Social Media has become more of a life staple. Statistics have revealed in just the past few years, use of social media platforms has gone way up, and people are now more connected with their acquaintances living in any part of the world than they were before. But just like everything has flaws and downsides, social media has some too. Many mental health experts have blamed social media for the increase in mental health problems, which are very common now. Experts have also pointed out that people now rely on social media to such an extent that the anxiety of feeling left-behind actually makes them check their phones more than 30 times in a day. This brings us down to wondering if social media platforms and their excessive usage has caused a negative impact upon the state of our mind.
Is Social Media Detrimental to Our Mental Health?
Who does not talk about the number of benefits social media has. Some even term them infinitive. But we must not overlook how this ‘blessing’ has let our mind fall into the clenches of depression and anxiety.
The first and most upsetting effect of excessive usage of social media is low self-esteem. Many people have insecurities which they don’t like discussing openly. Although some people believe social media has actually helped people come out of their shell, in reality it’s the complete opposite. People have become more introverted with lower self-confidence. Seeing others post fancy travel photos and food pictures, people with lower or limited means of life feel their confidence shattering. According to a study conducted by Copenhagen University, several people have this thing called ‘Facebook Envy’ which causes them to always feel jealous of their friends or family for doing something which they can’t. However, there was also a number of those, who were more mentally stable than the avid social media users, only because they didn’t use such sites.
Excessive use of social media draws you away from your actual life. According to an Instagram influencer, being active on social media can make you lose track of your own life. The Fear of Missing Out or FOMO as the internet slang goes by, is what many people go through when they spend too much time on the social media and keep themselves out of everything that is happening around them. Also, many think social media is a great way to remember old times through old pictures. But what actually happens defies the entire logic of this. For instance, if a picture shows in your Facebook Memories, which reminds you of a certain phase in your life where you weren’t happy, at the end of the day, you would find yourself thinking about that phase and how upset you were during it. So, just another way of getting transported away from the present moment.
Social media also plays a huge role in not having a regular sleeping pattern. Every night, before retiring to bed, almost every one of us is guilty of spending an hour or two on social media. Strange how we are okay with compromising our sleep for a few scrolls on these social media platforms. This is one of the many reasons why most people have an irregular sleeping pattern. According to mental health experts, our brain fights to sleep peacefully at night. All the time, it is anxious, as we feel jealous or envious of others on social media, which is why falling asleep on time becomes a never-ending struggle. Additionally, the reason why we fail to fall asleep on time is the cellphone’s light. It tricks the brain into believing that we’re not sleepy, thus producing a very small quantity of melatonin (a hormone that makes us feel tired).
Social media has been a major cause of unhappiness in most individuals. In just a few years since its beginning, many people came forth with depression, anxiety or insomnia. If you look back 20 years ago when social media was not in mainstream usage at the mass scale, people did have a more controlled or perhaps disciplined life. They rested well, they did not have as many trivial reasons to be jealous of others and they didn’t feel tired all the time. In a nutshell, blaming social media for the rise in mental health deterioration in Generation Z won’t be wrong. A survey took place last year in March 2018, where experts stated more than 1000 individuals suffered from depression caused by social media.
The thing is given the stress caused by the sheer pace of modern life, people look for distractions as a source of temporary respite nowadays. There are however many other things to do such as stepping out of your comfort zone to indulge in some outdoor activities, playing indoor games, or even watching good TV. There are a number of shows in good taste running these days which you can watch while taking a break from social media. But before that, be sure to check with your provider as to which Hughesnet offer the best channels. Because after all, what use is a TV channel if it isn’t airing your favorite shows? Right?