Business

Social Media and Its Effects on Mental Health

Punjab News Express | September 16, 2019 10:48 AM

The advent of social media has been instrumental in connecting us as a global population to a big extent. We are more aware of things happening around us and to people we care about than ever before.

But all this influx of information through social media is not free from its share of detrimental effects. Excess of everything is bad, and that includes social media as well.

As per reports, the average Indian spends more than 2.5 hours on the phone each day. While social media is helpful to build a community, its ability to put lives off track is unquestionable. From the constant barrage of perfectly edited pictures to tweets and posts, there is a lot that can affect the mental stability of an individual negatively.


Here are a few ways social media could be affecting our mental health negatively, without us even realizing:

Self Esteem

The Self-esteem of a plethora of individuals takes a major hit when they compare themselves to aesthetically pleasing individuals on the internet, especially on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Everyone has a fair share of insecurities, and such comparisons bring those insecurities to the fore, leaving us with a negative image of our body and being in mind. This leads to social media envy, which is pretty common in people across all age groups who use social media. 

Human Contact

Since more time is spent browsing through public profiles, celebrity pages and other such information on social media, people do not indulge in proper human contact and refrain from activities that demand their physical attention and help to build healthy relationships with peers and family. Most people prefer to avoid human contact and this plunges many of us into a depression since humans are meant to be social creatures.

Lack of Sleep

Very few people have the self-control to put their phones away at night or rest hours while most others are glued to their screens, active on social media websites. Most young adults are extremely active on social media sites at around midnight. This has a very degrading effect on the quality and quantity of their sleep as the sleeping patterns get disturbed due to odd sleeping hours. They stay on social media till late at night and are unable to wake up on time the next day, hence, wasting their potential and time. This also has a major impact on their productivity as a lack of sleep results in decreased productivity. 

Memory

Technology has a lot of boons, but memory retention has definitely taken a hit ever since social media came into being. While social media is great for looking back fondly on memories and events, it can distort important details about our life. We get lost in taking the perfect pictures for our social media, and in turn, end up forgetting to live in the moment and enjoy while it lasts. It becomes a responsibility to upload every occasion online to stay on top and show off to peers. This undermines the happiness and devoid us of numerous happy memories.

Attention Span

The attention span of humans has been falling at an alarming rate over the years, but it has taken a very steep and sudden plunge. This is thanks to social media, which ensures that every piece of information is at the tip of our fingers. We get easily distracted every time there is a new pop up notification on our screens and this has reduced our will power to resist the temptation, and has reduced our attention span as well.

Cyberbullying

Teenagers are most susceptible to cyber bullying, with girls more at risk than boys. This can have a devastating effect on young minds and can lead to depression, anxiety, and an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts.

 

Online Games as An Alternative for Social Media:

There are better alternatives to spending time on social media in the form of short-term online gaming. Playing games like leovegas blackjack games online and online roulette can divert our minds from social media and provide mental exercises for the brain. If done in moderation, online games are great for positive mental growth. 




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