The Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health

The Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health


Thanks to social media, we’ve never been so connected. Social life cultivated in the cyber world differs from social life in the real world. She is dynamic, superficial, and sometimes a liar. The photographs posted on Instagram and Facebook often portray a different reality – more joyful, more satisfying.

Internet users are already too attached to their virtual lives, especially the younger ones. Kids want to be YouTubers or Instagrammers when they grow up and young people spend hours updating their multiple virtual profiles. The trend is that this attachment to networks and the internet will only increase in the coming years.

These platforms can be put to good use when you have the right intention. The uncontrolled influence of the virtual world on the reality of flesh and blood, however, has numerous negative consequences for mental health.

1. Anxiety

On social media, you may get the impression that everyone’s life is fantastic except yours. Confrontation with the supposed fullness of others can raise anxiety.

You may believe that you are stagnant or that your efforts so far have been insufficient to conquer your dream life.

The incessant negative news and nasty comments can also make you nervous. Our brain is unable to digest all the information received during the day.

Bad stimuli then become burdens to the mind. You may begin to question the state of the world and society, becoming anxious about the future.

2. Pressure

The amount of information, research, articles, news, opinions, and photos can make your head spin. The feeling of “I need to be productive” can start to permeate your thoughts, and pressure you to achieve your goals in an unhealthy way.

If many people have already achieved success, why haven’t you left the place? This charge is becoming increasingly common among professionals and students, especially younger ones. The pressure you put on yourself can lead to burnout.

3. Feeling of Isolation

On the one hand, the use of networks can connect people from the most varied backgrounds and personalities. It’s easier to find individuals with similar interests on the internet and build a friendship.

However, the excess of virtual interactions can increase the feeling of loneliness, leading to social isolation.

You can feel more loved and accepted in virtual communities and spend more time on these interactions. Remember that it is also necessary to maintain good relationships with those close to you.

4. Fear of Missing Something on Social Media

The fear of missing out is quite popular for a simple reason: many people feel it.

As you watch the lives of others take off through the screens, you fear that you are missing important experiences or that you are not enjoying the stage of life you are in. Suddenly, the feeling that you haven’t traveled, partied, lived, worked, or had enough fun washes over you.

Upon noticing this, he begins to plan his next adventures, and, most likely, he will not have peace until he accomplishes them. This unpleasant feeling, combined with the pressure to live intensely, is conducive to the onset of depression.

5. Unbridled Pursuit of Perfection

In the same way that networks can put enormous pressure on your shoulders to become professional, make money, fulfill dreams, and, become the best person in the world, it can coerce you to strive for perfection.

This search always entails a lot of suffering for those who decide to do it, because it is impossible to reach the final goal.

6. Sedentary Lifestyle or Obsession with the Body

These two extremes can also result from the misuse of the internet. Technology tends to make people more static as it is the main source of work and entertainment, easily leading them to a sedentary lifestyle.

On the other hand, the incessant search for the perfect physique can cause body image distortion. Eating disorders often result from obsessing over the promise of miraculous weight loss.

Today, content about unusual diets is very popular on several virtual platforms.

However, there is little advice that considers each person’s body type, metabolism, and health history, as well as the nutritional value of each food. For this, health experts should be consulted.

7. Rage

People tend to be bold online. Friendly conversations and debates, at first sight, can turn aggressive in an instant. Anonymity and distance encourage many to say what they would not share in person.

In addition, on the networks, you will find a variety of opinions and not all of them are pleasant. You may get angry at someone else ‘s way of expression or offensive words.

Confronting them, however, will only create stress. Often individuals access the internet to vent and do not care who they offend.

8. Depression

As you prioritize social media, you may experience anger, inadequacy, sadness, and frustration frequently. In everyday life, you can also run into these emotions when interacting with co-workers, friends, or relatives. Therefore, your mind does not have a minute’s rest from negativity.

Excessive use of networks amplifies negative emotions, which can affect your emotional well-being and worsen symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Good Practices in the Use of Social Networks

The profiles we build online can be used for entertainment, information, and relaxation, but not take over our lives. To avoid the harmful factors of social media, you must balance the moments dedicated to online life and real life.

Practice mindfulness during conversations and focus only on the person you are interacting with, leaving your phone for later. Instead of recording every moment in dozens of photographs and videos, take a few photos to keep the memory and enjoy the present moment.

When you feel overwhelmed, whether it’s information or interactions, take a break from networking.

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a content enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class content, including finance, travel, crypto, blockchain, market, and business to educate and inform readers.