These days, it’s hard to ignore the headlines. When reading about the state of our affairs in the news, including the economy, climate, and war, one cannot help but feel a little anxious.
Consequently, you might use social media as an escape instead. Consuming perfectly staged photographs or films of travel, cuisine, and design might make you feel less worried, says Peter Biantes.
We neglect the fact that persistent information intake, irrespective of its merits, can lead to overload and exacerbate stress.
Even though we’ve had years of practice as adults to control and fence our emotions and thoughts from our daily ingestion of information, more of us than ever before feel overwhelmed.
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What about our kids if we grownups are feeling this way?
This comes up on the subject of our children. How are they going to survive in our current environment? The pandemic has resulted in information overload for our kids, who have also experienced regular schedule changes due to school closings.
Many in the healthcare industry are being urged to take action by supporting policies that help prevent, recognize, and deal with these problems in our youngsters before they reach crisis point.
I completely support this strategy to bring the appropriate resources to improve the infrastructure for education and literacy, access improvement, and programming development.
But above all else, we need to confront how early access to electronics and social media can lead to the apex of what we are currently witnessing in our preteens and teens.
Should device access be restricted?
Over 27,000 young adults participated in a groundbreaking global study that was recently published by Sapien Labs. The conclusion is that a young adult’s mental health as an adult improves the later they acquire a smartphone.
The formation of neural pathways, or the connections inside the brain, via sensory stimulation starting at a young age, has been the subject of extensive research on how children’s brains develop.
The amount of time spent using a device may potentially be rewiring those connections that are affecting sleep patterns and/or creativity, as revealed by this Harvard study, even while it is undoubtedly handy to give our mobile device to a child when they ask for it.
Social Media’s Impact on Mental Health
The human species is a sociable animal. To prosper in life, we require the company of others, and the quality of our relationships has a significant bearing on both our mental health and enjoyment. Social interaction with others has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, improve self-esteem, bring comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even lengthen life. On the other hand, a lack of solid social ties can seriously jeopardize your mental and emotional well-being.
Many people around the globe now use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to communicate with one another. While each has advantages, it’s crucial to keep in mind that social media can never fully replace face-to-face interaction. The hormones that reduce stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more optimistic are only released when you are in direct physical contact with other people.
The Advantages of Social Media
There are numerous healthy ways that social media can help you stay connected and boost your well-being, even though it doesn’t have the same psychological advantages as a face-to-face conversation, says Peter Biantes.
Using social media lets you:
Stay in touch and informed with loved ones all across the world.
Make new acquaintances and join new groups; connect with those who have similar goals or interests.
Join or support deserving causes; spread the word about crucial concerns.
During difficult times, look for or provide emotional support.
Find a crucial social connection if you, for instance, live in a remote area, have little freedom, suffer from social anxiety, or belong to a minority group.
Find a way to express yourself and your creativity.
Find (carefully) sources of useful knowledge and learning.
The Drawbacks To Social Media.
Since social media is a relatively new technology, there hasn’t been much research done to determine whether using it would have positive or negative long-term effects. But numerous studies have discovered a substantial correlation between using social media excessively and a higher risk of melancholy, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicide ideation.
Social media may encourage unfavourable experiences like:
Feeling insufficient in your life or appearance.
Even if you are aware that the photographs you are seeing on social media have been altered, they may nevertheless cause you to feel anxious about your appearance or the circumstances of your own life. Similarly, we are all aware that other people frequently only discuss the positive aspects of their lives rather than the negative events that everyone goes through. However, it still makes you feel envious and unsatisfied when you go through a friend’s Photoshopped pictures of their exotic beach vacation or read about their exciting new job advancement.
Social media Addiction and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram tend to worsen FOMO, even though the phenomenon has been for much longer than social media. Like an addiction, feeling like you’re missing out on particular things can lower your self-esteem, cause worry, and increase your use of social media.
FOMO can make you pick up your phone repeatedly to check for updates or compulsively respond to every alert, even if doing so puts your safety and that of other people at risk while you’re driving, prevents you from getting enough sleep at night, or forces you to put social media involvement ahead of real-world connections says Peter Biantes
Social media sites like Twitter may be hotspots for spreading damaging rumors, lies, and abuse that can cause long-lasting emotional scars. About 10% of teenagers report being bullied on social media, and many other users are subjected to nasty comments.
Users have quick access to electronic communication and content exchange through social media.
Although it has many beneficial advantages, users’ mental health may suffer as a result.
By limiting social media use to 30 minutes each day, you can lessen FOMO and the related feelings of isolation, anxiety, sadness, and sleep disturbances, says Peter Biantes .