Does social media negatively affect our mental health?
By Rasana Gasimova
It is impossible to imagine the modern world without computers, information technology, and the Internet. They have already managed to become a huge part of each person’s life. With that being said, it is no coincidence that social media is becoming ever so popular.
Logging onto social media has become our daily routine. Almost every social media user logs on at least once a day, whereas most of the users log on several times a day.
Social media is a convenient platform to connect with the world. Yet, there are many advantages and disadvantages to it.
While having undisputable benefits such as providing the opportunity to connect, develop and access a lot of resources, social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.
So, should we be cautious about using social media? And if yes, what is it that makes social media bad for us?
Studies suggest that using social media leads to the feeling of loneliness. It turns out that using the platforms too frequently can make you feel increasingly unhappy. According to the scientists, the use of social networks for more than two hours a day doubles the chances of social isolation.
Another way that social media can adversely affect our mental health is lowering our self-esteem. The pictures and post we share on our social media accounts portray us all positive and joyful. So, sometimes it seems that everyone you know are living their dream lives. This can result in the “Fear of missing out”, which in turn, leads to low self-esteem.
Heavy social media use is also often connected to reduced quality of sleep. A lot of people are missing out on the sleep they need becasue they are spending vast amount of time online on a regular basis. On the other hand, the amount of time we are exposed to the blue light from their tabs increases, thus interfering with our sleep patterns.
Social sites are places where people openly express their opinion. But words can hurt. With around-the-clock access to social media, cyberbullying affects more and more people. Although social media platforms tend to remove abusive remarks and comments, this negative experience can still have negative effect on a person's mental health.
It’s a well-known fact that social media can lead to addiction. People get so caught up in online platforms that their sphere of interests and circle of communication narrow. Subsequently, some people fail to do other important everyday activities that are outside social media.
Social media can do a lot of good. But spending too much time using social networks can lead to addiction, loss of attention, lack of sleep and isolation.
You don’t necessarily have to quit social media for good. It should be a part of your life, along with other offline activities.
Yet, if you feel overwhelmed, why not consider reducing your time online and setting specific amount of time you spend on social media? These little steps can make a whole lot of difference.
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