Nearly 4.62 billion people around the globe use social media platforms. Social media has become a vital part of our lives. A study revealed that 90% of young individuals use their phones the first thing in the morning to see social media updates. It wouldn’t be wrong to say our lives are inundated with social media use. It is a news source, has become a part of the culture, and has provided a platform to raise a voice for significant social issues. However, it is not all positive.
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Is Social Media Bad for Your Mental Health?
You may have heard people talk about the negative ways social media has affected their lives. Some celebrities have left certain social media platforms, citing the negative energy and mental health impact as a reason. It is important to understand clearly, how and why social media platforms carry a negative impact. Here are some negative effects of social media usage.
Anxiety and Depression
Being on social media for prolonged periods can effectively make your anxiety and depression worse. According to studies, excessive social media consumption can lead to reduced in-person interactions and decreased ability to retain attention. When excessive use of social media is combined with emotional dependency on said platforms, it can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Repeatedly, people have been called out for promoting unrealistic life standards on the platform. We see individuals with highly edited pictures, giving the impression that they look like that in real life. Seeing other people flaunt their vacation pictures or expensive purchases online can leave one feeling inadequate.
The reality is that things are different from what they appear to be online. However, if you are constantly consuming that content it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.
A study revealed that nearly 70% of individuals scroll through their social media profiles before falling asleep. This is not good for your sleep schedule. Smartphones emit blue light, which signals the brain to stay alert, and their use before bed could lead to sleeplessness. Furthermore, a study finds that social media usage stimulates your brain and body and disrupts the sleep cycle. Therefore, it is better to stop interacting with electronic devices at least an hour before coming to bed.
Unhealthy Social Media Habits
It would be unfair to say there is no positive usage of social media. It has been instrumental in raising a voice against gruesome social crimes, raising awareness for social taboos like mental health, and is an excellent tool to connect with your loved ones. However, the key is to use it in moderation and realize that there is a world outside it. Here are a few unhealthy social media habits that indicate you need a social media detox:
- Reduced in-person interactions
- Poor performance in school or at work
- An increased need to check your profiles every few minutes
- An increased sense of inadequacy due to what other people share online
- Troubled sleep routine
- Little to no time for personal care
Minimizing the Negative Effects of Social Media on Your Mental Health
Here are a few ways to minimize the negative effects social media has on your mental health.
- Reduce the time spent on social media platforms
- Try not to reach for your phone at the start and the end of the day
- Dedicate time for a self-care routine
- Monitor your social media usage and use the time for something productive
- Reach out to friends and family and spend time with them
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Social media is a powerful tool that lets you stay connected at all times. It is a source of information and entertainment and can be used for many good deeds. However, it is crucial to realize when your social media usage starts affecting your ability to function. Use social media platforms mindfully to harvest its benefits and prevent any harmful effects.
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