How Social Media Technology is Affecting our Mental Health
These days it’s rare to come across anyone that doesn’t use social media. Every generation has gone mad for these social platforms since they have become easily accessible over the last two decades. There’s a platform for every possible taste, from places to keep in touch with your loved ones and platforms to follow your favourite celebrity. Social media has brought a lot of joy to the world and arguably we are more connected than ever before because of the influence of social media. But with all of this joy, comes a lot of negatives in the world of social media. These negative aspects have had a big impact on the world of some of the users, here are a few reasons that social media is affecting our mental health.
A way in which social media has really affected the mental health of a lot of users is by presenting beauty expectations that make a lot of people feel bad about their appearance. Social media has made us capable of connecting with millions of people across the world, including the most glamorous of all celebrities. Everyone presents the best version of themselves on social media and so for your everyday person, it’s almost impossible to not compare yourself to people who have access to the finest clothes, hair and body type. This leads to a lot of people self-criticizing. Once you start to notice all of your faults in comparison to higher beauty expectations, it can be really easy to start feeling negative about yourself. For people who have low self esteems, constantly having this exposure can slowly start to affect not only your mental health but your life.
The sales of newspapers and magazines have gone down vastly since the introduction of social media platforms. This is because news gets shared within seconds through the use of any social media and has become people’s main source of knowledge. The only issue with news stories being shared by just about any friend on the platform is that there really is no escape from terrible news. Sad videos and headlines are spread daily and it can really darken someone’s mood when they have to continuously read horrific titles, as those are the news stories that peak in popularity on social media platforms. News that people often share on social media is usually based around some potential horrific event occurring or some new wild theory. This can make people feel extremely anxious because due to all of the circulating fake news, people aren’t sure what to believe. Many people who are less used to fake news on platforms genuinely believe reports of war or a new disease, so are frightened by the thought of this happening. Just continuously being exposed to such negativity can really influence the emotions of users.
One of the most used platforms on the internet is Youtube. This is a beloved platform and allows people to produce content or watch some of their favorite content creators. However, though the vast amount of these videos can bring joy, a lot of them can help create feelings of inferiority for viewers. This is because Youtube gives people the opportunity to watch people doing activities or living lifestyles that they have always wanted to. Youtube is also extremely positive for its challenges, which again can make people feel like they haven’t done much with their lives. There are a number of videos where YouTubers ask have you ever questions, these videos can make people feel bad when the people on their screens have experienced far more than them. It gives people false expectations of having to achieve things just because others have. This can be a lot of pressure for someone as nobody likes feeling as though they are missing out.
This also applies to other social media platforms. For example, when people post images of great days out and memories with friends. People who don’t do this regularly could feel as though they are missing out or don’t have enough friends. It can be especially hard when people see their friends post pictures or videos from events they weren’t invited to and can make people question their own value within their friendship groups.