Human beings are inherently social creatures. We rely on the company of fellow human beings for comfort, support, and the feeling of being part of a community. That’s why social media plays a huge role in modern life. It keeps us connected to friends and family, even when we’re physically apart. With all the good social media brings, it also has some ramifications if not used responsibly. Because of that, the words “social media” and “mental health” are being used in the same breath more and more.
Benefits of Social Media
There are over 3.6 billion social media users worldwide, and the number of users is projected to rise to 4.41 billion by 2025. That’s because social media has many benefits, some of which include:
- Makes it easier to keep in touch with loved ones
- Enables users to find communities of like-minded people
- Allows you the opportunity to express your creativity without fear
With benefits like these, it’s no wonder people rely heavily on social media.
How Social Media Negatively Affects Mental Health
Despite its positive impact, the effects of social media on mental health can’t be ignored. Here’s how social media affects mental health:
Anxiety and Depression
One of the most prevalent ramifications of social media use is that it has been linked to anxiety and depression. A study revealed that prolonged social media use increased the feelings of depression, while limited use proved to reduce depression in users. The study also showed that those who reduced their social media use had less anxiety, which is usually caused by the fear of missing out. However, the biggest contributor to depression and anxiety is how social media leads people to focus less on in-person relationships.
Another caveat that comes with social media is that it increases the instances of cyberbullying. Most social media platforms don’t have a way to verify and censor the information posted by users. As a result, other users can take advantage of this and spread rumors or hurtful lies about others. This, in essence, is what cyberbullying is. Research shows that cyberbullying is on the rise, thanks to easy access to social media.
Social media usually only portrays the good side of life. With today’s technology, people manipulate photos to portray a good life. This can lead to other people feeling inadequate and losing their self-esteem. This can be worse in a person on the road to addiction recovery.
Many of the negative impacts of social media are the fuel that drives people into substance abuse. In most cases, people get drawn to like-minded people and groups on social media. This means a person who has a history of substance abuse may be tempted to seek out other abusers on social media. This usually happens when going through regression.
Social Media and Addiction
Is there a link between social media usage and drug abuse? There certainly is. As has been said, most social media platforms don’t do a good job of censoring the content users publish. As a result, images of drug use, parties, binge drinking, and other risky behavior are glorified on social media. This can lead to:
Many social media users are under pressure to live like their friends and other influencers on social media. This social pressure can influence social media users into making the wrong decisions in life.
Access to Drugs
Because social media and the internet as a whole are like the wild west, it’s difficult to control the information being shared. As a result, unscrupulous characters can use social media to make access to drugs easy. This is why social media use must be closely monitored, especially for people with a history of substance abuse.
Do You Need Recovery Treatment?
Has social media affected a loved one’s mental health or yours? Recovering from mental health issues or addiction is a team effort. Give us a call at 877-798-4404 and, together, we’ll be a winning team.