incompetence and unequipped. And if these feelings continue, could even drag them into a state of depression and anxiety.

2. Isolation in the digital age

In the race to create more social connections, we are somewhere lacking in personal contacts & friendships. As per study & research, it was found that Social media can foster feelings of isolation and loneliness. Despite its promise to connect us, the virtual world often offers only superficial social bonds, leaving us empty and disconnected from real-time interaction. These studies have also proved that excessive social media usage and interactions with strangers heightened feelings of isolation and loneliness, urging us to rethink our digital connections.

3. Productivity plunge

Being regularly active on social media might make you cool, which is not true, but it can definitely take a toss on your productivity, focus, and concentration. It pulled us into the world of constant notifications, tempting distractions, and the never-ending cycle of task-switching that keeps us from staying on track. And for students, it could be much deadly to maintain academic success with the irresistible allure of social media.

4. Cyberbullying and online harassment

One of the harsh realities of the Digital world is promoting Hate speeches, cyberbullying, and online harassment on social media platforms. Now it turns out easier for psychic & maniac users to target people online, especially girls. They spread venoms on social media platforms through hidden identities, creating distress and anxiety for regular users.

5. Sleep deprivation

As per research, the rate of Insomnia in youngsters and adults has increased by a steep range if we compare it to 15 years back. And the reason unfurled was the prolonged mobile phone usage before bedtime. Scientists have proved that the blue light emitted by our mobile screens and tabs is highly affected in messing with our sleep patterns. And not getting proper sleep could disbalance your body system and lead to severe problems like dizziness, feeling down, stress, anxiety, or having trouble thinking clearly. So, it is always advisable by health experts to avoid using your phone before bed to get a peaceful sleep and enjoy a healthy body and mind.

In today's digital era, monitoring your presence on social media and analyzing how it impacts your well-being is critical. However, below are a few points mentioned to minimize social media's adverse effects.

  1. Set Time Limits: Establish specific time limits for social media usage and stick to them. Consider putting your phone away an hour before bedtime to promote better sleep quality.

  2. Curate Positive Content: Engage with uplifting and positive content that brings you joy. Limit exposure to negative and triggering posts that may affect your mental health.

  3. Find Supportive Communities: Connect with like-minded individuals in supportive and positive online communities. Engage regularly with these communities to foster a sense of belonging and support.

  4. Put Social Media in Perspective: Remember that social media is only a fraction of your life. Avoid comparing yourself to others and recognize that people share highlights rather than the complete picture. And remember the phrase that "grass is always greener on the other side." Similarly, we don't know their other side of the story, which was not shared online. So it's always better and advisable to compare your life with others. Instead, search for happiness in small things among your family and friends. It is more fulfilling and satisfying.

  5. Seek Help & support from professionals & specialists: For those still suffering from overwhelming feelings, anxiety, or depression, It is advisable to meet a mental health professional. Getting help from a professional in these situations will help you escape your problematic zone and improve your mental well-being.

In conclusion, social media has a complex relationship with mental health. By practicing mindful social media use, taking help from a mental health professional & mental health aiding platforms, along with implementing these strategies, one can protect our mental well-being while still enjoying the benefits of social connection.

Written By:

Sadaf Iqbal


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