Social Media And Its Effect On Mental Health

Studies have found a strong link between excessive social media usage and an increased risk of mental health problems. Read ahead to know more.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaPublished at: Jun 07, 2022Updated at: Jun 07, 2022
Social Media And Its Effect On Mental Health

Human beings are social creatures. They need to socialize in order to steer a happy and healthy life. Being socially connected helps in easing stress, anxiety and even depression. Alongside, it also brings joy, boosts self worth/confidence and prevents loneliness in one's life and lifestyle. 

In today's world, almost every person is active  on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and/or YouTube. However, spending too much can make a person feel very lonely and isolated. Social media is a very dependable mode of communication and yet, several facets of  it tends to exacerbate mental health problems. 

Negative Impact Of Social Media

Studies have found a strong link between excessive social media usage and an increased risk of mental health problems such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Self harm or suicidal thoughts

Causes Of Unhealthy Social Media Usage

1. Security Blanket

Often in a social situation, a person tends to feel awkward or lonely. This is the time when he/she finds solace in the virtual world of social media. 

Interacting on social media aids to avoid face-to-face encounters that hinders in easing anxiety and even depression promptly and effectively.

2. Underlying Problems

Excessive social media use could be masking several underlying problems, such as stress, or boredom. People tend to tilt towards social media when they're feeling down, lonely, or bored. This caters to be a good distraction from unpleasant feelings in turn also soothing the mood. 

Signs That Social Media Is Affecting Your Mental Health

1. More Reel Than Real

Using social media has become a substitute for offline social interaction. However, when you're out with your friends and you're still on social media, or when you are traveling, you’d rather be glued to your phone than enjoy a view, is when you need to take a long, hard look at your social media usage. 

Also read: Follow These Dietary Tips To Improve Your Mental Well-Being

2. Comparison

. People share the updates of their lives on a real time basis which makes others compare their lives with them. It is important to understand that people usually only show the brightest and happiest sides of their lives, which may not be the full picture. . Comparisons tend to negatively affect the self esteem and confidence in a person. 

3. Distraction

Social media is an escape from reality. There is a lot of pressure to post regular content about yourself, get comments or likes on your posts, or respond quickly and enthusiastically to friends’ posts. This ends up  being a big distraction from work or school. 

Effective Ways Use Social Media

  • Track how much time you spend on social media each day.
  • Don't take your phone/gadgets to bed
  • Try to detox from social media applications every once in a while
  • Interact with people in person