As social beings, people need the companionship of others to realize different goals in their lives. Stronger connections have a great impact on our well-being. Social connections can ease stress, depression, and anxiety and boost confidence as well as self-worth. One way of staying connected to your loved ones is to use different online platforms. However, too much obsession with social media in particular can affect you in many ways. Read on to learn how spending time online can impact your mental health.
Risk of Developing Anxiety and Depression
Different studies show that more than 80% of adults use different social media platforms, and 69% of adults use the same ones. However, users are at risk of developing negative feelings that can cause depression and anxiety. Our brains consist of a reward center, and the release of dopamine triggers it. Dopamine is a chemical released into the brain to make us feel good. While there are healthy ways to seek these positive feelings, like exercise, there are unnatural ways to seek this chemical release that can be harmful.
The use of social media can trigger the reward center, especially when you come across different things that fulfill your interests or give you a sense of validation. However, if you experience negative associations online, like cyberbullying or unfavorable comments, your mood can be affected. You may end up feeling stressed or depressed, and this will impact your normal functioning.
The internet has affected the way we interact with others. For instance, today, social media allows us to interact with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds. It has eliminated physical boundaries, which allows us to form friendships with people from all walks of life. Social media platforms also offer numerous activities that can captivate our lives. However, there is a danger of developing a social media addiction because you’re also putting yourself at risk. As a result, you will end up spending a lot of time on social media, and this can affect productivity and mental health.
Some of the symptoms associated with social media addiction include feeling anxious when you can’t access social media, spending more time online than you had planned, and checking social media several times a day. If you’re addicted to social media, you may also find it difficult to concentrate on other tasks or enjoy activities that you used to love because you’ll be preoccupied with what’s happening online.
Disruption of Sleep
Other studies link social media and sleep disruption. The main challenge of sleep disruption is that it can trigger mental health conditions like depression. Once you become addicted to social media, you feel the urge to check your phone every few seconds, and you can’t stay without it.
To avoid this challenge, you must stick to limits concerning your social media use so you get enough time to rest. It’s recommended that every person have at least 7 hours of quality rest to improve mental health. It’s a good idea to switch off your phone when you go to bed so that nothing disrupts your sleep. While it can be difficult to stick to your routine, you will realize that this bold step can help you focus on other pertinent issues in life.
Lack of Productivity
If you spend too much time online, you may not have time to focus on other things that are important in your life. For instance, you may neglect your studies or work duties because you’re always checking social media platforms. This can lead to poor performance, which can affect your mental health. In addition, if you’re spending too much time on social media, you may not have time to socialize with people offline. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can also impact your mental health.
It’s essential to find a balance between your online and offline life. This way, you can focus on your studies or work and still have time for socializing. You can also join social media groups that discuss topics that interest you so that you don’t spend all your time online idly scrolling through your feed.
Cyberbullying is one of the major risks associated with social media use. It occurs when someone uses technology to threaten, embarrass, or harass another person. This type of bullying can be difficult to deal with because it can happen at any time and anywhere. In addition, it can be hard to identify the bully because they may be using a fake profile.
If you’re a victim of cyberbullying, you may experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear. You may also start avoiding social media altogether. If you think you’re being bullied online, it’s important to reach out to someone for help, such as a friend or family member. You can also report the bully to the social media platform so that they can take appropriate action.
Benefits of Social Media
Despite the downsides of social media, it can positively impact your mental health in many ways. When you create strong connections with different people, you feel loved, and this will boost your mental health. Social media-based networking helps individuals who may be struggling with anxiety and lack confidence. The main advantage of social media is that people can interact unanimously and exchange meaningful details.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, you can also use social media to find support groups. These groups can provide you with valuable information and advice. In addition, there are many online mental health resources that can help you better understand your condition and find ways to cope.
When used in moderation, social media can be a great way to connect with others and improve your mental health. Just be sure to limit your time online so that it doesn’t start impacting your life negatively.
Human beings are social creatures, and this means that we need strong connections with other people to thrive in our lives. In this digital age, many people spend most of their time on different social media platforms interacting with their loved ones. However, unregulated use of social media can lead to mental health challenges like stress, depression, anxiety, and others. You need to use social media in moderation if you want to enjoy the benefits it provides.
It’s evident that spending time online can impact your mental health both positively and negatively. It’s important to find a balance so that you can reap the benefits of social media without neglecting other important aspects of your life. If you think you’re spending too much time on social media, consider taking a break from it for a while. This will help you focus on other things and reduce any negative effects that social media may be having on your mental health.