Over time, many researches have suggested that social media is a major factor contributing to complications of the mental health of the people. While social media has made a lot easier for people to communicate and stay up-to-date with friends and family around the world, however, it has also increased the feelings of isolation among individuals and also increase cyber bullying and sleep deprivation which contributes to depression.
Though social media doesn’t directly cause depression, it can create habits that can lead to depression. People tend to completely forget about the world, completely hocked into their smart devices while sleeping late, and forgetting responsibilities when engaged with social media sites.
According to a research on ‘Association of Screen time and Depression in Adolescent’ published on Jama Network, it suggests that depressive symptoms are increased significantly among seventh-graders for every hour they spent more on social media. They are found to have symptoms including loneliness, sad and hopelessness.
Although the study did not directly conclude that social media causes depression however the study suggests regulating its uses.
The negative impacts of using social media have hazardously affects the mental health of the users. Some of its commonly found side-effects are:
Fear of missing out (FOMO). Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have led to exceed the feelings that other people are having more fun or living better lives than you are. This idea that you are missing out makes a greater impact on self-esteem, triggers anxiety which compels you to check your social media updates while driving and risking your life or staying up late.
Isolation. Continuous uses of social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increase feelings of loneliness.
Depression and anxiety. When people prioritize social media over relationships, they are at more risk for developing mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
Cyberbullying. Being bullied or getting offensive comments on social media are reported to be increased over the years.
Some of the ways to reduce the negative impacts of social media:
· Reduce online time
Use an app to track the amount of time you spend on social media. Try getting involved or getting yourself busy with more household work.
· Turn off your social media notifications
Disabling your notification will help you to avoid temptations to check your phone continuously.
· Spend more times with friends and family
Try getting more involved with your family and friends and create memories with them on your mind and heart and stop clicking photos for every bit of things.
· Practice mindful uses of social media
Stop comparing yourself to other people to avoid negative feelings or FOMO. Focus on the positive sites of social media to enhance your creativity and skills.