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How Social Media Affects Mental Health

By Angelique Gauthier

We live in the generation of technology, where every moment is captured by Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to be posted into cyberspace. Not only are teens and young adults drawn into world of social media but it is now a trend in children and adults as well. It has become essential to our lives; there’s no escape from it. We are constantly scrolling through social media feed at any chance we get. Although posting pictures and snapchatting is a great way to share your highlights and memories with friends and family, it can have a negative impact on your mental health. Here are a few effects of social media on your well-being.

Addiction

Social media has become one of the biggest addictions. Thanks to the invention of cellphones, social media has become easily accessible anywhere you go. We waste a ridiculous amount of time looking at a screen (about 9½ years in a lifetime) because we have become so absorbed into everyone else’s business that we have lost the ability to enjoy the present moments. Social media is actually taking away the social aspect of being together. The apps on your phone are specifically designed to be extremely addictive. The creators let you feel a sense of happiness when using social media by implementing tactics that allow the brain to release dopamine. Thus, making you keep on coming back for more and more. This can cause a huge distraction with school, work, and sleep. So instead of putting a great amount of time into starring at a screen, put away the phone and enjoy living and being surrounded by the people you love.  

Competition

We are constantly comparing our lives to one another on social media however this is not reality. The pictures and post we see every day about a person is only the highlighted version of their lives. We do not realize that not every moment of our day will be these great exciting moments. Reality is that there are gonna be some crappy times however you’re not going to see this posted on Instagram or Facebook because who would want to post about a lousy day. Everyone goes through bumps and rough patches, that’s life.

Confidence

What is definition of beauty to you? Most people would say perfect makeup or the perfect toned body, we define beauty as a person that is visually pleasing regardless of their morals or personality. We all have those “I wish I looked like her/him” moments and this is greatly emphasized with social media. A picture is ranked by the amount of attention it receives through likes and shares.  We can get easily lost in the aspect of popularity and beauty on social media which can put a toll on yourself confidence. I often find myself comparing myself to another person that is “prettier” than me which in return lowers my self-esteem. Life isn’t measured by a perfect picture or a number on a screen. Instead of putting so much energy into social media use that time to work on self-love by practicing things that you enjoy and make you happy.  

 

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