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Has the Rise of Social Media Led to the Downfall of our Mental Health?

5 ways that social media has negatively impacted our mental health


person upset because they have no likes on instagram

Social media has allowed us all to be more connected than we have ever been before. It allows us to connect, get information, distract ourselves from everyday life and interact with new people all around the world. However, our resilience on social media can have a harmful impact on our mental health. Although social media has many benefits, there is also a dark side to social media. This dark side can make people feel unhappy, lonely, and depressed. With people posting flawlessly filtered pictures to Instagram and people leaving hate comments on TikTok, social media can damage our mental health more than we even realise.


Self-esteem


All of us have some sort of insecurities, some of which we prefer to keep private and some that we feel comfortable sharing publicly. While most people would agree that no one is perfect, it can be a real knock of confidence seeing others post ‘perfect’ Instagram photos. On social media it is very common for people to compare themselves to others, including their lifestyles, relationships, and looks. This can ultimately lead to a decline in people’s self-esteem if they see other people’s lives being more ‘perfect’ then their own.


If we became more aware of the amount of time we spend stalking other people’s profiles then it could help us increase our self-confidence and allow us to focus more on ourselves and what makes us happy, instead of wasting time comparing ourselves to others.


Sleep patterns


Having enough sleep is extremely important to our mental health. Getting enough sleep gives us the energy we need to be able to do the things we love which makes us happy. If we don’t get the proper amount of sleep we all need then it can put us in a negative mood and make us lazy which makes us not able to do the things which make us happy.


Many of us are on our phones, scrolling through social media, too close to the time we want to go to sleep, which makes it harder to fall asleep.


“The light from our mobile device just inches from our face can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired.”

To make sure we all get the best amount of sleep, which is very important for our mental health, we should try not to go on our phones just before going to bed to ensure our quality of sleep is good.


Cyberbullying


Social media is a good way to stay connected with friends, family, and others. It allows people to interact with each other in many ways. On the social media platform TikTok users post videos on their account to which other people can comment on the post. This lets people interact with each other, even if these people are in different countries. However, this can lead to people commenting negative comments on someone’s post. These negative comments can lead to people feeling insecure and hurt which can negatively impact their mental health. In many cases, cyberbullies are left anonymous which can lead to more people participating in leaving negative comment due to the anonymity.


“About 10 percent of teens report being bullied on social media and many other users are subjected to offensive comments.”

False reality


In recent times, people are very quick to point out editing errors in peoples edited photos. Even though people may be able to tell that someone has edited their picture, seeing these flawlessly filtered pictures still has the capability of make someone feel insecure about themselves and their lives.


On many social media platforms people just post snippets of their lives, which tends to be the most positive aspects. This can give people the illusion that there is such a thing as a ‘perfect life’ and makes people doubt their life. Seeing people having fun and looking good in ever post can make people envious which can impact their mental health. Very rarely people will post about the negative aspects of their lives. This can make people more anxious as they will start to compare their real lives to snapshots of other people’s lives, even if they know that it is a false reality.


Fear of missing out (FOMO)


Social media is often used to store and show others their fun memories. This can lead to people feeling left out which can trigger anxiety and impact people’s self-esteem. Even if the posts are from people you know or not, seeing other people having fun when you aren’t can make you feel as though your life is boring compared to theirs. FOMO has the power to make people pick up their phones to check for updates which can distract people from the real world and real-world connections. As well, FOMO can impact people’s sleep and schoolwork which can both lead to bigger problems which can affect people’s mental health.


Has the rise of social media led to the downfall of our mental health?


As many of us can agree, social media is a big part of our lives and for most of the time it is a positive thing. However, social media does have a dark side which can do serious damage to a person’s mental health. What upsets one person might not upset another person. This is why we should all treat everyone with kindness, even if you are able to stay anonymous. Our words can hurt.

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