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Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

Social media

The rise of social media has meant that we as a global population are more connected than we have ever been in the history of time. 

However, our reliance on social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.

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Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/social-media-mental-health-negative-effects-depression-anxiety-addiction-memory-a8307196.html

independent.co.uk

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Key Ideas

Self-esteem

A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that many people suffer from “Facebook envy”, with those who abstained from using the popular site reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives. 

Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence.

Human connection

It’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another. However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that assessed 5,208 subjects found that overall, regular use of Facebook had a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing. 

Memory

Social media can be great for looking back fondly on memories and recounting how past events occurred. However, it can also distort the way in which you remember certain tidbits from your life.

We are guilty of spending far too much time trying to take the perfect photo of a visual marvel, all the while not actually absorbing the firsthand experience of witnessing it with our own two eyes.

Sleep

“Getting worked up with anxiety or envy from what we see on social media keeps the brain on high alert, preventing us from falling asleep,” explained Dr Bono. 

“Plus, the light from our mobile device just inches from our face can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired.”

Set yourself a strict rule of not going on your phone for at least 40 minutes before going to bed, and see if that makes a difference to the quality of your sleep. 

Attention span

While it’s incredible to consider the amount of information readily available at our fingertips thanks to social media, it also means that people have become far more easily distracted. 

If you’re unable to not check your phone for at least a few minutes, then you’d do well to practise exercising your willpower on occasion. 

Mental health

In March 2018, it was reported that more than a third of Generation Z from a survey of 1,000 individuals stated that they were quitting social media for good as 41 per cent stated that social media platforms make them feel anxious, sad or depressed.

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Fear of missing out

As our friends and family share pictures of all the good times they have on social media, we often end up feeling like we’re missing out on something important. 

This feeling is accompanied by social anxiety and low mood.

Sleep disruption

Social media keeps us awake, sometimes until late at night, causing us to have fewer hours of sleep.

Research indicates that people who have terrible sleeping cycles were 6% more likely to be depressed. 9% were more likely to be unhappy than those who had good sleeping habits.

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Digital Depression And Social Media
Digital Depression And Social Media
  • Our mental health and well being is easily affected by social media.
  • People increasingly are opting for digital detox many companies are looking into the problem of hate speech and...
Engage With Awareness
  • A good starting point for those who cannot live without social media is to turn off all notifications and actively engage in social media for a limited time, being aware of how it makes you feel.
  • One also needs to curate the news feeds and only look at stuff which is nourishing for the brain.
  • It also helps to periodically keep your smartphone out of sight.
Consume Varied Content

Just consuming specific content that feeds into your existing set of beliefs isn’t a healthy way to approach the online world, as it does not provide an authentic view.

We need to find people whom we disagree with and get past our filter bubbles. We need to engage with a purpose, and with a curious, open mind and keep trying to educate ourselves.

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Have ‘detox’ periods

Schedule regular multi-day breaks from social media. 

Pay attention to how you feel

Experiment with using your favorite online platforms at different times of day and for varying lengths of time, to see how you feel during and after each session.

You may find that a few short spurts help you feel better than spending 45 minutes exhaustively scrolling through a site’s feed. 

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