Social Media and Mental Health: Pros and Cons?

Social Media and Mental Health: Pros and Cons?

Social media is single-handedly the most used and most powerful form of media there is at the moment. It serves as a space where people can connect with other, get and give news, conduct business and so much more. Because of this, most of us find ourselves spending a significant amount of time on social media. Even though social media provides us with many good things, there are also negative effects of social media. It is important to think about the relationship between social media and mental health by understanding the pros and cons. 

PROS

Importance of mental health awareness by social media

You probably heard about this website from some social media platform. Mental health awareness has increased vastly because a number of mental health professionals and lay people help to create this awareness. As more people post, tweet and snap about mental health, others realized they were not alone in their struggles. Many have found helpful tools and tips on mental health. 

Connecting with friends and family

Some of us are in constant communication with friends and family because of social media. You can let someone know you’re thinking of them, just by sending a meme. Many of us have also found long lost family and friends through social media. We’re able to keep in touch with people thousands of miles away. Groups can even be created to communicate efficiently with multiple people at once. 

Building Networks

I have personally made connections with people though social media. Some have been from responding to comments, and others because we follow each other and share similar values. I have seen networks of mothers, professionals, alumni, etc., form and expand because of social media. This has helped to solidify a sense of community and support. 

Business expansion

Many businesses have expanded to the point that social media platforms have created business accounts. These days many people use social media to shop for their needs and wants. So it has been helpful to many people economically. Individuals have become brands and received endorsement deals and brand deals. Many have started from the bottom now they’re here. 

Information Accessibility

Whether it’s leaning how to make certain meals, learn how to draw, math tricks, science experiments, news or even leaning to do the gwarra gwarra, social media has all that information. 

CONS

Self Esteem and Worth – body image, tc

These days body image issues are on the rise. Many young people see the manner in which certain body types are glamorized and crave the attention that comes with it. There are trends like the flat tummy, small waist and big butt combination, the snap back after childbirth, the abs from working out or the jokes about short men. One of the quickest ways to feel bad the way you look is to spend time on social media. 

Feeling Unaccomplished 

We always post the good stuff. We post the positive outcomes of our struggles, and almost always after we’re done going through the struggles. Because of this, most of us see what people post and compare their accomplishments to where we are in life. I’ve heard many say “I’m not where I’m supposed to be by now.” When I probe, it comes out that, this is based on what they’ve seen others post online. 

Sleep deprivation

Nowadays, when people say they’re going to bed, they mean they are going to lie in bed and be on social media for a few more hours before they sleep. I’m guilty of this too. As I write this article, I feel tired because I stayed up very late just scrolling on social media, even though I had an early morning. It is clear that in this case that, the relationship between social media use and mental health is unhealthy. Once in a while this is fine, but when this becomes habit, it poses significant health issues. 

Addiction

Addiction is no longer limited to unhealthy substances. Social media addiction is on the rise. People are unable to function optimally or go through a day without going on social media. It is so common to see a group of friends sitting together and scrolling through social media. People are spending productive hours tweeting, posting, snapping, liking, commenting and so on. With the exception of doing business, how long can you stay off social media? If whenever you sit idle, your first thought is to go on social media, you might want to pay closer attention to this. 

Trolling & bullying

This issue is such a problem in these times. Previously, you could only be bullied by people you had some sort of personal contact with. Now, people from halfway across the world are able to say horrible things to and about people they do not know personally. Many people are very unhappy in life and have found a way to spread that unhappiness through social media. It doesn’t help that they can hide behind anonymous user names to do this. I personally avoid reading comment sections of popular pages, just to protect my own mental health. 

Depression & Anxiety

All the cons listed above are very closely related to mental health issues, especially depression and anxiety. There is a strong relationship seen with increased social media use and a person’s mood and self-esteem. Another situation that is being seen is the sensationalization of people’s painful experiences. Because many people find empathy and some sense of community from other social media users, feelings of emotional struggle tend to be intensified and shared to keep the attention. 

Just like any human endeavor, social media has its pros and cons. It is important to be mindful of how we use social media and how we are impacted by it. When used properly, social media can help improve your social, emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual life. One good example of this can be found on our social media pages. 

Add Your Comment

Enable Notifications OK No thanks