Practice doc: Social Media Notes | EduRev

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THE ROLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYS IN MENTAL HEALTH

Practice doc: Social Media Notes | EduRev

Human beings are social creatures. We need the companionship of others to thrive in life, and the strength of our connections has a huge impact on our mental health and happiness. Being socialy conected to others can ease stress, anxiety, and depression, provide comfort and joy and even add years to your life. On the flip side, lacking strong social connections canpose a serious risk to your mental and emotional health.
In today’s world, many of us rely on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to find and connect with each other. While each has its benefits, it’s important to remember that social media can never be a replacement for real-world human connection. It requires in-person contact with others to trigger the hormones that alleeviate stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more positive. Ironically foratechnology that’s desined to bring people closer together, spending too much time engaging with social media can actually make you feel more lonely and isolated—and exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

If you’re spending an excessive amount of time on social media and feelings of sadness, disatisfaction, frustration, or loneliness are impacting your life, it may be time to re-examine your online habits and find a healthier balance.

THE POSITIVES ASPECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Whilevirtual interaction on social media doesn’t have the same psychological benefits as face-to-face contact, there are still many positive ways in which it can help you stay connected and support your wellbeing.

Social media enables you to:

  • Communicate and stay up to date with family and friends around the world.

  • Find new friends and communities; network with other people who share similar interests or ambitions.
    Join or promote worthwhile causes; raise awareness on important issues.

Find vital social connection if you live in a remote area, for example, or have limited independence, social anxiety, or are part of a marginalized group.


THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Practice doc: Social Media Notes | EduRevSince it’s a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of social media use. However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.

Social media may promote negative experiences such as:

  • Isolation: A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that high usage of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increases rather decreases feelings of loneliness. Conversely, the study found that reducing social media usage can actually make you feel less lonely and isolated and improve your overall wellbeing.

  • Depression and anxiety: Human beings need face-to-face contact to be mentally healthy.The more you prioritizey social media interaction over in-person relationships, the more you’re at risk for developing or exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

  • Self-absorption: Sharing endless selfies and all your innermost thoughts on social media can create an unhealthy self-centeredeness and distance you from real-life connections.



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