Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing
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.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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Many times, we get intimidated by the seemingly perfect pictures that people upload on social media or by their so-called perfect dates and relationships.
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.
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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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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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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