Social media is everywhere these days. Not only is it a way to stay connected with long lost college roommates and friends from another era, but it has become a marketing tool for businesses and brands. There is simply no escaping it in our society today. Many people find themselves aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout the day and evening – this has become a common scene in our society that we just can’t seem to break away from. While this may seem harmless enough, social media can actually have a negative effect on us in many different ways. Social media is filled with birth announcements, engagements, beach vacations, job promotions, relationships, breakups, political viewpoints, and so on. All of this can be overwhelming and cause us to get sucked into a wide array of emotions, from jealousy and competitiveness to depression and anxiety.
The fact that a large majority of our population (both young and old) choose to spend the few spare minutes they have a day mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds is a problem and leading to issues with our collective psychology. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, our kids and teenagers are at an increased risk of feeling the negative effects of social media. Facebook depression is real and can affect anyone, not just teens and young kids. This can be extremely damaging and have a lasting impact on not only how we view others, but ourselves as well. Let’s now take a look at some of the top ways social media can affect us negatively:
- It’s addictive – Perhaps the number one takeaway from our social media habits today is that it is an addictive behavior that can be harmful. While not all experts agree, there is evidence that social media addiction disorder exists. It fits the criteria of other addictions, such as escapism, mental preoccupation, mood swings, and neglect of personal life. Those who are constantly using social media accounts often experience low self-esteem and have areas of their own life they are unhappy with.
- It impacts our overall well-being – The more time we spend on social media, the lower our own quality of life becomes. There have been numerous studies that show how social media is linked to both happiness and sadness, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction with the current state of life. This is due to numerous factors, but namely that social media gives us the illusion that everyone else’s life is perfect – but that is just on the surface.
- It makes us compare our lives with our peers – No matter how hard we try not to, when scrolling through social media, it is natural for us to compare our lives to others. We then make judgments on ourselves and others, which often leads to feelings of isolation, sadness, and jealousy.
While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great because they allow us to constantly connect with ours, the negative repercussions of obsessively looking at social media are tenfold. If you are struggling with self-esteem issues or would like to learn more about our Carrollton therapy center, please do not hesitate to contact Lifeworks today.