We live in a digital world these days. From online dating to online meetings, we have seen a drastic change in our daily lives. But while this change has many advantages, it seems too good to be true. Like everything else, social media also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. One such damage includes its impact on mental health. We get exposed to technology from early childhood. And honestly, it has become an integral part of everyone’s routine. That is why many of its effects are left unnoticed. But when we realize something is out of balance, we fail to connect it to social media. However, in reality, many mental health disorders root back to excessive social media usage. Out of many of such problems, the following are a few of them:
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health problems. And it has increased since the advent of social media. If you observe closely, you will see that most social media influencers and celebrities go through anxiety. Social media has opened the gates to exposure for everyone. And while this exposure connects people from all over the world, it also negatively impacts our mental health. Anxiety has become so common that we now observe it on a community level. And since many of us are fighting this inner battle, we are forced to seek professional help. However, the best way to deal with this matter is to consult with group therapy. Sometimes psychologists conduct lectures to spread awareness; other times, they work in conjunction with public health. Thus, mental clinics hire officers or students having online masters in public health to control this problem on a wide scale. With their expertise, they can help combat such issues and devise coping mechanisms. When we put in a collective effort to revert the damage caused by social media, we see a significant change.
2. Constant Fear Of Missing Out
Social media is continuously updating. You put your phone away for an hour, and everything will change when you recheck your feed. This constant uploading has made these sites almost addictive for the general population. Many individuals don’t leave their phones only because they will miss out on new posts and updates. And since the internet world never sleeps, they spend all their day and night on the screens. But even then, no one can stay up to date with everything. As a result, these individuals develop a constant fear in the long run. This fear then appears in their day to day life as hyper-excitation, aggressive behavior, and over-contribution. But sadly, people fail to realize the real reason behind it.
3. Self-Comparison and Demotivation
Social media is the second name of perfect bodies and aesthetic places. And while this is a good thing, it can also have toxic effects on our mental health. This unrealistic ideal world has created an environment of self-comparison and jealousy amongst us. Especially with young adults, the fear of looking bad on their profiles is a big worry. When they continuously watch edited content on their feed, they demotivate themselves. Not only that, but they also start idolizing this fake world that was made just for entertainment.
In the long run, this self-comparison leads to changes in a person’s daily routine. If we don’t work on this matter early on, it can lead to problems later. Studies suggest that many youngsters start unrealistic diets or workouts to cope up with their social media idols. Thus, we should control what we watch, and we should observe our behavior towards the content we see online. This way, we can detect and correct the issues before they cause any troubles.
4. Disconnection from the Real World
When a person is on their phone 24/7, they develop a bubble of fantasy around themselves. This bubble disconnects them from the real world and real people. As a result, they find great difficulty when trying to communicate with people in real life. It was once a common problem in gamers and nerds. But now, it is prevalent in every age group and occupation. Kids and adults, everyone spends their day scrolling social media. Hence, it is only understandable that they lose connection with the real world.
That is why psychologists and activists who arrange mental health awareness programs suggest reducing your screen time to a minimum. And although it is a massive step for some people, it is beneficial in the long-run. When you leave the phone and connect with your loved ones, you will see a positive difference in your mood.
5. Changes in Sleep Cycle
A good sleeping schedule is the foundation of good mental health. On the other hand, a disturbed sleep cycle can lead to several diseases. That is why all psychologists recommend sleep-promoting habits to their patients. Sleeping works in a similar pattern as your battery charger. Just like a charger puts life back in the phone, a good sleep prepares you for a new day. It repairs the damage done from mental and physical exertions and calms your nerves. But people who spend excessive time on social media often stay sleep-deprived. Because they use the phone at night, it keeps them awake for more extended periods. As a result, their body doesn’t get the chance to repair itself. That explains why every other teenager is suffering from anger issues and irritability.
The Final Words
The effects mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg regarding social media’s mental health impact. But while these are enough to scare a person off, we cannot deny the benefits of social media. Indeed it has adverse effects, but they happen when you use this facility for an excessive amount of time. Meaning, if you control your screen time and manage it efficiently, you will see a positive change in your routine. On the other hand, if you get carried away, you will face adverse consequences eventually.