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Has social media affect society’s mental health?

Image by WOKANDAPIX from Pixabay

Social Media has taken a toll on people’s mental health by looking at tragic content online. Nothing’s worse than see bad news or good news, that can affect your mental well-being. It is very hard to come by on watching how your mood can change, just by seeing so many violent crimes or other content that could lead to symptoms of blurred eyes, depression, eye strain, or body language changing.

Social media is one of the most significant contributors to affect a person’s mental health through the perpetuation of the illusion of perfection. The platforms are flooded with meticulously crafted images portraying flawless lives, ideal bodies, and amazing lifestyles. People seeing this type of content or other content that is bad would get influenced and affected by it. 

Graphic by Madeleine Masoudi for TheCircular

Scrolling through these feeds can evoke feelings of inadequacy, leading to self- comparison and diminished self-esteem. The constant barrage of seemingly perfect lives can distort reality and foster unrealistic expectations.

Social media amplifies the fear of missing out by showcasing highlights of others who post on their page’s information, or events they are doing in their daily lives. Seeing friends posts about exotic vacations, parties, achievements, someone get hurt, reposting what the news shared to the public. It can evoke a sense of exclusion and loneliness in individuals who perceive their lives as less exciting. This fear of missing out can lead to anxiety depression, and distorted perception of one’s own experience. 

As an example, cyberbullying and harassment which the anonymity and distance provided by social media platforms can embolden individuals to engage in that aspect. Which this can affect a person’s mental health. Hurtful comments, malicious rumors, and targeted attacks can have devastating effects on mental health, leading to feelings of worthlessness, isolation, and even suicidal ideation. The constant exposure to online negativity can erode self-confidence and contribute to the development of anxiety and depression. 

depiction of what mental health disorder can do to the mind.
Photographed by Josh Clifford from Pixabay

Validation seeking behavior is the validation and approval on social media can become addictive, driving individuals to seek external affirmation for their self-worth. The acceptance of likes, comments, and followers can create a cycle of a validate behavior, where self-esteem becomes more contingent on a digital metrics. This can lead to self-worth and contribute feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction.

Social media users often curate their online personas, selectively sharing only the most positive aspects of their daily lives while concealing struggles and vulnerabilities. The selective portrayal of reality can create a distorted perception of others’ lives leading individuals to underestimate the prevalence of hardship and adversity. Feeling isolated in their struggles, individuals may experience heightened feelings of despair. 

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