In a world where we feel more connected than ever, is this online phenomenon accountable for various mental health problems? Sometimes you check your phone just to see the time, weather or to read the latest news and realise that you are thoughtlessly stuck on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in infinite scrolling. Social media is such an enormous part of our lives, but have you ever thought of how it affects your emotional well-being in particular? People use social media to communicate and develop connections with others, but sometimes we can also face cyberbullying, trolls, negative comparisons, sleep deprivation, and less regular face-to-face interactions. Here are five aspects that your mental health could be adversely impacted by social media without you knowing it.
1- SUSCEPTIBLE TO TROLLING AND CYBER-BULLYING – Involving yourself on social media can open you up to various threats and leads to potential mental and physical circumstances either from someone you know or from strangers. Anyone who has created a public profile runs the risk of being stalked or trolled. Cyberbullying and trolling are linked to depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of negative thoughts.
2- ISOLATION – Social networking gives you a platform for making new friends no matter where they are located, and you can have hundreds or thousands of friends and followers from all around the world. But it is hard to develop empathy and compassion “engaging” online rather than in person and in the long run, this could make you feel isolated.
3- SLEEP DEPRIVED – The addiction to social media comes mixed with lack of sleep. The time when you are supposed to sleep, most of us prefer to spend surfing on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for the viral content that impedes your sleeping hours.
4- BEING ENVIOUS – It is no secret that the social media comparison factor leads to envy and most people will admit that seeing other people travelling and enjoying themselves can make others feel jealous. On social media, anything from personal appearance to living conditions to perceived triumphs and defeats is all under a microscope.
5- LOW SELF- ESTEEM – Comparing yourself to others on online platforms by stalking their Instagram images or keeping up to date with their Facebook relationship status will do nothing to assuage your self-doubt feelings. Filtered and intentionally curated photos make us believe that our lives are not fair, and it affects our self-esteem.