Social media has ultimately changed the lives of people in our generation. It has been the most promising thing that has ever existed in human history. It allows us to utilize our smartphones for modern gazing. It makes us scroll endlessly on beautiful things around us that we do not happen to see often. But with all the benefits social media provides us, it somehow seems to be doing more damage to our mental health. To know and understand what those damages are, here they are.
It Affects Sleep Dramatically – The reason why social media is depriving us of our sleep is not entirely limited to the reason of wanting to be with our phones for a longer period. Instead, it is about the disruption of our natural sleep rhythm. Our devices, particularly our computers and smartphones, emit blue light that is inhibiting our body’s production of melatonin. That blue light entirely ruins our circadian sleep rhythm. It gives us unwanted mental stimulation right at the wrong time.
It Robs Quality Time – While social media can be a great pastime and a source of relaxation for others, it does not hide the fact that it robs us of our quality time with ourselves and others. Studies show that using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube can increase time spend on our devices, making us more socially isolated and unaware of our surroundings. It outright keeps us from interacting or seeing other people and somehow prevents us from forming a new meaningful relationship. Social media is responsible for most of our missed opportunities as it makes us shut out of the real world.
It Interferes With Obligations – Along with the negative impact of social media, such as robbing us of our precious time, it also affects us in terms of our goals in life. It makes us lose the limitation of ourselves and forget all our responsibilities. Whether it relates to home duties, school requirements, or work-related tasks, social media can sap our time and energy into something unrelated to our real-life obligations. It distracts us from doing what we have to do.
It Increases Anxiety And Depression – Many studies showed social media as a contributing factor to our anxiety and depression nowadays. It has something to do with the quality of interactions that we do. Yes, social media is helpful in terms of finding connections and searching for the best support groups. However, in most cases, negative interactions such as bullying, trolling, posing can contribute a lot to our overall dysfunction. Anxiety and depression from social media also have a lot to do with our distorted view of other people’s lives.
It Becomes Addictive – Social media is built to connect people whenever and wherever they are. There is something about social media usage that hooks us without even realizing the bad side effects of using too much of it. Social media causes addiction as it increases low self-esteem, bad sleep patterns and promotes prolonged stress. Social media addiction is a disorder that affects individuals, mostly teens, due to the increasing unrealistic perception of life and beauty in general.
It Increases Envy – One way social media ruins our self-confidence is its contribution to the negative feeling called envy. However, there is nothing wrong with looking at some other people’s achievements and admire their lavish lives. But when those vacations photos, luxurious bags, and high-tech gadgets sometimes make us feel hopeless, it wreaks havoc on our self-esteem. The things we see in social media make us compare our lives to others while questioning our capabilities. Thus, it makes us feel dissatisfied with our reality and make us unappreciative of our achievements.
It Makes Difficult To Know What’s Real – Another issue with social media is the unrealistic interpretation of everything. The best example to start with is beauty, where people find it a norm to add filters almost in every photo they take. But it is not only limited to that. In terms of information, it gets to the bottom of the struggle of determining fact versus fake. Social media can influence us to believe even the most unrealistic stuff posted, liked, and shared by thousands of people. Social media becomes the number one source of illegitimate content.
It Hinders Real-Life Connections – Too much social media interaction already affected our ability to communicate and interact with other people. Social media makes us unable to think through our actions and behaviors because we cannot see others’ facial expressions. It makes us quick to judge and often makes us believe the first thing we see online. It makes us emotionally inexperienced in navigating different situations. That explains why instead of talking about mistakes and patching things up, it becomes easier to block and unfriend someone because their opinion is not well-received.