The Issues of Social Media: Mental Health

“We tend to blame social media and smartphone overuse for a vast range of modern afflictions, from increased narcissism to what’s been called ‘Facebook depression.’ We’ve seen something of a cavalcade of research into the relationship between social media and mental health (Pitre)”. The launch of Social Networking Sites (SNS) has had many people attracted. Many people use apps, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Teens, sometimes even children use these apps due to being a great way to connect with friends and a good way to find new people, and being able to use the internet for any questions or for finding a new store store or restaurant.

Many people tend to blame phones and social media for causing issues or hurting those with mental health issues or increasing without looking at the pros at what social media can help with, but I do think that many people forget what the most important thing is (Brawley). Although social media can be an amazing place for those who have mental health issues we tend to forget that there are also people who want to hurt others and make themselves feel validated.

The SNS platform has had many problems throughout the years, sparking ideas such as what a person should wear, “tips” on how to be beautiful, and that people have to be a certain way for someone to like them or feel “cool” and “popular”. What they don’t realize is that they may be affecting others and it has a big impact on younger children. They’ll grow up thinking they have to act a certain way to fit in. Even adults are affected and some go way too far to fit beauty standards. This tends to bring people down if even one person comments something negative about their look. All people are different and will have different reactions to negative subjects.

Some people will ignore while others will feel destroyed and helpless. They may start bad habits such as doing extreme diets or taking their anger out on others. Doing this can influence the mental state and they’ll do anything to be perfect. Although this is just one way social media can bring others down, it can also bring them down in many different ways. Yes social media seems like a great way to prevent these things from happening but you can’t always prevent people from commenting, sure there may be an option to block comments or disable them completely but you can’t keep others from taking a screenshot of it and re uploading it with nasty comments.

Someone could post a video about someone speaking out on mental health issues but nothing is stopping someone from turning it into a “meme” and making a joke. There have been many times where someone was called out for making a mistake but people don’t talk about it when someone starts to hurt themselves or others. People can’t change the way others think but they can try and help prevent or just help people who start to develop mental issues.

Over the years many social media influencers have stated they would be taking a break from social media due to having issues either with mental health, or having family issues. Sometimes they get hate for it and may even go as far to delete any accounts of SNS they have. Not only is it having an impact on them it takes a big impact on most people who use any form of SNS. In 2014 an experiment by five neuroscientists stated that facebook can trigger the same impulse as gambling and substance abuse, the effects of gambling or substance abuse take a toll on the mental state and health as Facebook does.

According to the article after the experiment was done they stated; ¨It found that an increase in Facebook activity was associated with a future decrease in reported mental health.¨ Not only is it just Facebook but the apps Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have users constantly on and it greatly affects one’s well being causing sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and body image (How).

Although social media is a great place for people to interact with each other and meet new people, there should be limits on what can be posted and what can be seen by people using SNS on a daily basis. Comments and pictures should be reviewed before being able to be seen by millions of people to help reduce the negative effects of using any SNS platform.