Social media and your mental health
We all are guilty of overindulging in social media. The perfectly curated images, the quirky stories, the ingenious captions, are super draining. But only few of us manage to admit to it.
However, the fatigue of constantly putting up an act is indicative of the bigger impact your social media addiction has on your mental health. Alongside the complexes that it gives, effect of social media includes:
Your addiction to social media can very well lead to depression. Ironically, while we have become more social online, however, we do so at the expense of our relationships. As we prefer to spend more time on social media than with our family, or friends, we then tend to suffer from loneliness.
Moreover, social media also leads to stress and anxiety, long term exposure to which increases propensity towards becoming depressed. Hence, anyone suffering from chronic stress should visit the Psychiatrist in Lahore for timely help.
Furthermore, according to Igor Pantic, depression and increased time spent on social media have strong correlation. One reason is because of the misconstrued realities we present on social media.
The fact that our true selves are widely different from what we present online is not innocuous; it leads to incorrect judgements about other people’s intelligence, beauty and character overall. Consequence; depression.
While social media promotes narcissistic tendencies and self-improvement in some people, it leads to low self-esteem in others. Looking at the perfect, albeit mostly fake, lives of people makes one more insecure. The constant comparison of oneself with these others results in reduced confidence, poor self-image and feelings of inadequacy.
Adolescents are extremely vulnerable to social influences. It is important for them to be popular, get approval of their peers, be in the ‘cool’ group. Social media, unfortunately, has exacerbated their vulnerability.
Not only do the bad comments and lack of likes gives them anxiety, but they are also very conscious of their online present. Rather than living in the moment, they curate fake moments to give a good impression to their peers.
Unfortunately, while they might previously have been blissfully ignorant of their social ranking, what other students –whom they look up to—are doing, social media gives real time updates, promoting feeling of inadequacy.
Moreover, they also become obsessed with their looks. Good pictures mean everything to them. The filters certainly do not help; they in fact, point out their flaws, which they might have not noted otherwise.
Another downside to filters is the inability to tell apart the real image from the doctored one. As a result, many teenagers develop complexes about their looks, when they do not appear as good looking as the filter-enhanced image of their peer.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion. It not only has implications for your physical health, but mind as well. It promotes contentment, makes you happier, less disgruntled. Moreover, gratitude also teaches teach empathy and helps curb aggressive tendencies.
Other benefits of gratitude include lesser chances of depression, improved motivation levels and less stress.
Ingratitude, on the other hand, is just as destructive. Social media pronounces what you do not have and amplifies the feeling of failure. Not realizing that the world of social media is a sham, many neglect what they do have, and fixate on what they do not have. That, other than making your ingrateful, also makes you unhappy.
Fear of missing out
We have all heard FOMO being tossed around casually, and ironically, with positive connotation. However, its impact on the mental health is anything but.
When people constantly put out images, even if mostly false, the viewer gets a certain impression of how uncolorful their life is, how much more fun other people have, and the opportunities open to them.
This then leads to anxiety; why am I not having this much fun? It also causes low self-esteem; am I not good enough to have fun? Some also take risks with their safety, finances and at times, even life, in the pursuit of FOMO.
Moreover, it also causes compulsive social media usage, lest you miss out on some comment, some update, some alert. Those who do not use social media are forced into joining the platform as otherwise as they have the fear of missing out on events, inside jokes, life events. This then affects their mental health as well, as they worry about being left behind.
Bullying is not limited to school hallways but has become even more pervasive due on the digital forum. The keyboards might be nicer in person, but their digital avatars are absolutely vile.
Therefore, they subject others to verbal bullying by calling out names to them, maligning others’ characters and taunting them. Some even go as far as sexually harassing others by either make crude comments or sending inappropriate pictures or jokes.
People at the receiving end of the cyber bullying undergo extreme mental trauma. Their stress levels skyrocket, whereas their self-image plummets. Many people also get hurt and feel powerless against the animosity directed towards them. At times, the pressure can manifest in the form of self-harm as well.
For anyone being subjected to cyber bullying, it is important to report those profiles. If your mental health continues to suffer, seek the counsel of the top Psychiatrist in Islamabad