It’s probably no surprise to you that social media has a negative toll on a person’s mental health. Most of us know social media is dangerous, but we continue using it. It’s estimated that 70% of Americans use social media regularly, and that number has risen dramatically over the years. Only 5% of Americans utilized these platforms when social media companies first began launching.
Clearly, knowing that it’s generally bad isn’t deterring most people from using these platforms. But things might be different if people understand the real impact social media can have on their well-being. Here are the four ways social media can affect a person’s mental health (and why you should care).
1. Social Media Addiction
Social media is highly addictive; a 2019 study found that 40% of respondents aged 18 to 22 felt they had a social media addiction.
A social media addiction may not sound very serious, but it can be incredibly harmful. We have easy access to social media daily through our phones, computers, and laptops, making disconnecting incredibly difficult. This addiction can impact a person’s work performance and relationships, as they can’t put down their phone and focus on what’s in front of them.
2. It Impacts Your Sleep
Almost everyone does it – you’re going to bed, so you pick up your phone and scroll through your favorite social media app. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless task is interfering with your sleep. Studies show that the blue light from your phone can keep you awake and negatively impact your sleep patterns. And quality sleep is crucial for your overall mental health. Poor sleep can lead to an increased risk of psychological distress, especially triggering anxiety and depression.
3. It Makes You Lonely
At first glance, social media seems to be a way for us to stay connected with friends. However, the reality is that social media makes us more lonely. We feel up-to-date with our friends and family’s lives through their social media posts, so we may be less likely to reach out and catch up in person. Ultimately, virtual chats cannot replace in-person interactions. So, even if you feel you have dozens of friends online that you regularly talk with, social media can actually lead you to isolate yourself from meaningful and frequent human interaction.
4. It Breeds Jealousy
Social media is a highlight reel. People tend to post their best moments on social media, but it’s hard to remember that when you’re scrolling and seeing people posting about vacations, new cars, promotions, and fancy outings. So, as you watch all these moments, it’s easy to get into a cycle of comparison. You wish you were having all those moments and start resenting your life. A life that you otherwise typically feel very happy with. These feelings of jealousy can lead to resentment and depression.
Treat Your Social Media Addiction at Baystate Recovery Services
Do you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media at all times of the day? And you know it’s harming your mental health, but you can’t bring yourself to stop? It might be time to evaluate if you have a social media addiction and if professional treatment can help. Contact Baystate Recovery Center today to find out how our programs can help you get better.
Baystate Recovery Center, a clinically Infused 12-Step Treatment Center for Drug and Alcohol Addiction, was founded by two partners in addiction treatment services, John Checchi and Michael Wilson.