Humans are social beings. We need the company of others to succeed in life, and the strength of our connections has a major impact on our mental health and well-being. Socially connecting with others can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, increase self-esteem, bring comfort and joy, prevent loneliness and even add to your life for years. On the other hand, a lack of strong social ties can pose a serious risk to your mental and emotional health.
In today’s world, many of us use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to find and connect. Each has its advantages, but it’s important to remember that social media can never replace human connections in the real world. Face-to-face contact with others is necessary to induce hormones that reduce stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more positive. Ironically, a technology designed to bring people closer can make you feel lonely and isolated if you spend too much time interacting with social media, exacerbating mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. There is sex.
If you spend too much time on social media and sadness, misery, frustration, or loneliness hinder your life, it may be time to reassess your online habits and find a healthier balance.
The positive aspects
Virtual interactions on social media do not have the same psychological benefits as face-to-face contact, but there are many positive ways to help maintain connectivity and increase well-being.
- 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.
- Seek or offer emotional support during tough times.
- Find vital social connections if you live in a remote area, for example, or have limited independence, social anxiety, or are part of a marginalized group.
- Find an outlet for your creativity and self-expression.
- Discover (with care) sources of valuable information and learning.
The negative aspects
As this is a relatively new technology, there is little research to determine the long-term impact (good or bad) of using social media. However, some studies have found a strong link between intense social media and increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal ideation.
- Even knowing that the images you see on social media are being manipulated, you can still be worried about what you look like and what’s happening in your life. Similarly, we all know that others tend to share only the high points of their lives, and the low points that everyone experiences are rare. But it doesn’t relieve envy and frustration when scrolling through photos of an airbrush from a friend’s tropical beach vacation or reading about his exciting new promotions at work.
- Frequent use of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram tend to reduce loneliness, according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania. Conversely, the study found that reducing the use of social media can reduce loneliness and isolation and improve overall health.
- People need personal contact to be mentally healthy. Nothing can reduce stress and make you feel faster or more effectively than making eye contact with someone who cares about you. The more you prioritize social media interactions over personal relationships, the higher your risk of developing or exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
- About 10% of teens report being bullied on social media, and many other users are exposed to offensive comments. Social media platforms like Twitter can be hotspots for spreading traumatic rumors, lies, and insults
- Sharing endless selfies and all your inner thoughts on social media creates unhealthy egocentrism and keep you away from real connections.