Social media has developed into an extremely popular form of communication over the past few years, but many people still don’t quite understand all of its intricacies and how it affects their lives on a daily basis.
For this reason, many people aren’t aware of how social media can negatively impact their mental health.
Here are eight (8) ways that social media can negatively impact your mental health if you’re not careful about using it.
1) Comparison anxiety
One of the most common ways social media can negatively impact your mental health is through comparison anxiety. It's easy to fall into the trap of looking at someone else's life and feeling like you are not living up to your full potential.
This leads to feelings of inadequacy, sadness and more. So how do you avoid this? You need to stop comparing yourself to others on social media and get back in touch with your true self.
Set personal goals for yourself that don't rely on comparisons with others - because what really matters is what YOU want out of life!
2) Unnecessary stress
Social media can be difficult to disconnect from, and it's easy to feel like you're always on call. Stress is a normal feeling, but too much stress can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. Too much social media could take a toll on your mental health and cause unnecessary stress.
Studies show that people who spend more time than average scrolling through their feeds are more likely to have depression, anxiety and other disorders that have been linked with higher levels of stress.
In order to maintain good mental health and reduce the amount of unnecessary stress in your life, limit the amount of time spent on social media.
3) Poor sleep due to social media use
It's not uncommon to stay up late scrolling through social media, but the time you spend on it can take a toll on your sleep.
Even if you don't stay up all night, research shows that people who use social media for more than two hours per day are more likely to report poor sleep quality. This is because heavy use of social media disrupts circadian rhythms and the production of melatonin.
Our bodies produce melatonin when we're in darkness, which helps us fall asleep faster and sleep longer. While researchers don't know the exact link between social media use and disrupted sleep patterns, they suspect it has to do with how much light from devices we're exposed to at night affects our ability to regulate our natural body clock or circadian rhythm.
Narcissism is a term used to describe people who put themselves first and care about their own needs and wants before anyone else's. Narcissists will do whatever it takes to make themselves feel important, even if it means pushing other people away.
When you're constantly comparing your life to others' on social media, you can fall into the trap of feeling like everything they have is better than what you have. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, envy, and depression.
5) Anxiety about security
When you're constantly scrolling through social media, it's easy to feel anxiety about security and privacy. You might feel a sense of uneasiness when you see posts from friends that are at places that you're not. It's natural to want to compare yourself to others.
When people have more followers than you, or posts more frequently, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy. You may be less likely to share information if you don't think your content is as interesting as other people's. In this way, social media has the potential for causing insecurity in one's self-image and fear of missing out.
6) FOMO (fear of missing out)
FOMO is the fear of missing out on what other people are doing and sharing. It's a common feeling among people who spend a lot of time scrolling through social media feeds, but it can be a source of anxiety or depression.
You might feel as though you're missing out on something important when you don't know what your friends are doing and you may start to compare yourself to them.
However, most people aren't posting about every detail of their lives. The more time you spend comparing yourself to others, the less satisfied with your own life and accomplishments you'll become.
7) Addiction to social media resulting in loss of friends/family time
Social media is designed to make us feel like we are being seen and accepted, which can result in an addiction to these platforms. When we have time for our friends and families, it is easy to forget about social media because it takes up a lot of time.
However, when we don't have enough time for our relationships with those around us, social media becomes an addiction that separates us from the people who should be most important to us.
When this occurs, we start to lose touch with reality as well as the people that care about us. Addiction to social media resulting in loss of friends/family time is not just one instance where your mental health could suffer - it's something you need to be aware of all the time.
8) Lack of self-worth
As social media becomes more and more intertwined with our lives, it's important to be aware of the potential negative effects it can have on your mental health.
The constant need for validation and comparison to others leads many people to feel that they're never good enough. This can lead to a lack of self-worth, self-hate, and even depression.