Negative Effects Of Social Media - Depression, Anxiety, And How To Fight It

in #life4 years ago (edited)

Social Media has truly revolutionized our lives and shaped a whole generation.

The average teen / young adult spends about 2 hours each day on Social Media - whether that's browsing through Instagram on our commute, snapchatting our lunch, or reconnecting with old friends through facebook.
It has changed the way we communicate, the way we act, the way we think, and even our bodies.
But it's not all positive - Social Media also has some negative effects on our psyche - it creates pressure, envy, and triggers people to compare themselves to others.
Social Media Depression is real.

The downsides of Social Media

Comparisons - lowered self-esteem - depression

The most obvious and most common downside of social media usage is that you compare yourself to others.

Look at anyone's Instagram feed and you will immediately see "perfect" bodies, and "happy" people who seem to do nothing else than travel and have fun. This leads to lowered self-esteem and ultimately to depression!
It's been said a thousand times and you probably all know it, but I want to stress it again:
People only share their best moments on Instagram!
Comparing yourself with these pictures is like comparing 10 hour raw footage to a polished, 30-second trailer.
Of course these people are not always happy, they don't always travel the world and they also don't always eat the most delicious instagrammable food.
You always portray a certain Image on Social Media, plus with all the image editing software nowadays you can't trust all those picture-perfect bodies anyway.

Anxiety - Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

Fear Of Missing Out is a kind of anxiety - we feel like everyone is having such a great time, doing such fun things and sharing it all on Social Media, that we automatically ask ourselves why we don't to such amazing activities.

And the more we are trying to catch up online, the more we feel like we've missed out.
It sometimes feels like the more time we spend trying to catch up online, the more we feel like we’re missing out.
Especially when a large group of people is following a certain trend, you often feel like missing out when you don't follow along. This prevents us from thinking and acting independently.

And studies suggest that there are even more downsides for social media - violent images and stories about war can lead to PTSD syndroms, and Social Media can also cause overeating and lower our self-control.

How to avoid negative side effects of Social Media!

#1 - Set yourself a time limit

First of all, you should take a look at your own social media usage and review it. How much time do you spend scrolling through Instagram or Facebook?

There are several apps that can help you record the time spent in different apps. Take a look at your own statistics, and then try cutting the time in half.
You will notice that it doesn't feel much different to you! That's because we often browse mindlessly on social platforms, we start scrolling without a real aim and then we can't stop for a few minutes.
There are also apps for desktop and mobile that can block social media sites for certain times during the day.
Another important tip is to turn off your push notifications - studies have shown that these dramatically decrease our productivity!

#2 - Use Social Media with a purpose (and benefit from it)

Social Media is definitely not all bad - there are so many positive things that you can use it for!
You don't have to stop yourself from using it completely - just start using it for the right things.

Whenever you're on a social media platform, ask yourself: What is the reason I came on to this site right now, what am I doing here?
If you're just scrolling through Instagram because you're waiting for something - no problem.
Or maybe use facebook to actually chat to real-life friends, to plan events, or to gain inspiration for activities.
Or even to inform yourself and read some interesting articles!
As long as we're aware of the downsides of social media, we can still fully enjoy its benefits.

#3 - Make it a habit to get your news from other sources

Social Media is the main source of news for teenagers nowadays.

And yes, you can often find interesting articles or news stories - but the problem is that you start scrolling, and all the other irrelevant posts from entertainment sites or from our friends get in the way.
That's why you should make it a habit to actually read the news from certain apps (or ofcourse, in paper form) so that you don't even have to resist that temptation and you only get filtered, high quality news.

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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© Sirwinchester


Post on Steem instead, get paid and be happy

THats what I’m talking about.


I feel like youtube and Facebook etc brings out the worst in people however steemit has a different vibe where nearly everyone is very supportive.

Brilliant post!! You hit the nail on the head here!! It is almost guaranteed that people only post about matters to brag about or show off (I will admit I have been guilty of this) as we simply want people to like us and our content that we post. However, since joining Steemit and being rewarded in a correct, more positive manner, it has encouraged me to be more mindful of my content and not only write about me and my experiences, but also add where I could possibly help others and be of positive influence to them rather than "showing off" what I have.

You couldn't have said this any more clearer and precise !

