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The impact of social media on mental health

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Because social media is a relatively new technology, few studies have been done to determine its user’s long-term effects, good or ill . However, heavy social media users have an increased risk of teenagers’ stress, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. The significant increase in depression cases that we are witnessing in the last few years can be attributed to social networking websites for various reasons . Social media, also known as social networking, has become the most common way of communication and engagement amongst people of all ages worldwide due to ongoing technology improvements. Today, many of us rely on social media platforms to look up and connect. While all those social platforms have benefits, it’s important to remember that social media can never replace real-world human connections. It is scientifically proven that it is necessary to contact other individuals to trigger and activate the hormones that alleviate and relieve stress and make a person feel happier, more healthy, and more positive . Ironically, for a technology that’s designed and purposed to bring people closer with one another, spending a lot of time engaging with social media can actually make people feel more alone and isolated—and trigger mental health problems such as depression and anxiety if one is spending a lot of time on social media platforms and having feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or  loneliness . In that case, it may be time to re-examine one’s online habits and find a healthier balance.  

Humans are sociable creatures by nature. To prosper in life, we require the company of others, and the strength of our bonds has a significant impact on our mental health and happiness . Being socially linked to people can help us cope with stress, worry, and depression, increase our self-esteem, bring comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even add years to our life. However, a lack of strong social relationships can put our mental and emotional health at risk .

An increasing percentage of youth in North America live with significant and severe depression. According to a study conducted by MHA (mental Health America) in (year), more than 60% of teenagers with severe depression don’t receive any treatment for their mental condition.

In this study, we will explore the correlation between social media and its effect on mental health and the depression rate among teenagers. What is the impact of long connectivity hours on their daily mental status?

By understanding this information, we will be raising more awareness towards its risks and implication and hopefully find solutions and provide help to people who need it. I believe this topic is critical since a lot of people are going through this and feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it and express what they are going through, which makes their situation even harder when they think they are alone in this situation, which in turn can cause to amplify the adverse outcomes of the conditions . Shedding light on this and understanding the causes may help us find preventive ways to avoid these situations (Kao, 2021 ).

Literature review

Social media’s impact on mental health

One of the worst effects of social media, according to scientis ts, is the tendency of Facebook and other similar sites to induce jealousy. You watch your pals taking happy photos in exotic locations and modestly talking about their personal and professional achievements. Then you start to feel like your very own life doesn’t match up.

Of course, we all understand that our real-life identities and our carefully managed online selves are vastly different . However, it’s still all too easy to fall into the trap of allowing other people’s flawless social media profiles to convince you that you’re falling short.

People tend to post on social media everything that represents their ideal selfs. When c omparing their life to the content of other users on social media, some people experience false beliefs, which can lead to emotions of unhappiness and depression . Reaching users’ likes and follows, feeling left out for not being invited to events, and comparing self-importance images to one’s own photos are just a few scenarios (Robinson & Smith, 2021 ). As a result, disadvantaged people, such as those with mental health diagnoses, are more likely to be affected by social media, which can trigger mental health symptoms. Social media does not cause mental health issues, however, it’s one of the many factors that affect and contribute to the signs and severity of the psychological disorder . Engagement is one of the main barriers therapists face when attempting to reach vulnerable populations with diagnoses (Adler,2020). Although, social media may have a detrimental influence on certain people’s health, there are particular ways behavior analysts are using social media platforms to overcome these obstacles to care.


Meanwhile, because social media is global, everybody from anywhere in the world has access to it. While social networking has opened up new doors for communication, it has also opened up new avenues for bullying, such as harassment. Youth adapt to a different set of social rules when they connect with their classmates online than when they contact them in person. Because of their online privacy and the opportunity to escape punishment, they are often more aggressive or critical on social media. Furthermore, because they cannot see the actual consequences of their acts, internet bullies may experience less sorrow or empathy while engaging in these activities. Users who take abuse to the point where the victim commits suicide can have devastating consequences (Adler, 2020 ).

When teenagers faced social pressures, teasing, or bullying in the past, they might go home or withdraw from social events to avoid or escape these concerns. However, unlike a standard offline sett ing, social media may be done any time of day or night, from any location, and has the potential to reach a far bigger audience. This can result in a further separation of offline connections, a retreat from offline social engagement, an increase in loneliness, or depressive symptoms

Teens may not avoid the severe adverse impacts of social media use due to their weak capacity for self-regulation and vulnerability to group pressure. As a result, they are more likely to obtain mental disorders. However, research on the impact of social media on teenage psychosocial development is still in its early stages.

