Our mental health is something that we need to take care of and now more than ever this is the case. If you are an older Gen Z like me, then you grew up with social media and the internet. Our lives are intertwined with our phones and how much time we spend on them. Social media have become a big part of all our lives, and it impacts how we interact with others and is also a way for us to interact with them.
Most of us have grown to have an unhealthy relationship with our phones and social media as a whole, and this can even impact our mental health. Let’s be honest, sometimes we just mindlessly scroll on our phones because we have nothing to do, and other times we obsess over them. So, without further ado, let’s learn some of the ways in which social media can affect our mental health.
1. It can be a trigger for sadness
Because of social media, we constantly compare ourselves with others, whether we look, live, or even have fun. Social media has become the breeding ground for insecurities, and most of us can concur on this. The way we use social media can be really toxic and bad for our mental health.
A study conducted on Facebook/Meta users found that people who spend a lot of time on the app tend to be less satisfied with their moments of happiness and are less satisfied with their lives. The study argues that instead of enhancing our well-being, Facebook or social media at times brings the worst out of us.
Another study linked the use of social media to the feeling of social isolation; the study found that people who spend a lot of time on social media are more like to isolate themselves compared to people who don’t. It is important to remember that social isolation is one of the worst things that can happen to our mental and physical health.
Okay, having said this, we need to try to break this unhealthy relationship that we have with social media. We can break this by having a social media detox where we don’t use any social media for a week (the time frame depends on you here). Because of these unhealthy relations, we start being delusional about our relationships.
Another study states that people feel worse off after setting their phones down. Social media create this sort of fake reality that brings people in, and it is very difficult to leave or break this cycle. However, people are made to feel better after they’ve used these apps instead of how they actually feel. This delusion creates this pattern of addiction.
3. Compare your life with other
We always compare our life with someone who is better than us, and this is a real issue. We never focus on the good and what we have, but instead, we obsess over the little things and what we don’t have.
There will always be someone that is better off than you; that is the name of the game in a capitalist society. On top of social media isolation, social media can also create new complexes in us, and they do that by making us compare ourselves to people who are better off than us.
When you start comparing yourself to others, you fall into this vicious circle that seems unbreakable at times. Instead of loving yourself for who you are, social media makes you hate everything that makes you unique. This makes us spiral and questions ourselves and our self-worth, which is not good for our mental health.
4. It is addictive
One thing about social media that we can refute is how addictive they are, and they reel us in. Most of us have spent hours scrolling on Tiktok on Facebook because we had nothing to do or procrastinated instead of writing a college paper.
If you have a Facebook or social media detox, some studies conducted and backed up by Nottingham Trent University have found that you will feel some sort of withdrawal which is common for people who stop using drugs. This is why people are starting to say that some people may have an actual social media addition.
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