Negative effects of social media on health: Social media is definitely the greatest invention of the last decade, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, these platforms have opened up the world to new possibilities, new ways to communicate, and new ways for people across the world to genuinely connect with each other.
But every good thing comes with the bad. Social media isn’t perfect, in fact some of its facets can actually be very negative. It’s not to say that it’s terrible, it’s more to say there are things about it we can make better so that it’s healthier. These are some of the things that I don’t like about social media.
1. Negative Mental Effects:
Unfortunately, there are numerous studies that depict the negative effects social media has on our mental health. According to the Bhatia Psychology Group, using social media too often can cause you to feel isolated from the real world.
One study from the University of Copenhagen found that many students suffer from “Facebook envy” when they engaged with the platform too often, while students that didn’t were generally more satisfied with their lives.
Lack of human connection, negative impact on the eyes, shorter attention spans, and higher levels of anxiety are all also associated with high social media usage.
2. The Lack of Mindfulness:
Everyone lives life on their mobile phone screens, and yet, they miss all the amazing stuff there is in the real world, in this very moment. If you go to an event, you might find that people aren’t talking to each other; they’re scrolling on their phones instead.
One of the things we need to get better at is learning to put our phones down and just live in the moment. Take note of the wonderful things happening around us, sunsets, the smell of rain and the laughs of our kids and loved ones.
These are things that shouldn’t be missed out on. Instagram and Twitter can wait, the real #lifegoals moments are right here and now.
3. The Pretending:
The Instagram profile of your favorite influencers portray what appears to the perfect life. Perfect food, travel, clothes, homes and life experiences. There’s no sign of the lack of sleep of nursing a newborn baby, the moments where you’re annoyed at your husband or the times your house is a mess.
You don’t see the other moments of people’s lives that aren’t so perfect and that makes everyone who’s watching feel like their lives aren’t at that same level.
It drives a lot of anxiety and depression to people who feel like their lives are lacking. As the saying goes, social media only shows the highlights of people’s lives and not the ordinary stuff. You might actually discover that you’re happier than the people you see online.
Remember, not everything that glitters on social media is gold. The recent Fyre Festival documentaries show us the danger of believing everything you see on social media, and why you shouldn’t buy into the manufactured realities you see as you scroll through your timeline.
4. The Distraction:
It’s become normal life for everyone to walk around with a phone in their hand, and for them to even be scrolling while doing other very important tasks.
I love the convenience that our mobile phones and social media give us, but one of the things I don’t like about them is people losing focus because of posting and viewing content. Nothing is as alarming as seeing a person do an Instagram Live from behind the wheel, or while they are walking or grocery shopping.
Here’s the thing, no matter how much you think you can multitask, when you have a phone in your hand and you’re not paying attention to the world around you, people can get hurt.
Sure, social media has done plenty of other good things, too. It’s allowed people to grow successful businesses and is a hub for a lot of inspiration and motivation. We wouldn’t have memes and GIFs if it wasn’t for social media, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
We can’t pretend that it isn’t driving a lot of negative and reckless behavior, or it isn’t creating a lot of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy in other people. If we worked on making these things better, social media will be an even bigger gift for everyone around the world.