Youth can use social media to connect with others who share their interests and opinions to exchange ideas, information, and support. The relationships displayed on a social media page reveal the offline personality of the person. Social media accounts reveal a person’s character and personality based on social position, musical taste, hobbies, political affiliations, religious views, and other factors. According to these researchers, people will look at a social media pr ofile before meeting someone new offline to verify who they are and find shared social connections and interests. (Robinson & Smith, 2021).

They spend time online with their friends daily, compared to only 24% who say they spend time with their friends in person (outside of school or school-related activities) on daily basis, which is an essential part of an individual’s identity development begins with slowly separating themselves from their parents through socialization and strangers (Dentzel, 2020 ). The teenagers stated that they and their friends are too busy with other activities to find time to get together offline. A third of them said they don’t spend time with colleagues in person because of a lack of mobility.

Online and Offline

That’s a common thread in problem behaviors; people begin to rely on a rewarding habit to help them feel better while they’re dealing with bad feelings. A ccording to these student s, social media harms offline friendships, lowers in-person time spent together, and gives an incorrect perspective of others’ lives. Adolescence is a time of exploration of social interactions and the various roles of people within a society, which allows for the development of personality and a better understanding of both individual’s self and another’s social surroundings.

Statistics of youths facing mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder, continue to rise at alarming rates each year. Teenagers are a time of discovering social interactions; anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in today’s environment (Koehler, 2021).Their posted photographs and videos received likes and comments. In a modern environment, no one is immune to the effects of social media, and some teenagers develop anxiety as a result of social media, which leads them to want to react to and check all of their friends’ messages frequently.

Friendships emerge and dissolve with the same frequency as a youth, and a person may be befriended and unfriended online (Koehler, 2021). Commenting on a person’s Facebook page and connecting with their other friends is similar to going to a party with a buddy and meeting their other friends. Uploading photographs of happy memories on Instagram or Pinterest is similar to filling a locker with them. Gossip may spread just as quickly through Instagram or WhatsApp, or Facebook as it does through word-of-mouth. People use social networking sites to get a mood boost, and some people search for it constantly. They may be using bullying and spreading rumors on social media were the most common responses to the negative features of social media in order to earn likes, shares, comments, and retweets, and it’s feeding into that addicted behavior.

Online networking use can lead to fatigue, which can result to worry and sadness. People stay up late online, the light from the screen can disturb one’s circadian cycle, an d many people wake up in the middle of the night to check or react to messages, all of which interrupt sleep. Adolescents admit to using social media at night, even when it interferes with their sleep. They are concerned that if they do not use their phones at night, they will lose out on possible social contacts online, which they fear may harm them in in-person relationships. Youth also said that their friends expect them to be online and available at all hours of the day and night. They don’t want to break the social norm of responding to texts immediately; therefore, they don’t sleep through their messages. Many teenagers admit to sleeping with their phones and checking them frequently at night.

Implications for Teachers and Parents

Students are using social media at an accelerated rate than ever before, but they’re also becoming aware of some disadvantages, such as digital interruption in the classroom. We can learn ways to assist students in harnessing the pros while avoiding some of the risks by listening to their viewpoints. (Critchfield, 2020).

Because children lack self-control and are likely to feel stressed, social media sites may be dangerous places for them to “hang out.” Many parents are unfamiliar with popular social media platforms and how they operate. Due to the hectic busy schedules of many parents, many children are left alone on the internet, which can lead to difficulties.

In high school, t hey were regularly taught that what they post on social media may harm their college opportunities or land a decent career. Many of the lessons dealt with cyberbullying, sexting results, and embarrassing photos. While in high school, just a few students reported having favorable experiences with social media education. Students would have loved to see how social media may help them figure out who they are, how connections grow, and how to see and engage with the world(ACOG, 2016),

Support Online Learning : In any school, the advanced usage of social media platforms motivates and drives students to learn. YouTube has a lot of educational videos. Some of the primary features that contribute to academic progress include the usage of YouTube to view educational videos, simple access to e-books, online notes and learning via video chatting. Social Media has enabled distance learning, which is one of the most acceptable methods to study from a respected firm while being in any. There are several study groups online for various courses that students may join and benefit from.(Seosajjad,2021).

