How Does Social Media Affect Mental Health

Social media plays a big role in many people's lives: around 81% of the U.S population has social media “Social media and mental health facts”(AK Health Foundation).  Social media is websites and apps that allow people to share and create content. Although social media may be beneficial to some people for staying connected with friends, social media can be detrimental to your well-being.

To begin, social media is bad for your health because it is addictive.

Social media is deemed as an addiction for some, people feel like they can't miss what is happening on social media, and spending too much time on it, a study was conducted by Harvard University stating “Self-disclosure online fires up a part of the brain that also lights up when engaging in pleasurable activities. In some studies, frequent social media usage has caused detrimental effects in other aspects of people’s lives” (Forbes).  This indicates that social media is becoming an addiction for some people, the feeling of having to stay connected on social media or even needing social media to make it through the day is showing that it is in fact an issue in people’s lives.

Furthermore, social media is bad for our health because of how much time we spend on it.

Some people may feel sad or mad if they don't get enough likes or shares on social media, this can lead to detrimental effects on your mental health, body image problems, and can lead to anxiety or depression, as stated by “Is social media damaging your mental health” (The Week). “Heavy social media use was linked to negative well-being and self-esteem, with more girls experiencing feelings of depression and hopelessness”. Social media is a great tool to use in moderation, but teens and adults are overusing it causing health side effects. 

Some people don't experience the negative side effects of social media according to a study done by “The University of Missouri that found a link between Facebook use and depression also found that people who use the platform primarily to connect with others do not experience the negative effects”(The Week Staff). This shows that social media doesn't affect everyone, but even though some people are safe from the destructiveness of social media many are not. 

Lastly, is Social media is to blame for the rise in narcissism because of what we are seeing on social media?  Having to look perfect in photos or even editing the photos you are posting on social media can have a rise in narcissism. Some people feel like they have to look perfect in their photos and have to look right or they won't even post it, In an article, it states “the trouble with this aspect of social networking is that nearly everyone presents an unrealistic portrait of themselves, just as people select the most attractive photos of themselves to use as profile pictures” (Psychology Today). This leads to a further explanation of the narcissistic qualities in some people. It also leads to faking, posting a picture of you that looks way different than how you look in person, it could lead to some young girls feeling insecure about their appearance and comparing themselves to others their age that has edited their online photos.

Social media may be a great tool for some people, but social media can be degrading to your health. I presented why social media is addictive and why it is bad for your health, secondly, I explained why social media is bad for your health because of how much time we spend on it. Lastly, I described why social media is to blame for the rise in narcissism.

Is social media detrimental to your health? In most cases, social media is bad for your health and has a lot of negative effects for some people.


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