Do you keep counting the number of likes on your every Facebook post? Do you drop everything to run and check your WhatsApp notifications? Beware, here are 5 ways in which social media is affecting your mental health, without you even realizing it.
Its Super Addictive
Yes, Social Media addiction is a real thing and if you disagree, we dare you to switch off your phones internet for just a few days! In fact, we have studies which show that social media addiction shares a similar resemblance to the addictive use of substances. In fact, in a study conducted by Mihaylo ISDS and University of Southern California (USC), it was found that people were more likely to react to Facebook notifications than changing traffic signals!
The Constant Comparison With Others
Admit it! Every time you saw a Facebook or Instagram post of your friend celebrating a holiday in some exotic destination, you have unconsciously asked yourself What am I doing with my life? Especially, if you had a bad day! This not only negatively affects your mood but also takes a toll on your self-confidence in real life, making you feel less worthy and less validated. In fact, recent studies show that people who spend more time on social media have twice the odds of perceived social isolation than people who spend less time.
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Much Shorter Attention Span
In one hour, you probably have already checked Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp at least 15 to 20 times, well, I already mentioned at least. Thanks to social media, you are flitting constantly between new content and platforms. Be it the latest meme on Facebook or the latest ping in that WhatsApp group, your mind is constantly switching between a thousand things. This plays havoc with your priorities in life and takes away the focus while leaving your mind in a state of chaos!
Ever been trolled on social media? We bet you have in one form or the other. In fact, in a recent study conducted by Norton (Symantec), it was reported that an alarming 8 out of 10 Indians have suffered from cyber harassment in one way or the other, including abuses and insults. This includes threats of physical violence, cyberstalking and even sexual harassment. In fact, the study showed that as many as 51 to 46% of all cyberbullying victims in some of Indias largest metros have been threatened with physical violence.
The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO):
FOMO might sound cool but trust us when we say that it is anything but that. Oxford dictionary defines The Fear Of Missing Out as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. For example, maybe your friend just posted about how awesome their new phone is and immediately you have to start thinking about getting a new phone, even if your current one is perfectly ok! And if you cant afford to get that phone, you start feeling unhappy and this affects you socially as well as mentally.
Social media is a strange beast. This advance in technology is a testament to mankinds innovativeness. Today we can chat with someone thousands of miles away in real time with just a press of a button and connect with old friends who we have not seen in ages, no matter where they are, all thanks to social media. But the fact is that like all good things, social media too must be taken in moderation. So we end this article with a simple advice that unless you want social media to end up ruling your life and affecting your mental health, try not to get too addicted to it. Till then stay fit and stay happy!