Well this is a quite intriguing topic , however I really think new generation is doomed. In these days you kind of need a lot of media literacy skills in order to not to get damaged from social media. I highly agree rule 2-3 however rule 1 setting a time limit will never work for me ahaha. I'm just addicted

Hahahaha 😅 yes I get where you're coming from.
Kids these days get exposed to social media as young as the toddler age, so I can't imagine the effects it will have on them once they're adults.

Yeah, all that can happen. People should instead go read a book with all that time they waste:)

Very true. There is endless wisdom that we could gain from books!

and newspapers

There are always Positive and Negative sides and effects of every thing... Dear friend @sirwinchester , you have selected and chosen a very good topic for today ... Social media is a great revolution in every body life individually and as a whole... It has great impact on every individual, communities and nation... I think if we keep balance in electronic world and the real world then there will be no negative effects of Social Media.... and we can enjoy and get benefits of it..... Have a great time @sirwinchester ....


Thank you very much!
You're right, there is always 2 sides to everything. As much as I personally enjoy and support social media, I know that there are also a lot of psychologic side effects to take care of.

Welcome dear friend , yes you are right and we should take care of it to avoid psychological side effects of this great platform and specially Students....

Balance is a good solution for enjoying the social media

Thanks dear friend @a1sa , yes balance is good to use every thing...

This is very helpful @sirwinchester
Some millennials have not realized this yet, Thank you for this post.
Can I share your article to my FB to count one quality post for them to read?

Thanks @sirwinchester for shared very informative and core issue of today regarding social media. ni doubt it effect our daily life too much. yoir suggessions are praiseable. you describe the whole story in detail.thanks sir.

Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it!

Social media is a lot of precious time wastage!

one of the greatest things I have done and it was only a couple of months ago is getting rid of the has set me free from all the news and advertising ... I can turn off the computer much easier and control what I watch on Netflix..and watch more educational and entertaining things without commercials.

Social media is only Steemit for me right now.. I have never had a FB account but many times think I should and I have never gotten into Twitter.

I like your post for helping people in this area.. also how is Instagram I hear about it but have never engaged

I don't see how people keep all these things going .. wish I could

You have some good advise in your post.

really true bro

Good, albeit ironic, post. Upvoted. :D

It is quite ironic since I even work with social media and constantly practice it - but it's important to be aware of the negative aspects as well

people usually only always show their 'best moments' on social media. I mean who is going to continually post stuff thats not top notch... for many reasons and IMO the main one being labelled by the peers you keep on said media sites.
Its soo easy to get knocked into a zone where you lose yourself for extended periods of time and that is soooo bad. people are missing out on soo much of life. but then on the other hand, not doing any can leave one left out aswell.
Excellent points on how to manage your time with social media. I might give that allowing a time frame a shot. I am trying to set time frames for lots of things in my life right now (reading, sleep, times to eat, excersize etc) and this would be an awesome addition.
Cheers mate :) ps long time no see

Thanks for your reply!
You're right, and I also mentioned this above, people's social media profiles are mostly "highlights" of their best moments. So we should never compare ourselves to that.
Try out giving yourself a time frame and let me know if that works for you!

the post is good get paid and be happy.

Nice article. I have these rules in place myself and feel better mentally for it. Look forward to reading your future posts.
My times up i gotta go.

great post @sirwinchester am so glad to be following you as i enjoy your blog so much. i cannot agree more that social media comes with a lot of side effects as one can be addicted to it which is very distracting. More so, the FOMO is real especially for students who learn a lot of negative stuffs from social media. good post on how to tackle this issue. I mentioned you in my recent post, i hope you do not mind.

So true.
Having the feeling everybody is living a better and more interesting life than ourself is one of the biggest reason we might feel bad.

I have no idea yet how I can avoid that my daughter is getting hooked up with all that technology and social media stuff. Now she is only a year and a bit but one of her favorite toys is MY smartphone.
Because I'm using it a lot in front of her and moving pictures are usually more tempting than some quiet doll.
Finding the balance I her life may even limit my own use of social media sources. Hope I can get to that point.

Great article. Use the tool, not to be used by it.

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Yes you are right i see it especially on young people who are nearly always online and who's life is defined on the number of Facebook friends.

That's true,bro.

Sadly yes. Although new technology is awesome and I fully support it, there are always 2 sides to everything.

Thanks for this post!! I'm writing a research paper for school and this helped me gain more knowledge into the effects of social media in our lives...Thanks!!!

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