Social media has transformed our culture into one of over-sharing. As we spend more and more time online, it is important we look at how this may affect our mental health.
Through Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos, we peep a snippet of someone’s edited life. Sometimes we find ourselves judging our own lives with these updates, tweets and photos. The comparisons we make to our realities are unfair, because these snippets are a #filtered perspective of someone else’s life. There is no such thing as #nofilter. The comparisons we make can cause feelings of inferiority that lead to low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is not the sole adverse side effect of intensive social media use. There have been significant links between our online presence and other aspects of our mental health. These connections have inspired the subject matter of many research studies around the world.
Another area of concern is body image. Body dysmorphia — also known as body dysmorphic disorder — is “a preoccupation with what they imagine to be a defective body part or a distorted view of some small and insignificant defect.”
Even with the above studies providing insights, it’s clear the relationship between our social media habits and mental health is complex. The impact our online habits have on mental health is specific to the individual, which can complicate potential challenges. As social media occupies an ever-increasing footprint in both our world and daily lives, it is critical we learn more about the long-term effects on our mental health.
If you feel you might have developed some negative feelings through social media use, there is hope! Therapists have reviewed the research on the effects of social media use on mental health. Social Media Dependency Therapy specializes in these concerns. Both traditional and online therapy can help users to reflect on how social media affects our well being and distorts our self image. The ultimate goal is reducing the negative emotions and compulsive behaviors surrounding its use.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Originally published at www.talkspace.com.
Originally published at medium.com