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The Social Media Mask

It is clear that social media has been used as a mask in today's society for people to highlight the greatest aspects of their lives. People are hesitant about sharing things like their academic struggles or health issues that they are currently facing.





Negative effects of social media


According to research, using social media excessively has been connected to poor wellbeing and low self-esteem. How and why you use social media is frequently what determines how it affects your mental health. Social media has numerous advantages. It can assist companies in making use of their products, as well as family members or distant friends in staying in touch and informed of your life's events. Yet just like everything else in life, there are cons to everything. The negative effects of social media are:

  • With the increase of use of social media it has created a new platform of bullying called cyber-bullying

  • It can cause a low self-esteem by looking at other people's platforms and making comparisons with them

  • It has increased the sense of people feeling lonely and left out

  • Finally, it has created a sense of stress as people can not separate their work life and their personal life

Cyber-bullying


Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place on any online device. The difference between online bullying and bullying that occurs in person is that you can not escape from cyberbullying as it appears on social networks, games, and mobile phones, it can follow the victim wherever they go. Also, this type of bullying can be anonymous which can upset the victim and leave them confused. In addition to mental health problems, elevated stress, anxiety, sadness, lashing out aggressively, and low self-esteem are further repercussions of cyberbullying. Even after the bullying has ended, cyberbullying can have long-lasting emotional impacts. Another drawback is that it can create loneliness as the victim can exclude themselves from their loved ones, and feel like they have no one to talk to.

According to the anti-bullying alliance: In March 2020, 19% children aged 10-15 in England and Wales were shown to have been victims of cyberbullying which is equivalent to 764,000 children.

Social media's growing popularity has boosted the assumption that bullies will get away with their actions because they believe it to be anonymous and that no one would notice what is going on. Even though the account is anonymous, it is possible to identify who has said certain things thanks to modern advances in technology, which only serves as evidence that bullying is occurring due to having the proof on social media.


Creating a perfect body image


Selfies and appearance-related posts on social media are on the rise, which is a documented risk factor for body image problems in young people, especially females. Social media has many influencers that people look up to, which creates a standard in society for what people are meant to look like to be seen as good looking. Many social media platforms offer tools and filters that let users change how they look, they alter themselves to fit into the societal norms. Individuals who scroll on social media and post often are more likely to be exposed to negative thoughts on their body image.


Girls trying to create a mask on society, and create the perfect selfie to post on social media

This has given rise to an issue known as negative self-talk, in which individuals minimise their own worth based on comparisons to others. This may lead to mental health problems due to feelings of worthlessness or loneliness. Social media's perception of the 'perfect' appearance and way of life makes people feel inadequate, which contributes to anxiety and depression.


24 Hours on social media


There is no clear line between working on social media and personal life on social media, which has caused stress for people in everyday life.


Studies have shown that the blue light emitted by screens can suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep–wake cycle, leading to difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.

Your physical and emotional health may be impacted by lack of sleep. Lack of sleep can deplete your energy, worsen your mood, and make it harder for you to concentrate. Your relationships, immune system, job, and social life may all suffer as a result.


How to prevent mental health issues

  • Speak to someone you trust

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media

  • Create a good sleeping pattern

  • Understand that everyone has insecurities



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