Is Social Media detrimental to your Mental Health?
Can Social Media cause Anxiety and Depression?
As a GenZ I’m told all the time that where on our phones too much. Or that Social Media could rot your brain away. But does it actually? Or can it be really benefitical for you?
When researching this topic I came across the article which conducted a systematic study about the use of social media and mental health which is titled, Social Media Use and and its connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review written by Fazida Karim, Azeezat A, Oyewande, Lamis F, Abdalla, Reem Chaudhry Ehsanullah, and Safeera Khan.
They looked into 16 different papers, 8 were cross-sectional studies, 3 were longitudinal studies, 2 were qualitative studies, and others were systematic reviews. The main mental health concerns they were focusing on were anxiety and depression. The study found that overall, there were 3 main impacts from social media were time spent, activity and addiction to social media.
The Displaced Behavior Theory can help explain why social media has a connection with mental health the first place. The theory states that people who spend more time in sedentary behaviors such as social media use have less time face-to-face social media interaction, both of which have been proven to be protective against mental disorders.
The number of studies that have been conducted of any impacts have indicated that prolonged use of social media platforms such as Facebook may be related to negative signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. social media creates a lot of pressure to create the stereotype that others want to see as well as being as popular as others.
One of the reviews found that there was a gender association to social media and mental health. Females were found more addicted to social media compared to males. Another point that was made was that passively interacting with social media is more strongly associated with depression rather than actively making post.
Overall, this study have found that social media can have a detrimental effect on psychological health of it’s users. Although, the article points out that there are many unexplored aspects in this subject and the extent to which the use of social media impacts the public is to be determind.
Works cited: Karim F, Oyewande A A, Abdalla L F, et al. (June 15, 2020) Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Cureus 12(6): e8627. doi:10.7759/cureus.8627