How Social Media Seriously Harms Your Mental Health
When mankind was first introduced to social media, it was like a dream come true. At the time, our primary conversation was through person-to-person texts or audio calls, and we had reply-all-email as the communal interaction. At that time, it was just a start but now social media is a huge part of our lives, and most of the time, it is pretty difficult to differentiate between social media life and real life.
Since we have merged our real lives with social media life, it has started posing a negative impact on us. The more we use it, the more disconnected we become with reality. Especially kids are more prone to this because they get too much excited about the use of social media that they spend most of their time on it. They get addicted to it in much lesser time and soon they fall into the abyss of dangers. Little do they know that social media seriously harms your mental health.
How Does Social Media Keep Us Connected?
From the frequent use of people of every age, it is clear that social media does help to stay connected and together. It keeps you in touch with the family and friends who are far away from you. You can now easily reach your family member who is halfway across the world. The most common use of social media is to share life with so little effort.
But with time, social media has become much more than we can even imagine. Recent researches have shown that while we are digitally connected and close to each other, social media use ends up making us all isolated and depressed.
Youngsters and even adults feel like they can share whatever they want on social media. So, they share their lives with glitters all over it to show it to other people how happy they are where none of that is true. This fake social media life soon takes them to the valley of depression and despair.
How Social Media Seriously Harm Your Mental Health?
At the time of the advent of social media, the main purpose and charm of using it were only to connect with people and enjoy the spare time. But, it has now become much more than that. For quite some time, the dangers of social media have become a hot topic in many of the studies. A University of Pennsylvania study found out that the more we use social media, the higher is the risk of being lonely and depressed.
Here are some of the negative impacts of social media that are directly affecting our mental health:
· Social Comparison
Filtered and all filled in glittered posts and images make us feel like our life is so dull. People share their lives as the perfect ones and show that it is how everyone should be living where in reality, it is not even their real life. But, our minds make us believe that this is what the reality is and that our reality is the boring one. This comparison can be intensified especially for the kids, and soon they do awkward things to race in this comparison.
· Addiction to Gratification
Why do people use social media? Apart from being connected, now most of the people are using social media to seek pleasure and gratification. They want to be appraised and appreciated through the things they post and when they don’t get that, they become disappointed. Sometimes, because of this, they start thinking that they don’t deserve good and they don’t fit in society.
Social media is a proven trigger of depression. As the feelings of loneliness come into play, the depression kicks in and it can take serious form if not treated. Kids are more prone to it because they don’t understand how social media works. They get upset when they don’t get enough likes, comments, or appreciation. They seek pleasure there and when they don’t get it, they feel sad and depressed.
Have you noticed that you can use social media for hours without even noticing the flow of time? It is a common practice now, the use of social media has made people skip their important tasks, activities, gatherings, and even meals. They get too much indulged in it that they hardly realize that they are missing out a lot. And, when they do realize, they become stressed out for not completing the tasks at the right time.
· Fear of Missing out
Because social media is a platform for sharing, the people share their real-life events in the most glittered manner. The other people on seeing those things feel missing out and losing the real fun of life. They feel like they are not part of other’s life anymore. This feeling can eat them from within.
Younger People Are at More Risk
There has been evidence that proved that developing brains like that of teens are more susceptible to mood and physical changes. Recent research on social media use and teens’ problems showed that teens who use social media for more than three hours a day were more likely to fall into loneliness, depression, and anti-social tendencies than those who don’t use social media.
It was discovered that the reward center of teens’ minds is activated when they get ‘likes’ and ‘appreciation’ on these fake social media accounts, and this makes them want more and more. This is why they are more prone to the negative impacts of social media.
What Can Be Done?
The easiest thing would be to take away their social media accounts, but that is not wise at all. This will make them more rebellious. What parents can do to save their teens is the use of a parental control app like SecureTeen to monitor their social media activities. Once you monitor them, you can know if anything wrong is happening there.
Also, parents must talk to their kids about the reality of social media and how they should be using it while maintaining their mental health. Open communication with kids can always turn to be fruitful.