In today’s day and age, we always hear about how people “heart” posts on Facebook, “tweet” unpopular opinions on Twitter, or “double tap” a photo on Instagram. Interactions like these are always present in our daily lives because of social media. But how do these affect our mental health?
Social media has become a big part of our lives. It allows us to keep in touch with loved ones who are far away. It enables us to discover new people as well and gain information more about the world around us. Indeed, technology has made it so easy to learn and connect.
However, social media also has its downsides. It brings a lot of harmful consequences that, at times, outweigh its benefits. An example of these consequences are the adverse effects social media has on a person’s mental health.
How Is Social Media Bad For My Mental Health?
There are a lot of things on social media sites that could negatively affect your mental health. These adverse effects could be due to some posts, pictures, or even people on a particular social media website.
Here are some effects of social media that make one’s mental health to worsen:
Seeing particular photos may make you feel resentment. Maybe you saw your friends post a picture while they were out without you. Perhaps you saw a photo of someone with a phone, a piece of clothing, or a book that you’ve been dying to have. Or maybe it’s photos of random people in some dream destination that you’d rather be in right now.
Whatever that photo may be, the internet has it. Social media has it. If you aren’t able to control your feelings of envy, this may lead to the state of your mental health worsening.
Inadequacy is a feeling that often goes hand-in-hand in jealousy. Seeing posts where people showcase their skills, talk about their achievements, or show off their body can make you jealous. And they can also make you feel inadequate or like you aren’t doing enough to better yourself.
We all know that people grow at their own pace and improve themselves in different ways. However, seeing people who seem to be doing much better than us can make us anxious. It can lead to disruptive thoughts like, “Am I not good enough?” or “Why can’t I be as great/beautiful/intelligent as them?”
- Loss Of Sleep
When scrolling through social media becomes a habit, it becomes hard to tear our eyes away from the screen. This habit can be harmless. But it could also lead to loss of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you irritable, inattentive, and grumpy. It brings about a negative feeling that worsens one’s mental health.
Imagine you have a class tomorrow at 8 a.m. You have to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready and arrive on time. But if you keep scrolling through social media until 2 o’clock, you’ll only get four and a half hours of sleep.
- Being Bullied
The internet is home to cyberbullies and internet trolls. When you cross paths with one online, they won’t hesitate to berate and insult you. Behind the wall of anonymity, it becomes easier for them to be cruel.
It’s easy to see why this would be detrimental to your mental health. Cyberbullying can be just as dangerous as physical bullying.
Unplug To Recharge
While the sentiment might seem contradictory, it’s true. Unplugging from social media can help you recharge and rejuvenate. It gets you away from the negative things mentioned above and more.
It is why we recommend that you “unplug” from social media periodically. It’s a good idea to take a break from the internet now and then. “Unplugging” from social media can be scary considering that you spend so much time there. But it might exactly be what you need to better the state of your mental health.
Unplugging gives you more free time because you won’t be scrolling through walls and walls of photos and text. You’ll have more time to do the things that matter to you. You can focus on your work or practice a hobby that you haven’t had time to get into again.
Social media may seem to be a necessity, but we assure you that it isn’t. All the benefits it brings are worthless if it continually worsens the state of your mental health.
Take care of yourself. Unplug when you have to.