NEWS: Social media affecting mental health

By Aubrey de Guzman & Alyssa Hurley

Quarantine has given everyone lots of time to scroll through social media, although this may not be the healthiest way to spend your time. Social media affects our mental health negatively.

Social media creates unrealistic standards that people feel they have to fit into. Social/beauty standards can result in body image issues, according to a survey taken regarding this concern.

“The survey included 1,000 men and women and focused on their body image, confidence, and the media. It found that 87 percent of women and 65 percent of men compare their bodies to images they consume on social and traditional media. In that comparison, a stunning 50 percent of women and 37 percent of men compare their bodies unfavorably.” 

It creates false standards and increases the gap between reality and online. 

Another concern regarding social media is increased usage can lead to things such as cyberbullying, anxiety, and depression. The content released on platforms is exposed to people of all ages and cannot be fully controlled. It can serve as an outlet for others to feel more confident in bullying for the reason they are hiding behind a screen. A BBC article states, 

‘”A similar study conducted in 2016 involving 1,700 people found a threefold risk of depression and anxiety among people who used the most social media platforms,’ says a BBC article. ‘Reasons for this, they suggested, include cyber-bullying, having a distorted view of other people’s lives, and feeling like time spent on social media is a waste.'”

Some may argue it can be used in positive ways. Some people find social media to be fun and entertaining. Social media is a way to find out what is happening in the world and what is going on with one another. Studies show positive ways social media has on people, for example, social media can produce more creativity. Social media can also produce more self-confidence and easier access to express ideas. Social media allows people to create friendships and find new people in their lives. Although social media can be fun at first, it leads to larger problems. The more it is used, the more risks that come along with it. If someone keeps using it, they can become addicted and start relying on its usage.

Based on this factual information, social media is detrimental to the mental health of its users. The creation of unrealistic standards, body image concerns, depression, anxiety, and more are results of it. If you can avoid the negative risks of social media, why use it? Don’t put your mental health at risk, and stop using social media!

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