Health experts have concluded that sitting idle is the new smoking. Given the number and types of health problems occurring by simply sitting and the associated fatality rate mounting with each passing year, it can be said that sitting is one of the worst things you can do to your health. And utilizing any free time (even hours) in scrolling the seemingly important news feed in our Facebook, Twitter, etc.is simply undebatable. When it comes to psychological justifications, we ourselves know it is not worth it, as the research confirms.
It has been stated that the addiction for social media has a number of drastic effects on the mental health in kids and teens including cyber bullying, Facebook depression, etc. The same effects apply on adults as well. So what role does social media actually plays?
In this blog post we’re going to examine three major ways through which social media affects our psychological health.
1. Endless addiction
Experts constantly ponder over the fact if internet and social media addiction are the same thing. While it won’t be incorrect to say that both exist. A study in Nottingham Trent University has analyzed the human mind’s characteristics, personality and social media use. The study reasonably concluded the effects of Facebook Addiction Disorder, provided the victim’s personal life, emotions, mood, behavior, and the overall psychological health is profoundly affected, thanks to the excessive use of the social media platform.
The contributors in the research paper have further stressed that different people use social media for different reasons. Both the introverts and extroverts may have their own motivation to use social media platforms.
Another study conducted at Swansea University expressed that people tend to experience unique psychological symptoms after withdrawing from using internet, and more specifically social media. Understandably, people who are heavily addicted with smartphones in their pockets all the time have admitted undergoing anxiety attacks after they stopped using social media, and now the experts in the field can see these psychological effects bringing some actual physiological changes in the body.The changes may be beneficial in their own way depending on your personality and needs, but the point to understand is that the intense addiction of social media actually does more harm than good, and it is up to the user to decide how to make use of his or her free time, rather than logging in your social media account every now and then.
2. It encourages more sadness and depression, and less happiness
Here comes the somewhat controversial but really powerful thing: the more we are on Facebook or any other social media platform, the more we are subject to sadness and depression. A study on Facebook conducted some time ago was bold enough to say that the seemingly socialization platform tends to reduce the moment-to-moment happiness and satisfaction in life’s routine tasks. In short, the more people scrolled through the news feed in their Facebook, the more room they’re giving to sadness and feelings of emptiness in their life.The trick is, Facebook and other social media platforms give room for social isolation, in ways that other DIY activities don’t. From the outside, Facebook promotes the human mind to seek social and instant connectivity. Rather than improving the aspect of well-being—the prime aim intended from the ongoing conversations, Facebook is in fact doing the exact opposite in kids and teens.
Several other studies have stated that social media use is the major source to elevated emotions of social isolation. Research on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media greats have concluded that people have admitted to perceive themselves social isolated over excessive use, not to mention that perceived social isolation greatly impacts our physical and mental health.
3. Comparison of life with others is literally disturbing
One of the major contribution in the social isolation factor is that of the ‘comparison’ we tend to do with others. As we scroll down the endless news feed, we gradually start to compare our activities and lives with those in our friends list. The two extremes in the comparison game comes in the ‘downward’ or ‘upward’ direction, meaning we tend to perceive our live as better or worse than our friends’. It has been explained that whatever the direction a person goes, it will make him or her feel bad. Quite surprising due to the fact that in real life only the upward comparison speaks sense in making us feel bad, watching other person having a high life, more fan following, and more good things to enjoy than us. However, in the social media world, any kind of comparison will do nothing but heighten the symptoms of depressions and a feeling of emptiness.
Author’s Bio: Lara Hawkins is a certified Clinical Psychologist and trainer at the corporate level, having the honor of working with some of the best enterprises across the globe. Besides her regular job, Lara also operates Essay River, an outstanding academic service provider helping students worldwide in all the major professional disciplines.