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The Dangers of Social Media on Mental Health

May 12th, 2020

A couple sitting at a table, both looking at their phones rather than each other

Celebrity Acknowledgement of The Dangers of Social Media

“I personally want to participate in social media with the option of not having to show my followers or likes. Having your amount of likes on display for the world to see and judge is like showing how much money you have in the bank or having to write the size of your d**k on your t shirt.”– Kanye West

Amongst a slew of celebrities including Drake, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, etc., Kanye West is popular on his social media platforms, mostly including Twitter and Instagram. Mr. West has publicly shared his personal battles with mental illness including anxiety and depression. In 2018, Kanye pointed out, via social media, that social media allowing for the amount of followers a person has and the number of likes they receive on their posts may in fact be a bad thing, and correlated to why there are rising levels in depression.

What is Social Media?

With the increasing advancements in technology, social media has become one of the most used forms of communication in our world today. There are multiple social media platforms that allow for instant global networking.

Social media websites and applications may be used to share pictures and videos, personal thoughts, real-time news, and more. Along with everything in this world, social media has both positive and negative attributes.

A woman holder her phone with social media icons around it

The Good Side of Social Media

Social media is notoriously known for having a bad reputation, but there are some worthy aspects that make social media so widely accepted and wanted.

  • News
    • Local, national, and global news is able to reach the masses more quickly and efficiently with the use of social media
    • Even young adults and teenagers are aware of the news because of their high use of social media
    • Increased teen awareness is important because it is the younger generations who make the biggest impact on the future
  • Traffic
    • With the use of smartphones, people are able to get real-time traffic updates while driving
      • This includes any accidents, weather conditions, or any other hazards that may affect traffic
  • Marketing
    • Companies around the world use social media as an outlet to market to their consumers
    • Worldwide social media followers and supporters can make or break a company nowadays
  • Technology
    • In terms of the global population, the use of social media allows for the recognition of the amount of people who do not have access to the Internet and other technological advancements
  • Expression
    • It gives people a voice they would not have access to without social media
      • For example, people are able to create charities for different causes and the charity would be spread around more quickly on social media platforms
  • Groups
    • It gives some people expression and sense of belonging
      • For example, members of the LGBTQ community will have an easier time using social media to find others who belong to the community and support one another

Reasons Why Social Media May Affect Mental Health

  • Followers & Likes
    • The amount of followers people have and the number of likes their content receives can either boost or blow their ego levels
    • People who have millions of followers and thousands of likes are often envied by the people who have minimal followers and likes
  • Cyberbullying
    • Bullying via the internet has become a common form of bullying
    • It is easier to bully someone when you are not looking at them face to face, but the outcome of depression and lack of confidence that come from it are just as severe
  • Catfish
    • Catfishing is known as the act of an individual pretending to be a different person, with the help of social media, to help lure someone in on a romantic level
  • Lack of Human Interaction
    • With the increasing use of social media platforms as a form of communication, people are starting to become more socially awkward in person because they lack the necessary common form of human interaction
A group pf people all leaning against a wall staring at their phones
  • Comparisons
    • People tend to only post positive things that happen in their life
    • This will cause other people to compare their own life to other people’s lives based on what appears to be “perfect” and “positive”
    • People do not realize that what is posted on social media is not the full story and that they should not compare what they have to things displayed on social media platforms
  • Addiction
    • Social media is another form of mental addiction
    • People regularly check their social media websites and applications to the point where Apple and Instagram introduced mechanisms that track how long you use social media so that you are able to recognize and control how often you are using them

How to Keep a Healthy Mindset with Social Media

Social media is ever-changing and ever-growing…

  • Be forever aware that social media has both positive and negative qualities
  • Use social media in the most positive ways possible
    • To create and/or promote charities
    • Long-distance communication
    • Business marketing
    • And more!
  • Continue to interact face to face and never compare your blessings to anyone else!!

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