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Some may argue that social media can affect someone’s mental health whereas others may oppose this view and claim there is no correlation between either. The two social media play massive parts in every aspect of our lives whether it is for the good or the bad we may never know. Mental health is a very important thing and I believe that social media possesses the power to affect people’s mental health.
In recent times social media has been painted as a massive negative with many vulnerable people being pushed to taking their own life. Here’s a quote from a young girl saying how she felt because she was looking at someone’s Instagram; “After hours of scrolling through Instagram feeds I just feel worse about myself because I felt left out and not pretty enough”. This shows how this young girl feels about herself and that she’s hurt as she feels left out and not pretty enough to hang about with the other girls which clearly shows social media has too much power over every individual’s life. It is also a well-known fact that social media is becoming bigger and bigger and is taking up more of our lives than it deserves to take up. It is undeniable that social media is not as much of a necessity as it is made out to be. It is clear people were able to live without it although nowadays a large majority would find it hard to go without.
There are some positive aspects to social media and it is really important that people remember that. It’s not just all negative things on social media. It’s also important to remember that teens and young people are hardwired for socialisation and social media makes it easier for them to socialise with other people and that they get to talk to friends and family members that they don’t see and talk to all the time which is good for them. The online world has the potential to help young people to explore new concepts, manage risks and build resilience for themselves.
Over the past few years psychologists have begun to look at the effects of social media on the mental health and wellbeing of people and a consistent finding of much of the research has been that people who always use social media are associated with poorer mental health. This tells us what being on social media all the time does to you, and everyone around you.
Also social media was set up as the means of connecting with others but now people say that social media is used to compare yourself with others, such as pictures of themselves.
Social media plays a big part in the world today as most people spend 135 minutes per day (nearly two and a half hours) on social media which is 10% of your day meaning 1 in every 10 minutes is spent on social media. This clearly shows the power social media has on everyone’s life.
Some people may argue that social media pushes people to suicide although it can also save people with social media playing a big part in mental health awareness with massive influencers promoting mental health and helping people to understand the signs early on. Another positive is how easy it is to check on someone with mental health by sending a message or phone call. A message or phone call is all it may take to save someone’s life and social media provides the platform for this to take place.
Another negative is that social media is impacting people’s sleep because of how often you are on social media at night before going to bed. Some studies say that the blue light of the screen affects sleep or causes behavioural disturbances because it tricks the body into thinking it is day time and therefore keeps them awake. Many young people wake up to check their phones which is reducing the time they sleep and it’s becoming an important issue when it comes to mental health. Also because lack of sleep is associated with lower moods and sometimes even depression and can affect young people at school as they won’t be listening and therefore won’t be working to their best. Social media is affecting them negatively.
While there are lots of benefits form social media, parents think it is important they discuss with their kids the importance of using it correctly and safely. They think that they should also tell them the impact of the online world as they don’t know all about how badly online media can be for them in the world today.
After looking at both sides of the argument I am sure social media affects mental health at some point in a user’s life. Whether it be lack of sleep, communication both positive and negative with others, cyber bullying, comparing themselves to other people it seems to me there are more people it affects negatively than positively. While there are some positives too, like talking to family and friends on the other side of the world, in my opinion there are too many negative effects.
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