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Social Media and Its Affect On Your Mental Health

The first thing I do when I wake up is reach for my phone. I use it as my alarm so I need to tap it in order to stop the buzzing, but, hey, since I am already holding it, I might as well start checking all my social media accounts for thirty minutes before getting out of bed, right? The sad thing is, this is the routine for many people out there. And it doesn’t just end there. People check social media constantly throughout the day. It is our go-to source of easy access entertainment.

On paper, or screen rather, it seems harmless. Staying up to date on all your friends daily ongoings is a way to keep in touch and stay involved in everyone’s lives. Except, there is a downside to keeping tabs on every single person you know, know about or don’t know at all. Recent studies are showing that more and more people are experiencing signs of severe depression due to their social media interactions. Below are a few reasons as to why this is happening, and hopefully offer some insight into the dramatic world of social media.

Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else

It can be really hard to feel good about yourself when you are constantly seeing all the great things that everyone is accomplishing through Facebook or Instagram. It can seem like everyone else in the world is getting engaged, being promoted at work, partying with friends, going on vacation or doing other fun, exciting and beneficial things. It’s easy to compare yourself to these “successful” people and feel inadequate. However, it is important to remember that these are merely snapshots into the way these people are choosing to portray their lives.

Feeling Unaccepted By Your Peers

Being unliked by your friends and peers is not just a feeling nowadays, but it can be a digital act. If you post a photo through social media and get minimal attention for it then you can feel rejected. Not getting “likes” on a post can cause you to think that what you are saying or showing isn’t good enough. Feeling unwanted by your social media friends can also occur when you see people talking online, causing you to feel excluded from the conversation. 

Disconnection Through Digital Connection

Even though social media makes it possible to keep in contact with people we no longer live with, it can cause a feeling of deep disconnection. Watching loved ones go through their lives on a computer screen can lead to feelings of longing, causing you to wish that  you could be there in real life, and not just digitally. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Kevin Cortopassi

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