6 Ways Social Media Affects our Mental Health 

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Social media has quickly transformed the way of interaction between individuals into a whole new world. Gone are the days of hearing idle chatter amongst peers, as are the days of children playing ball in the street. The world has fallen into a silence of preoccupied individuals constantly absorbed in this new way of life – the world of social media. In theory, it sounds brilliant. We are privileged to have access to friends and family across the country with this small hand held device that fits in our pocket. It must be incredible; there is a constant connection with the ones we love, classmates, peers, hobbyists and even business owners. While the concept of social media seems extraordinarily beneficial, unfortunately it is attached with subtle detrimental effects.

Alice G. Walton, a journalist, describes these effects of social media in her editorial, Six Ways Social Media Affects our Mental Health. Walton unveils what lies beneath the surface of social media interaction. Outwardly, through the screen, a popular, socially busy individual stands out  to their onlookers, however inwardly, the very same individual may suffer from “Facebook depression” or cyber bullying. Walton discusses research which was conducted to determine whether the internet can become addictive in the literal sense. While the research wouldn’t dub an actual term for internet addiction, it was noted that it is plausible for one to portray addictive behavior regarding Facebook and other outlets. Many start to neglect their physical personal life, and actually exhibit symptoms of withdrawal andor anxiety when separated from their internet source.

Interestingly, social media was created with the intent of making most people happy; constant, easy interaction among peers and family members seems ideal. However, this same way of socialization actually seems to have the opposite effect. The more an individual is connected, the higher the likelihood one has to formulate depressive or resentful emotions.  Exposure to what other people have and what an individual does not, leads one to feel depressed and socially isolated. When a picture of someone “living it up” is posted, pangs of jealousy are generally invoked instinctively. Addiotionally, the risk of constant exposure to bad news, which tends to circulate at an extremely fast pace, persuades thoughts of sadness, which cannot be helped.

With all these negative feelings, it’s ironic that people can’t seem to stay away from social media. Realistically, if it is noticed that something is bad for oneself, the smart decision would be to just stay away from it; disconnect. However, this proves to be very difficult as goes for any other addiction. Walton compares social media to a drug, while we think getting a “fix” will help, we just get knocked down again once that little screen starts to scroll. The subtlety of its ill-effect, proves social media as a perilous road.

We currently live in a world of fantasy. We live in a world where people hide behind their screens, picking out the good in their life and disclosing it to entire social media realm in an attempt to boast their own confidence, perceiving their life as a perfect one. This action of announcing the greatness of someone’s life, unbeknownst to them come with serious repercussions because the people around them whom are viewing these posts, start to harbor thoughts of jealousy, loss of self worth and lack. Furthermore, a false sense of security is formed for the poster; she believes she has so many friends as they all “liked” her post, while justifying to herself the fact that many of the “likers” who haven’t even met her personally, to be a non-issue. These are but a few of the various psychological effects of  social media.

The feelings of anxiety one incurs when being separated from their devices, proves another psychological effect. Walton expresses, “We have known for some time that people who are over-dependent on digital devices report feelings of anxiety when are stopped from using them.” In my opinion, Walton accurately describes the apprehension many people feel when their phone is separated from them. Nowadays smartphone users have developed a twitch, where there is the constant need to check messages on their phone in fear of missing out on any notifications. The modern mind has difficulty focusing on a certain task at hand, whereas it is only a matter of time before the user picks up their phone to “glance” at the messages. Many don’t realize the disregard of others as a lack of etiquette which are portrayed amidst a physical conversation and messages are inadvertently “just being checked.”

As Aristotle once said, “Friendship is a virtue.” Sadly, most social media users don’t realize their social media friends are not genuine friends. These “friends” may be polite, nice individuals, though it seems the concept of a friend versus acquaintance has been eschewed in modern society. Instead of building life-lasting bonds with their peers, people are wondering why they cannot have what their “friends” have. They begin to wonder about all the things they are “clearly” missing out on. In my opinion, these ill- feelings contribute to so much of the mental health crisis which is prevalent in our times.

As serious of an issue it ascertains, there is a simple fix which would easily reverse all the unnecessary damage social media causes. Through self-modification and guidelines, as well as with the encouragement to meet with peers personally, these psychological effects may diminish, leading to a more emotionally stable society. It is no question that the benefits outweigh the sacrifice, for a happy, level-headed lifestyle is what keeps the world the socially-harmonious place it is meant to be.

Cite this paper

6 Ways Social Media Affects our Mental Health . (2022, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/6-ways-social-media-affects-our-mental-health/



How social media affects our mental health?
Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, and depression. It can also foster comparisons between users and their "perfect" online counterparts, which can lead to negative mental health effects.
What are the top 5 benefits of social media to your mental health?
1. Social media can help you connect with friends and family, which can reduce stress and anxiety. 2. Social media can help you stay informed and connected to the world, which can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
What are the top 5 downsides of social media to your mental health?
1. Social media can give you a false sense of connection and cause you to feel isolated. 2. Social media can be addictive and lead to compulsive behaviors.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out