We have heard it time and time again.
‘Humans are social creatures’.
‘Humans need social connection and companionship to thrive and progress in life’.
Research have shown that being socially connected with other people can alleviate stress, worries, and anxiety, amongst others. On the contrary, lack of social connection can introduce setbacks to our mental health.
But… how does social media play a part in our mental health?
There is currently an ongoing debate regarding the benefits and negative impacts of social media on our mental health
Whilst, social media enables us access to information, increased opportunities, and many other benefits, there is also a downside to this digital revelation.
Here are 3 reasons why your mental health may be affected when partaking in social media activities:
Cyberbullying is all too common in the internet world, and you can bet it finds it way in social media platforms. Cyberbullying can lead to many detrimental effects for your mental health such as an increased in risk of depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness, as well as a decrease in self-esteem. Bullying can also have psychological effects on children and teenagers as they are developing.
2) Prolonged Usage
Studies have shown that prolonged use of social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and Snapchat may be related to negative signs of mental health afflictions such as anxiety and stress. The additional pressure to follow a fad or stereotype that others want to see does may not be the best for our mental health too.
3) Bad Sleep
Studies have shown the relationship between social media use and disrupted sleeping routines. One example is the blue light being emitted from our electronic screens that has the most impact on sleep. What blue light does is that it stimulates parts of the brain and makes us feel more ‘alert’, which leaves us to energetic to sleep when it comes to bedtime.
So, what do I do now?
There are a range of benefits and downsides to social media use. If you are able to manage your usage and use it for the right reasons; it can provide many advantages such as opportunities, connection, and accessibility to the world. However, if you stray off the path, you may find yourself facing negative situations which could affect your mental health terribly. That said, it would always help to be more aware of our surroundings and the decisions we make in the digital world.
One final note, try not to leave out face to face interactions!