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How Does Social Media Affect Mental Health?

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Are you a social media addict and can’t stop using Instagram, Snapchat or your favourite app? Do you also want to know the effect social media has on your mental health?  

Social media can affect your mental health both positively and negatively. Its appropriate usage can make you feel happy and refreshed, while its excessive use can even lead to psychological problems. Teenagers are mostly affected by it; that’s why we will specifically share its effects on teenagers as well. 

Reading this guide will enable you to understand social media’s impact on your mental health. Moreover, we will also share tips to reduce its usage if you are overusing it. Continue reading as we understand the relationship between these two.      

Understanding Social Media And Mental Health Relationship

Everyone has a mobile and an internet connection and is active on social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. You may have heard social interactions are essential and beneficial for your mental health. It’s true, but only for in-person contacts, not online. 

Excessive use of social media negatively affects your mental well-being. You may feel lonely due to seeing others online who are happy and enjoying it. But beware, you only see the good side and are unaware of their real-life experiences. Moreover, increased screen time can affect your sleep and mental health in various ways.  

Effects Of Social Media Upon Mental Health

Let’s understand how social media affects mental health by looking at its impacts. Let’s take a look at its both positive and negative effects.  

Positive Effects 

Positive use of social media can help you with these benefits. It will also keep you updated with the latest trends and news. 

  • Increased self-esteem
  • More connections 
  • Feeling happy and refreshed 
  • Improve technical and communication skills.

Negative Effects

Social media is addictive, and it can affect your mental health negatively. You may even get into severe psychological problems due to it. Here are some of the adverse effects of social media. 

  • Increased stress
  • Comparisons with others
  • Isolation
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety or depression

How Does Social Media Affect Teenager’s Mental Health?

Although social media affects everyone, it significantly affects teenagers. It is because 90% of teenagers around the globe are social media users. Comparisons with others may result in feeling low. Excessive usage can also restrict teenagers from other healthy activities like fundamental real-life interactions and sports, which can also negatively affect their mental health. 

Our hormones start growing in our teenage, and our brain is just like plastic and can transform very quickly if it gathers information of any form. The problem with social media is that too much dopaminergic activity is available there. Young children, especially teens, are affected by watching those activities. Social media content can impact their whole life and drastically harm their mental health.

Signs That Social Media Is Impacting Your Mental Health

Here are a few signs you are addicted to social media, and it might affect your mental health. You can also take these signs as risk factors. If these sound familiar, you need to work on it before it causes any severe damage. 

  • More time on social media apps than Friends: The first sign to watch out for is spending more time on social media than with friends or getting real social experiences. 
  • More stress or anxiety issues: Usually, social media helps you get refreshed, and you enjoy watching your favourite people or things. But if you feel more stressed or worried after using, it’s probably affecting your mental health. 
  • Cyberbullying: Getting affected by cyberbullying may also cause mental health problems. It may include leakage of your personal or banking information and their illegal use. It may lead to getting blackmailed or financial damages.  
  • Distractions in study and work: If social media affects your professional job or studies despite knowing it’s unnecessary. It’s probably a sign it’s impacting your psychological condition.  
  • Sleep problems: Excessive screen time may also cause sleep problems. Not getting enough or low-quality sleep can also cause mental health problems. 
  • Comparisons with others: Comparisons with others may also affect your mental health. You may see others being rich or happy and feel you don’t have those blessings. It may result in low self-esteem and other psychological issues. 
  • Risky measures for attention: Everyone wants attention on social media. But if you notice yourself crossing limits to get attention or fame, it’s probably affecting your mental health. 
  • There is no time for self-reflection: If social media is affecting your self-reaction time as well, then it’s a sign your mental health is being compromised. Beware, if you are using every single free second for social media, then it’s affecting your mental health. 

Tips To Reduce Social Media Use

If you notice the above-listed signs and symptoms, you should immediately take action to reduce your social media usage. Here are some efficient tips to reduce your social media usage. 

  • Turn off notifications
  • Delete social media apps
  • Leave your phone in another room
  • Spend more time with friends offline
  • Take breaks
  • Track your online time
  • Use an app tracker
  • Set time limits
  • Spend less time on social platforms
  • Dedicate time to hobbies or activities
  • Exercise
  • Get your phone out of sight
  • Create a social media schedule
  • Mute or unfollow, but stay friends
  • No phones at the table
  • Schedule your Internet time
  • Digital Detox
  • Limit your smartphone usage
  • Manage your screen time
  • Put your phone away

Final Words

Social media affects your mental health in both positive and negative ways. Using it for a limited time and watching positive things can educate you and make you feel happy and relaxed. But using it for long hours negatively affects your health. It can even lead you to severe psychological conditions like anxiety and depression.

If you notice the signs and symptoms of social media usage are affecting your mental well-being, try to stop it addiction. Consult a psychologist if general tips don’t help you get away with it.    



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