Strengthens the Innovative Component: Social Media aids in the development of creative talents in youth by allowing them to discover and then implement ideas on their own. When a student takes images and utilizes internet editing abilities to make them seem visually pleasing, their hidden gift is frequently uncovered. A large number of teenagers are also posting YouTube videos. Many students have unique interests that they document online through films and images, allowing them to see their potential as a profession. In any classroom, the use of social media may be a valuable source of instruction that motivates students to learn.

Every parent, teacher, or other people in a position of influence over children knows that what you do, not what you say, is more likely to be followed. That is to say; the essential thing is to provide an example of how to utilize healthy technology (Koa, 2021). While you’re meant to be spending quality time with your child, don’t check messages, emails, or social media. There are, of course, exceptions for urgent business and other pressing circumstances. If you must respond to a text or email during a family dinner, make sure you and your child understand that it is essential. When you select your phone over your child, you’re sending a strong message to them that the item you’re reacting to is more necessary than they are.

Parents should monitor their children’s internet activities daily to ensure that it is proper. Although it may be tempting to do this by constant surveillance, this might lead to an uneasy relationship between parent and kid. Parents should talk to their children about acceptable media use early on and develop a good connection with social media. Your kid will be more eager to come to you if they have a problem in this manner. One thing you can do is check in with your kids and let them know it’s okay to come to you if they’re being bullied online. Safe Teens has created a website with resources for dealing with cyberbullying. This webpage can be read and discussed with your children. (Robinson & Smith, 2021)

Make Electronics Time a priority. Every week, as a family, set aside a day to disconnect and live without your electronic gadgets. Yes, that is really important. Don’t be concerned. If you don’t check your messages or emails for a day, the world will not end. Start with a few hours if an entire day seems too much. Brunch at an outdoor café is a great idea. Instead of clicking, swiping, and thumb-typing, have a dialogue with one another. Take a trip to the beach. Feel the soft sand beneath your toes. Take a walk to the park and lie down on the grass. .

Adolescents might experience both decent and harmful effects from electronic media. Electronic media may be beneficial when used for education, good health information, and creating and maintaining social relationships. Despite these advantages, electronic media can be dangerous and cause health problems. The use of social media might be a proxy for other high-risk behaviors, alerting a midwife to the need to talk about other concerns, including sexuality, Virus prevention, and protection.

Declaration concerning social media’s influence

In today’s culture, individual use of social media plays an increasingly important role in students’ lives, and there have been multiple uses among students. Unfortunately, many students have been almost entirely involved in social networking, paying less attention to their academic work due to spending so much time on platforms rather than studying or engaging with colleagues one-on-one. Active and regular use of social media may impact their academics and hinder their transition into the workforce. The issue is concerning because parents are so concerned about their children’s social networking sites that they are tempted to overreact.(Tang & Alamsyah, 2021)

Active and regular use of social media may impact their academics and hinder their transition into the workforce. The scenario is concerning because, while parents are concerned about their children’s frequent use of social networking sites, they are more likely to spend time socializing, which allows them to do anything they want, publish whatever they want, and chat to anyone they want. Students’ social media usage while in school (learning) is multitasking (the capacity to perform several things at once).

Another issue with kids who use social media is that it hinders their development in school. These students would rather be in the virtual world than participate in extracurricular activities such as academic clubs and societies, quiz contests, debates, sports, and so on. Students in the adolescent stage are prone to mood swings and lack of self-control, which significantly impact their appearance and frequently cause concern or discomfort about their personality. Consistently thinking in this manner can lead to dissatisfaction.

The void that social networking studies will fill

Social media is a new and quickly changing phenomenon, and its application to disaster alerts, warnings, and other areas of emergency management is still in its early stages. However, there is a lot of interest in using social media because a significant portion of the population has adopted it. It allows for a new set of individuals between persons affected by disasters and those responding to them(Pittsburgh, 2017). Because social media will enable you to reach, nurture, and interact with your target audience regardless of their location, it is essential. When a company can connect with its audience through social media, it can increase brand awareness, lead generation, sales, and revenue.

While organizations continue to place a premium on social media platforms and their capacity to qualify and acquire leads, one component of social media marketing that is sometimes forgotten is its power to keep customers engaged with your brand and reduce churn. Brand engagement is at an all-time high, with the typical user spending more than 2 hours online. This means you’ve got a strong tool for evaluating customer expectations right beneath your social media postings! Although generally generic, the comment area can be a cost-effective approach to learn what your target audience wants from your content.

