How Social Media Can Affect Your Mental Health

There is often a lot of talk in the media about what is good and bad for your health. In the past, smoking was one of the unhealthiest things you could do, but there is also now the threat of not eating the right foods and not getting enough exercise. However, along with all of these physical issues, there are also things that are bad for your mental health as well. Apart from computer games, there is also the big issue of social media. With more people starting to suffer from mental health issues, how can social media affect you and what can you do to stop it?

How Social Media Can Affect Your Mental Health
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It is Addictive

Can the internet be addictive? Is there such as thing as social media addiction? Well, opinion is divided among the experts as for whether the internet is addictive, one of the problems is that most of the information you now need is online in some form or another. That means accessing the internet has become as natural as going to the library or reading a newspaper. Most people use the internet for work, emails, and many other tasks such as dealing with their bank and shopping. It has meant a reliance on the internet for nearly all your needs, and also to keep in touch with friends. Social media has led to people meeting one another for the first time in years. What might have taken many letters or phone calls in the past, can now be shared in an instant. However, some people are so keen to know what’s happening that they can’t switch off. They have to know the latest gossip or the latest news regardless of where they are. To try and counter that, try to have one day a week when you have no access to social media or your emails.

Online Bullying

One of the most difficult and horrendous issues to come from social media and the internet is online bullying. It is now even worse because these bullies can affect you wherever you are. There is no escape from them because wherever your phone is, they will be too. Apart from those that seek to cause upset for no reason, called ‘trolls,’ there are also people well known to the victim that get pleasure from hurting them emotionally. The biggest problem is children and their school friends; there has been a big rise in the number of children suffering as a result of online bullying. It is important that they get the help they need to tackle these bullies, parents should try to look for the danger signs and seek professional help from their doctor to give them advice. It might be that they suggest ways to deal with any stress or anxiety using supplements such as those at Highland Pharms.

Comparing People’s Lives to Your Own

One side effect of having your life on social media is that you can often compare your life with that of others. When someone mentions their holidays or the fact that they have just got a new car, it can lead to you thinking about your own circumstances. It might even lead to feelings of jealousy and hatred of others who you think have a better life than you, or always seem to be lucky. The truth of the matter is far more relative; although you see all the good things they post on their social media, you probably don’t see all the struggles and problems they have to deal with. Not everyone likes to put their negative things on social media, so you don’t always get a balanced view. In fact, they might be just as jealous of you for what you have as you are of them.

The Keyboard Personality

There is something about being behind a screen that can give some people an attitude and a personality that has no relation to them in real life. These types of people are often first to criticize or belittle people about something they comment on, without understanding how it might make the other person feel. Just like alcohol, being detached from someone else on social media can lower some personal inhibitions to the point where they say and do things they would never do in real life. It has led to a lot of public abuse of some people, both celebrities and those trying to stand up for something they believe in. Another way that they can have a negative effect is with body shaming, which has become an increasing problem. These types of comments can lead to a lot of emotional upset and distress for the person receiving these comments. These people should be avoided and not engaged; you should block them and report them.

Social Media and Social Life

A few years ago, a study found that having more friends on social media, didn’t mean that you had a better social life. The brain has a limit on the number of people it can deal with as friends, and it needs a physical interaction to build the connection and grow the friendship. Those that had a lot of online friends couldn’t build and maintain friendships in the same way. Even though you might constantly be on social media, you can still be lonely in yourself. Seeing as loneliness can be the catalyst for a myriad of mental health concerns, it is important that you develop physical friendships as well as those in the virtual world. If you have a lot of friends online, try to meet up together regularly as well. It will help you to build the social interaction that your brain needs, and it will also be a lot of fun.

Not everything about social media is bad, in fact, it has done a lot of good in many ways. However, if you are to get the best from it, you need to allow yourself the time away from social media. Only then can you eliminate the issues that can cause addiction and other mental health problems.

Alex Christo is blogger who writes for quite a few different topics that all fall under his interests and knowledge, such as Gardening, fishing, music and technology, travel amongst others. Currently residing in Thailand he is travelling and gaining new experiences from the world.