Technology and social media have become crucial elements of contemporary life, offering new connections, communication, and information-sharing opportunities. Online platforms known as social media enable individuals to produce, share, and exchange information, opinions, and material with others. Social media platforms include, among others, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and others.
According to a recent study, 95% of teenagers and 69% of adults use some sort of social media.
On the other hand, technology describes equipment, systems, and tools that are created, processed, stored, and sent information. It consists of a variety of hardware, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices, as well as software, such as operating systems, websites, and programs (apps).
Social media and technology have changed the way we exchange information and communicate. However, there are no worries about how social media and technology use will affect mental health.
THE FAVORABLE IMPACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
- More social connection: People can now interact with friends and family members more easily thanks to social media, regardless of how far apart they may be. This fosters social support, lessens feelings of loneliness and isolation, and fosters a sense of belonging.
- Information access: Because of technology, people may now more easily obtain information about mental health conditions and available treatments. Websites, online communities, and mobile apps can offer informational materials, support services, and tools for managing mental health. People may have a deeper understanding of their situation, discover coping mechanisms, and establish contact with mental health specialists as a result.
- Online support groups: Social media and other forms of technology can give people a way to interact with others going through comparable experiences.
THE UNFAVORABLE IMPACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON MENTAL HEALTH
- Greater exposure to unfavorable content: Social media can expose users to unfavorable news, stories, scary or violent images, and hostile or hateful comments. This may exacerbate unpleasant emotions including worry, despair, and others.
- Cyberbullying: People can now more easily bully and harass others online thanks to social media, which can result in anxiety, despair, and low self-esteem.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO): Social media can make people feel under pressure to stay connected and aware of what other people are doing at all times. Those who worry about missing out on social gatherings, news, or chances may experience anxiety and stress as a result.
- Unrealistic expectations: Social media may also breed unpleasant feelings like envy, jealousy, and low self-esteem, as well as unreasonable expectations. People frequently compare themselves on social media, which can distort reality and sometimes cause sadness or other mental health issues.
- Poorer sleep quality: technology use might interfere with sleep cycles, particularly right before bed. Blue light from screens can suppress a hormone that helps regulate sleep called melatonin, making it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.
- Addiction: Social media and other forms of technology can be compulsively engaging, causing users to neglect other tasks. People may become more isolated and less involved in activities that enhance well-being, such as exercise or face-to-face social interactions, as a result, which can have a negative influence on mental health.
Technology and social media have a wide range of effects on mental health overall. Although it may have a lot of positive effects, if used excessively or incorrectly, it may also have harmful ones. As a result, it’s crucial to utilize social media and technology sparingly, carefully, and with awareness of any potential harm it may cause to one’s mental health.
It’s crucial to seek assistance if you have mental health issues due to social media or other technology.