Essay on Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Essay on Effects of Social Media on Mental Health 



We often pick up our phones to complete one quick task and then find ourselves scrolling through our feeds for 20 to 30 minutes or even more, while social media is designed to help us connect sometimes it can actually damage our relationships and increase loneliness.


Since emerging in the early 2000s, social media has exploded in popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Tumblr, and Twitter, as well as messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Snapchat.


They've given friends, family, and even complete strangers the ability to easily connect, create online profiles, upload photos, share videos, and communicate instantaneously.


Finding the right balance of social media use is all about how we use it there have been tons of studies done about social media and its impact, one showed that even having a smartphone in our view lessened empathic concern for others and overall lowered the quality of the conversations that we do have.


Other studies have found that spending two or more hours a day on social media can increase feelings of loneliness what the research definitively shows is that social media usage increases loneliness for those of us who use it to avoid social interaction yet decreases loneliness for those of us who use it to connect on a deeper level 


For example when we scroll through our feeds when we're getting coffee with a friend or while we are talking to someone a phenomenon called fubbing we may be using social media to avoid interaction and definitely losing an opportunity for real connection 


It doesn't matter what we are doing on our phones it can be disheartening and isolating when we're talking to someone who is staring at a screen, we're all guilty of it to some degree but we can control it when we intentionally put it away from our phones we can reap the proven benefit of having real-life conversations 


Having said that social media use has benefits too it can help connect us when we need support good examples being grief support pages or groups for people who suffer from rare diseases it enables us to reach friends and family who are far away and it can make positive change.


This brings us to the type of content we engage with often times our feeds are filled with negativity there is even a new term for the common practice of endlessly looking through bad news doom-scrolling


Doom scrolling is damaging to our mental health for many reasons it causes us to overestimate the bad in the world can make us feel powerless and can increase levels of depression and anxiety 


Or sometimes when we look through our feed everyone looks like they have it all when we only see the highlight reel of someone's life it can appear that they are always having fun and that everything is picture-perfect


that can lead us to compare ourselves with others damaging our self-esteem and those thoughts can stay with us long after we put the phone down, it's important to be aware of when how, and why we are using social networking sites.


Since these technologies profit from each minute we spend on them they are designed to be addictive and can have a negative impact on our psyches nobody likes the feeling of missing out and sometimes we compulsively check our feeds to make sure we aren't missing anything important 


Additionally features like photo tagging, stories, and notifications can make all of this hard to avoid because our brains are hardwired to stay updated and connected and there is always a new post or notification


we can feel like we have to check every few minutes to stay in the loop this negative cycle can prevent us from focusing or being present and it can leave us exhausted.


How does social media create the mental health issues of kids?


We're social creatures and our kids are no different. They crave connexion and unfortunately, sometimes we're not enough. Don't take it personally.


It has to be said that social media is an absolutely vital tool when it comes to communication and networking. 


Learning how to use it effectively should be absolutely encouraged, but it pays to be aware of the way social media can affect your child's mental health 


Depression


There is a definite correlation between social media use and depression. In several recent studies, teenage and young adult users who spent the most time on social media platforms were shown to have between 13 and 66 percent higher rate of reported depression than those who spent less time 



Anxiety


Social media addictions have been demonstrated in research to cause anxiety disorders. Platforms such as Instagram have fuelled an increase in diagnosed social anxiety disorders, and it's being noticed by teenagers all the way through adolescence into adulthood. 


Sleep deprivation


Social media apps are designed to keep us engaged, keep us scrolling, keep us swiping. That's why Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds are an infinite timeline of contact. kids check their phones before they go to bed and they open their phones before they've even opened their eyes in the morning.


A recent study reported 20 percent of teens regularly wake up in the middle of the night logging social media and then go back to sleep. These disrupted sleep patterns and late-night, staring at a tiny phone in the dark, wreak havoc on your child's mood, concentration, and eating habits,


 Jealousy and envy


We all feel a little jealous when we see someone with something we want or living a life we always dreamed of. teenagers feel these things too, but as their minds are still developing, they feel it on overcharge.


They see their friend's picture-perfect profile and immediately start comparing their own life. Coming up short, it's sometimes hard for our teens to understand that people only post their highs when they look and feel their best. 


Most people hide their dark and ugly moments away from the Internet. Unfair comparisons can lead to depression, loneliness, anger, and a variety of other issues. 


Body surveillance


photoshopped and filtered photos can lead to a negative self-body image known as body surveillance. Teens who experience this become chronically overly judgemental of themselves and their appearance, which can lead to serious long-term self-esteem issues. 


Cyberbullying


In a survey, 72 percent of teens reported that they had been cyberbullied. At some point, it can be way more vicious than face-to-face bullying, as the bullies or groups of bullies never really get to see the consequence of their hurtful comments. Cyberbullying is incessant. It happens out of sight from teachers and parents, and the victim literally can ask, 


How can we help to protect children on social media?


you're probably familiar with a handful of current social media platforms. Be aware of which ones children use and make sure they meet the minimum age requirements of the platform. 


When setting up an account, remind them of the importance of strict personal privacy settings. 


Not all platforms have this enabled US default, so take the time to make sure their account is set up correctly. This is the perfect time to discuss what information is appropriate to share online. Personal and private information should remain exactly that. Stranger danger still applies. 


While most people post pictures and videos with the best intentions. It's easy for things to be taken the wrong way or out of context. And when everyone is online, the wrong message can have long-lasting consequences. 



Conclusion


That social media has advantages and disadvantages to get the most of social media without letting it run our lives we need to create healthy boundaries, there are plenty of steps we can take to create boundaries around social media use setting time limits on our apps reminds us when we have hit our set amount of minutes 


another thing we can do is deleting our apps from our phones entirely and temporarily downloading them once a week at a predetermined time just to catch up for a limited amount of time we can also narrow our feeds paring down our list of friends so we only spend time and energy on the people we truly care about


 finally, we can keep our devices out of sight or in a different room when we're doing work and especially when we're talking with others so that we can be fully present and focused.



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THANK YOU SO MUCH

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