Whether we like it or not, social media has become an integral part of our children’s life. They mingle, experiment with their identities, exercise their voices, and learn about the world through picture and video sharing applications, instant messaging, and game conversations. Understandably, we want to keep our children safe when they’re online (Critchfield, 2020). However, suppose we allow our concerns about keeping our children safe to determine how we safeguard them. In that case, we risk neglecting to give them the skills they’ll need to navigate their online lives without our continuous supervision.(Critchfield, 2020)

Digital media facilitates social interaction and the engagement of people

People are connected in ways never previously imaginable because new platforms allow users to maintain connections beyond time and location. It will enable socially isolated or separated from their immediate physical community to connect with like-minded or in similar situations. Digital media also facilitates increased understanding by facilitating connection across social, economic, cultural, political, religious, and ideological divides.

In times of emotional distress, many people use social media platforms to show empathy and support friends and family. This improves people’s connections and their capacity to communicate and friends and family’s ability to recognize and assist loved ones in need. Social technology usage is associated with having a broader, more varied social circle and a more significant number of close confidants. (Novas & Seymour, 2021)

The future of social media

On the other hand, new media has an even more significant influence on society since many social media platforms are increasingly used for campaigning, advertising, and marketing. It has an impact on how we see the world and draw conclusions from it. The influence of modern media has produced plenty of new jobs, misinformation, and even optimism.

Nobody can dispute the popularity and relevance of social media these days since, for the past decade, people of all ages and genders have been utilizing various social media platforms for a variety of reasons. This demonstrates the breadth of Social Media’s appeal and its ability to reach out to everybody (seosajjad,2021). Twitter and Facebook users have risen faster and have a far greater ability to capture their attention. This is why people of all ages use these platforms to express themselves and for personal convenience.

The most positive aspect that has been noted is the extensive usage of social media by all nations, whether advanced or developing. This extends the reach of social media for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the field. According to analysts, most people use these platforms to stay up to speed on current economic, political, social, and international happenings.

Social media marketing has grown highly popular, and it has influenced marketers’ decisions about how valuable it is to publicize their products. Social media has become a powerful instrument of marketing in the genuine sense of client orientation. The reach of social networking is expanding, and it now provides powerful assistance to businesses in offering that much-desired touch of concern. The capacity to target specific groups of the audience is what distinguishes social media marketing. In reality, social media has become an important marketing instrument in the genuine sense of customer orientation.(Koehler, 2020)

Mark eting experts’ views on social media

Furthermore, as we all know, the need for digital marketing specialists, which includes social media, is increasing due to the importance of social media platforms in our everyday lives. They have sufficient knowledge, information, and abilities! Using the appropriate venue and platform to attract potential users (Umar & Idris, 2018). That is why every Marketing Expert looks for a Social Media Expert, and any young person aiming for a reputable career may benefit from the enormous scope of Social Media.

Social networking is an incredible boon, especially for business people. Fortunately, numerous social media platforms provide many benefits to this segment of society since they can target their potential clients quickly.

With the scope of Social Media and the support of these platforms, a businessperson may quickly launch their new items and receive rapid feedback from potential purchasers, allowing them to adjust their plans in accordance with their consumers’ expectations.

Humans are sociable creatures by nature. To prosper in life, we require the company of others, and the strength of our bonds has a significant impact on our mental health and happiness. Being socially linked to people can help you cope with stress, worry, and depression, increase your self-esteem, bring comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even add years to your life. On the other hand, a lack of strong social relationships can put your mental and emotional health at risk (MHA, 2020).

In this study, we will explore the correlation between social media and its effect on mental health and the depression rate among teenagers . What is the impact of long connectivity hours on their daily mental status?

Keles, Betul, Niall McCrae, and Annmarie Grealish. “A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents.” International Journal of Adolescence and Youth 25.1 (2020): 79-93.

McCrae, Niall, Sheryl Gettings, and Edward Purssell. “Social media and depressive symptoms in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review.” Adolescent Research Review 2.4 (2017): 315-330.

Coyne, Sarah M., et al. “Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study.” Computers in Human Behavior 104 (2020): 106160.

Seabrook, Elizabeth M., Margaret L. Kern, and Nikki S. Rickard. “Social networking sites, depression, and anxiety: a systematic review.” JMIR mental health 3.4 (2016): e5842.

Heffer, T., Good, M., Daly, O., MacDonell, E., & Willoughby, T. (2019). The longitudinal association between social-media use and depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults: An empirical reply to Twenge et al.(2018). Clinical Psychological Science7(3), 462-470.

Baker, D. A., & Algorta, G. P. (2016). The relationship between online social networking and depression: A systematic review of quantitative studies. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking19(11), 638-648.


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