Social media is used by billions of people all around the world and through the years, it has developed and improved exponentially. Although social media has helped our day to day lives, it has affected our mental health negatively especially on the teenagers of today.
As technology is advancing, so is our knowledge in mental health. Social media is becoming increasingly popular specifically on the youth. Their over usage of it might be detrimental to their well-being. The average teen uses social media for around nine hours a day. Each of these hours, are not only wasted on meaningless content but they are also harming their pristine minds. Research has shown that social media has been linked to depression. It has been found that people who use social media platforms are at a “threefold risk of depression and anxiety”. The participants blamed cyberbullying and the distorted view of other people’s lives. A viewer only gets a glimpse of the person’s life for social media mostly glorifies the good times. Often times those “bad times” are left undiscussed and disregarded. This creates a falsification of reality, for our lives are filled challenges but they cannot be seen.
Social media doesn’t only cause depression but it also leads to stress. Although one can relieve their worries by viewing mindless slime videos, this can also lead to just more stress. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that women were more stressed than men and that they were more stressed out by using twitter. By seeing everyone ranting about their problems people were reminded of their own stresses, causing a positive feedback loop of worry. Many influencers even take a hiatus from social media in order to regain their sanity. These influencers main job is to use social media and if they are getting stressed out through it, whos to say we won’t either.
Many of us teens spend endless amount of hours on social media and we may already feel these effects. Fellow student Joseph Leibow, a sophomore, sometimes feels that social media creates this “fear of missing out” (aka FOMO, which is anxiety from an exciting event that is happening elsewhere). Especially, he states, when he sees a party that he is not present for. He often times feel like important things are occurring but he would never know since he is not there. Gabe Castro, another sophomore, feels that social media creates “a sense of anxiety” and a feeling of “false perfection”. He refrains from using social media too much due to this stigma surrounding it.
Although social media produces mental health problems, it still connects us to the world and benefits society. Rather than saying to completely halt the usage of social media, I would advise the reduction of time spent — for the greater the exposure, the greater the effect. What might seem as another harmless scroll on an Instagram feed, might be one step closer to a life torn apart by depression and anxiety.