India@75: A nation in the making

Social Media and Mental Health Issues

Dr. Parmod Kumar, MD (PGIMER), Consultant Psychiatrist, Chandigarh.

BRAND CONNECT
Published: Dec 15, 2021 04:50:25 PM IST
Updated: Dec 15, 2021 05:00:34 PM IST

Social Media and Mental Health IssuesIn current circumstances mental health has faced many challenges and social media are one of major reason to aggravate mental health problems. Social media is part and parcel of the modern daily life. Social media refers to a computer-driven technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information by connecting with virtual networks and communities. Both the quantity and quality of social relationships affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk.

According to the theory, people who spend more time connected to others can ease stress, anxiety, and depression, boost self-worth, provide comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even add years to your life. On the other hand, lacking strong social connections can pose a serious risk to your mental and emotional health.


Positive Impact of Social Media

Whether this is true about the social media that it causes so many negative impacts on psychological behavior, but still there are many positive ways in which it can help you stay connected and support your well-being.

Social media platforms allow users to have:

  • Communicate and stay up to date with family and friends around the world.
  • Find new friends and communities; network with other people who share similar interests or ambitions.
  • Involvement in civic engagement (fundraising, social awareness, provides a voice).
  • Seek or offer emotional support during tough times.
  • Find vital social connection if you live in a remote area, for example, or have limited independence, social anxiety, or are part of a marginalized group.
  • Find an outlet for your creativity and self-expression.
  • Online learning, job skills, content discovery.
The Negative Aspects of Social Media

Along with the good comes the bad. With all of its benefits, the nature of social media presents a range of potential issues.

Depression and Anxiety

Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affect mood. In fact, chronic users are more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression. Social media made someone to compare to other people, further cause anxiety and depression. According to researchers general anxiety provoked by social media, characterized by feelings of restlessness and worry, and trouble sleeping and concentrating.

Stress

Human beings need face-to-face contact to be mentally healthy. Nothing reduces stress and boosts your mood faster or more effectively than eye-to-eye contact with someone who cares about you. The more you prioritize social media interaction over in-person relationships, the more you're at risk for developing mood disorders.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

FOMO has become a common theme, and often leads to continual checking of social media sites. Social media make someone feel that others are having more fun or living better lives than them. The idea that you're missing out on certain things can impact at self-esteem, trigger anxiety, and fuel even greater social media use.

Feeling of Isolation

Some study found that high usage of social media increases rather decreases feelings of loneliness. Conversely, the study found that reducing social media usage can actually decrease loneliness and isolated and improves overall well-being.

Cyber Bullying

About 10 percent of teens report being bullied on social media and many other users are subjected to offensive comments. Social media platforms can be hot-spots for spreading hurtful rumors, lies, and abuse that can leave lasting emotional scars.

Signs that Social Media is Impacting your Mental Health

Indicators that social media may be adversely affecting your mental health include:

  • Spending more time on social media than with real world friends.
  • Comparing yourself unfavorably with others on social media.
  • Being distracted at work.
  • Having no time for self-reflection.
  • Suffering from sleep problems.
  • Worsening symptoms of anxiety or depression.
As with everything else, there are good and bad aspects of social media. If someone find that social media is having a negative impact on their life, then they should limit use of social media and became more conscious of the amount of time they spend on social media.

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