What impact exactly does social media have on the mental health of young people today? Many individuals use social media irresponsibly, and act as though their actions have no consequences. The law is not moving fast enough to keep up with all the negative fallout that is stemming from an overuse of social media in the 21st century.
There is bullying taking place online over social networking sites such as Twitter, Yik Yak, ask.fm, and Facebook. People’s private photos get shared without their permission, secret personal information is leaked and sold to various companies, and an unrealistic standard is set for how people are supposed to look and act. It is no reason that millions of Americans are suffering from anxiety due to social media usage.
With the creation of the iPhone and unlimited data plans, people are able to use social media at all times. People are checking their social media feeds in class, at red lights, while having conversations with people, and while they are doing work. Society is constantly bombarded with messages telling people to buy as much as they can to look the way they are supposed to. The message that is being sent to everyone is clear cut and simple: you are not good enough.
Using your phone constantly is horrible for your mental health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other physical problems. It can cause eye restraint, hand cramps, and some eyen say being on the phone too much can cause cancer. When a person is constantly checking social media, they become obsessed with what other people are doing, and how the outside world sees them. People track likes, followers, hashtags, and even have attempted to purchase followers for their social media accounts.
It was generally understood that social media was created to connect people from all over. People fighting overseas could update their statuses to let their loved ones know they were safe and thinking of them. College students could go all the way across the country for school and their grandparents can still see pictures every week. This is what it started as. Then it became about putting forward an image. This causes much anxiety in a person’s life because they are constantly improving and trying to make themselves better when they are fine the way they are. If you think your social media use is causing you to have anxiety but you are not sure, take an online anxiety quiz.
Anxiety symptoms when posting
There are many signs that you are putting too much of your self-worth into how you appear on social media. Do you often spend a long time editing out all of your imperfections before posting a photos in fear of people noticing and pointing them out? Do you fear that you won’t look as good as other people or that you will not get enough likes? This is a sign that you are experiencing anxiety due to social media. Try posting less, or posting more and not putting as much work into editing each post and coming up with an important caption. Not every picture on your page has to get over 100 likes. Also, if you think you can handle it, try turning off your notifications after posting. That way you may forget about it, and you won’t be constantly checking to see who liked it when for the next few hours or be sad that not a lot of people liked it.
Different types of anxiety
There are many types of anxiety, but one that commonly is seen in people who use social media is social anxiety. Using social media gives a person a fake persona to live behind. When something is done online it is well planned out, hidden, and prepared. In person there is no time to think or plan out, you just act. When a person gets too used to using social media as a form of communication and human interaction, they start to lose the ability to act normally in real life situations. It can also cause a huge fear of going out and interacting with people in situations where you have to see people face to face.
In person you cannot use Photoshop. In person you cannot come up with a cute caption and emoji to have on display under you to make it seem like you’re having fun. In real life you have to be whom you really are, and that can cause a lot of anxiety for people. Anxiety can cause panic attacks, sweating, tremors, and even physical sickness. You may get a headache or stomach ache every time you have to go in public and see people you know.
Symptoms of anxiety
Dealing with symptoms of anxiety that come from using social media too much can be dealt with very simply. Deleting your social media accounts may sound like a nightmare, but cleansing yourself of the toxicity of using social media can turn you into a brand new person. There was a time when people had no idea what social media even was, and they survived. They learned how to reach out to the people they care about and not use ‘fake’ social media interaction as a substitution for human contact. You can learn how to do that too, and maybe start just by turning off your notifications.