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The Danger Social Media Has On Our Mental Health: 7 Cups Internship Honors Project

by shiningAngel90
 

The Danger Social Media Has On Our Mental Health

With everything in life, there is a good and a bad side. Social Media is no different. In the past decade ,there has been a rapid development in social networking sites. The result of this development has brought about profound changes in the way we interact with others. Social networking sites have brought increased connectivity as it brings us a community to which we can reach out to almost anytime. It has allowed us to share ideas in an instant and even provided a form of online learning.

Other positive aspects to social media include the provision to opinions and information that has the potential to expand our minds; it provides many with opportunities to connect with others who they otherwise would not have, raises awareness to social movements and provides many as a business tool.

With that said, there have been many researchers who have linked online social media platforms as a cause/ factor that contributes to the development of several Mental Health issues.

Mental Health issues that may arise include:

According to the journal article entitled Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking written by Igor Pantic (2014), he stipulates that mental health issues that may arise as a result of social media may include:

 Anxiety

Time Health (2017) mentioned that there have been studies that have shown that there is a strong likelihood of youngsters who spend more than two hours a day on social networking sites to be at a higher risk of experiencing  psychological distress. Seeing the highlights and good parts of their friends lives on a holiday or enjoying nights out can make young people feel like they are missing out while others enjoy life.

Depression.

 Deterioration in concentration which can lead to Attention deficient disorder

Decreased self-esteem, which link to eating disorders and Body Dysmorphia.

Addiction to Social Media.

The most affected is one's self-esteem as self esteem issues tend to arise from social comparison on social media platforms as there is a heightened tendency to contrast our own lives to the perfectly presented lives depicted in uploaded posed pictures. This results in unrealistic expectations and creates feelings of inadequacy.

Symptoms include:

According to an article produced by Homewood entitled Dangers of Social Media on your Mental Health, the symptoms one should look out for include:

 Feelings of disconnect from friends or family.

 Decreased ability to concentrate.

 Increased or unusual social anxiety when interacting with people offline. 


Irregular or disordered sleeping patterns.

Frequently feeling envious of others while engaged with social media.


Using social media as your prime leisure activity. 


Negatively comparing yourself to others via their social media content. 


Treatment

Set firm boundaries, decide on how much time and maybe what days you would like to use the sites. Attempt to stay clear of content and platforms you find to bring you down or that tend to evoke a negative response.

Be aware an accountable. Identify key indicators that may suggest social media is negatively affecting you and implement strategies accordingly.

Seek support, reach out to family and friends. Try to do this in a face-to-face manner. Know that you are not alone.

To conclude, the true relationship between the use of social media and mental health is a relatively new and complex area of study as there is also still constant change within the technology sector. While there are some studies that focus on the positive aspects of online interactions, there is also a growing base of research that highlights the negative points as well. Regardless, the impact social media has on us as individuals is something that should not be ignored.

If you want to learn more visit:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#3b46ad4d2e5a

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180104-is-social-media-bad-for-you-the-evidence-and-the-unknowns

 Link for parents:

https://www2.viu.ca/humanresources/documents/DangersofSocialMediaonYourMentalHealthQ12017.pdf Refer to page 9.

References

Dangers of social media on your health.  Retrieved from https://www2.viu.ca/humanresources/documents/DangersofSocialMediaonYourMentalHealthQ12017.pdf.

Macmillan. A.  (2017). Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health. Mental Health Psychology. Retrieved from http://time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/.

Pantic, I. (2014). Online Social Networking And Mental Health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking. 17. 652-657.

If you are interested in commenting and discussing this honors project, feel free to check out the original forum post and answering the forum discussions posted here .

 

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