Social Media - Is it impacting your Mental Health?

How do you begin your mornings? Do you check your social media while laying in bed? Do you end your end the same way? Perhaps you check in periodically throughout the day, but before you know it, you've spent over an hour mindlessly scrolling. This is a rather regular occurrence. After all, social media usage is rather common. Whether you've just started using social media or have been doing so for years, you've probably heard a lot about its possible detrimental effects on mental health.


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Here are some prominent side effects of social media:


Fear of missing out (FOMO): Social media apps like Instagram seem to amplify thoughts that others are having more fun or enjoying better lives than you. The feeling that you're missing out on something can lower your self-esteem, cause worry, and encourage you to use social media even more.


Distractions: You may find yourself spending too much time on social media to distract from unpleasant/ negative emotions. However, remember that it is okay to feel these emotions! Distractions will not help to get over them in the long run.



Cyberbullying: About 10% of teenagers say they've been bullied on social media, and many others have received nasty comments. Harmful rumors, lies, and abuse can leave a person feeling upset, lonely and suicidal.


Poor body image: Even if you're aware that the photographs you're seeing on social media have been edited, they can still make you feel anxious about how you look or what's going on in your own life. We're also all aware that other people only talk about the bright times of their lives, rarely the terrible points that everyone goes through. However, whether you're going through a friend's retouched images of their exotic vacation or seeing all your friends at a party, we’re bound to feel envy.



Insomnia: Night-time exposure to blue light that comes from electronic devices throws off your circadian rhythm, or in simple words - sleep/wake cycle. It can also reduce the amount of time you sleep for and leave you feeling unrefreshed the next day.


Mental Illnesses: You're more likely to acquire disorders like anxiety and depression if you prioritize social media interaction over in-person relationships. Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.


Did you relate with any of them? If yes, don't worry! Here is the good news- All of these problems can be avoided. The negative impact of social media can be reversed too. The key is to be mindful and limit the time spent on social media.


Note: If you find it difficult to overcome social media addiction, we urge you to book a therapy session with us. Contact on +91 9326825780 for an appointment.


By Ms. Manasvi Punjabi


Ms. Manasvi is an intern at Innate Mind. Psychology interests her because it’s a fairly new subject and it’s fun to understand why people behave a certain way. She believes that being 'mentally and physically healthy' is the key to a healthy life. Through this internship she aims to help spread awareness about the significance of mental wellness. She also has varied interests like singing, dancing, reading, journaling and listening to music.


References:

Robinson, L. and Smith, M. (2021). Social Media and Mental Health. Retrieved from

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm#:~:text=Since%20it's%20a%20relatively%20new,harm%2C%20and%20even%20suicidal%20thoughts

Sperling, J. (2022). The Social Dilemma: Social Media and your Mental Health.

Retrieved from

https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health

Stabler, C. (2021) The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health.

Retrieved from

https://lancastergeneralhealth.org/health-hub-home/2021/september/the-effects-of-social-media-on-mental-health


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