How Social Media Affect Mental Wellbeing of People

What is Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing?

There is a strong link between the use of social media or the internet, and the mental health problems such as depression; however, less is known about the impact on mental wellbeing that can trigger mental health. Mental welling is a state of self-satisfaction and a sense of good life that keep people away from mental health problems. On the other hand, a negative impact on mental wellbeing increases the risk of mental health. The current problem among young adults is the use of social media which is associated with their mental wellbeing.

How Social Media Affect Mental Wellbeing

Mental health and mental wellbeing are two different conditions that sound similar. Mental health is a combination of individuals’ emotions, and psychological, and social wellbeing. On the other hand, mental wellbeing is a good sense of self and life. The issues of mental health and wellbeing have received more attention in the month of November as November is considered the men’s mental health month. Mental wellbeing is important for the mental health; individuals who experience low mental wellbeing for a long time are more likely to develop mental health problems. Therefore, the mental health of individuals is affected by mental wellbeing and other similar factors that influence mental wellbeing such as lifestyle, and individuals feeling about their life.

Social Media and Isolation

Similarly, social media is an important factor that affects individuals’ life and mental wellbeing. Individual who observe similar problem search for the term mental health therapist near me; the mental health therapist guides people and identify the cause of the problem. In young and adult people, the problem is associated with the use of social media or spending more time on social channels. Overuse of social media leads to social isolation from relationships with people in real-world social settings, which has a substantial impact on life. It seems that people who are more active and engaged in social media are disconnected from the real world.

Social Media and FOMO

The heavy use of social media increase the risk of FOMO, and other personal threats such as bullying, and dissatisfaction which further affect the mental wellbeing of users. Lots of people are unaware of FOMO, therefore, they search for FOMO meaning on the internet. FOMO is known as the fear of missing out; it is a sense of comparison developed among social media users, FOMO existed long before social media channels; however, social media has increased the risks for users. Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where individuals share the movements of their lives exacerbate the feelings of comparison that individuals are having more fun or living a better life.

FOMO impacts individuals’ wellbeing by developing a sense of negativity, and anxiety. FOMO is way more dangerous than it seems, it allows individuals to see their phones or social media updates frequently which affect their work, sleep, and relationship in the real world. 50% of social media users have FOMO which includes the fear of missing out on updates and developing a sense of comparison. The highest contributor to FOMO includes Facebook with 72%, Instagram with 14%, and Twitter with 11%.

Short-term and Long-term Impact

Excessive use of social media has both short, and long-term consequences including the impact on mental wellbeing. The short-term impact includes negative thoughts, and self-absorption, while the long-term effects can be seen in terms of isolation, inadequacy, and fear of missing out. Individuals involved in the high use of social media develop inadequacy about their life and appearance. Engagement in social media is good to some extent; however, involvement for a long time on a daily basis increases the risk of exposure to online threats such as cyber-attack and cyberbullying.

Apart from this, individuals may become excited to see the updates including what is going on in their friends’ lives; however, it can sometimes bring dissatisfaction and a feeling of envy by seeing others enjoying and succeeding more in their lives. The excessive use of social media affects personal and professional life; for example, individuals who are highly engaged in social media channels are not able to focus on their work; similarly, they are less aware of what is going on around them. Thus, a virtual environment created by social media makes them less aware of the actual environment which increases the problems.

Social Media a Psychological Addiction

The heavy use of social media leads to a psychological addiction which is similar to the addition of gaming that triggers the brain’s reward system. Similarly, social media is a kind of reward for addicted people that helps them to give a sense of pleasure by releasing dopamine. There are several activities such as plays that allow individuals to develop a sense of pleasure; however, excessive involvement leads to addiction that further affect the life of people. The actions that are rewarding do not give a guarantee of pleasure; however, the risk increases with the level of involvement.

This can be further explained with an example of gaming; individuals who are highly engaged in gaming may become unhappy or anxious when they lose. Similarly, individuals who are highly engaged in social media channels become anxious and develop dissatisfaction if they do not find content that can please them. In addition to this, seeing others growing or in a better position developed a sense of losing in life while comparing life with others.

Statistics about Social Media Usage and Its Impact

Recent research revealed that women and men have different levels of engagement in online activities; for example, 76% of women are involved in social media activities compared to 72% of men. Office for National Statistics (ONS) UK revealed that 19% of teenagers in the UK have experienced at least one cyberbullying on social media and the internet. ONS further stated that the heavy use of social media, smartphones, and other similar networking applications increased the risk for children and young adults; bullying can follow them anywhere.

Bullying sometimes reaches to an extent that it influenced the academic, personal, and professional lives of individuals further affecting their mental wellbeing and increasing the risk of mental health problems. Online bullying is associated with mental wellbeing. Victims of cyberbullying receive threats from the offenders which include asking for money, favor, or sexual abuse; even if the offenders do not demand anything, it develops a sense of fear or anxiety that someone is spying on or stolen their personal data from social media that creates the unrest for the victims which ultimately affects the mental wellbeing.

Self-absorption is another problem associated with the heavy use of social media. Self-absorption is the feeling of concern about self while ignoring everything else around; for example, sharing endless pictures or selfies on social media shows that individuals are self-obsessed. Uploading multiple selfies frequently on social media channels can create unhealthy self-centeredness which increases the distance from real-life connections. Mobile phones are easily available these days that give the proper access to social media and individuals with these mobile devices become more engaged in social media activities which distances them from the real world. Therefore, social media affects the mental wellbeing of people depending on the level of usage.