Whenever you log onto the internet, you will see news about how social media has revolutionized our world. We are always eager to talk about how social media has made doing business online easier or make it easier to connect with old friends. However, one neglected topic about social media is its impact on our health and well-being. It is not a secret that social media has some negative consequences on our psychology and mental health.
Since 2004, the use of social media has grown exponentially around the world. Today, over 3.2 billion people use social media actively around the globe. This number represents about 42% of total world’s population. Of course, more people are being introduced to social media every day. An average person even has more than one social media account. It is not uncommon to see someone with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts and check them every day. In a recent study by Emarketer, they were able to uncover that 90.4% of Millennials use social media, 77.5% of Gen X and 48.2% of Baby Boomers also make use of social media.
When it comes to the time spent on social media, an average person spends over 2 hours per day on social media. Of course, there are more people who stay over 3 hours per day or even up to 5 hours on social media. There is no doubt that social media has both positive and negative effects. In this article, we will take a look at various ways social media negatively affects our mental health.
Top Ways Social Media Affects Mental Health Negatively
1. Social Media Is Addictive
You certainly don’t have to look far to find an example of addiction to social media. You probably check your social media immediately you wake up and before you go to bed. In recent years, social media has been named as one of the common causes of road accidents. Some users are so addicted to social media that they use it while driving or walking on a road. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University studied the psychological effects of social media and came up with the term “Facebook Addiction Disorder”. According to the research, most people have developed this addiction which can lead to mental preoccupation, neglect of personal life, mood modifying experiences, escapism, and more.
2. Leads To Low Self-Esteem Issues
A lot of experts have argued that too much use of social media leads to low self-esteem issues. In fact, the more you make use of social media, the more you have a problem with your self-esteem. According to these experts, when you spend too much time on social media, you get to experience problems such as sarcastic comments and even cyber bullying which can lead to self-esteem issues in one’s life.
3. Feeling of Isolation
There is a big difference between interacting with strangers and long-lost friends on Facebook than actually hanging out in real life. Social media which is designed to help people connect to one another can actually cause a disconnect. It lacks a physical connection which can lead to a feeling of loneliness and isolation. Besides, when you see pictures of people looking so happy on Facebook, it makes you wonder why you are so alone and isolated.
4. Leads To Anti-Social Behavior
Today, social media such as Facebook has so many interesting things like Game, music, and videos which encourage one to stay online endlessly. People now choose to hide on social media than to actually go out and try to make friends. No doubt, spending too much time on social media can make one miss out on real life.
5. Can Lead to Obesity and Unhealthy Snacking
Believe it or not, too much use of social media can make one gain weight. When spending time on social media, it is very easy to get distracted and overeat. Similarly, you miss out on the time you could have used to do some beneficial exercise. Studies have shown that excessive snacking and lack of exercise lead to health problems such as obesity.
6. Experience Cyberbullying
Cases of cyberbullying are increasing every day. According to a new study, over 33% of teenage social media users have been a victim of cyberbullying. This creates a lot of other problems. Cyberbullying can lead to problems such as anti-social behavior, loneliness, isolation, fear, and even depression.
7. Triggers Sadness
There is no doubt that too much use of social media triggers sadness in one’s life, according to a study. You are likely to feel more sad and less life satisfaction if you are spending a lot of time on social media, especially on Facebook.
8. Can Lead to Depression
Researchers believe that the use of social media contributes to the rising cases of depression around the world. In the United States, the suicide rate has grown nearly 25% since 1999. A study conducted at the University of Missouri in 2015 concluded that Facebook could lead to symptoms of depression.
Despite the negative effect connected to the use of social media, it has undeniable advantages. Since Facebook was introduced back in 2014, a lot of people has been able to escape poverty even in developing countries just by using Facebook for business. Some aspiring models have been able to give their career a boost by using social media to find clients. No doubt, by growing your Facebook views and likes, you too can also be able to use Facebook to grow your business.