A person cannot escape the presence of social media. It is everywhere. People are always logging onto sites such as Facebook or Instagram to check their likes and see if they have messages. According to Helen Lee Schifter, people are developing a social media addiction including children and teens. There are some ways that social media is affecting the mental health of this younger generation.
Feelings of Inadequacy
When a person is viewing posts on social media they tend to feel insecure. They look at the fun things that other people are doing and then they look at their life. While people share the highlights from their life it can make others feel like they are not worthy. They may have feelings of envy and this is not good for stable mental health.
A study that was completed by the University of Pennsylvania found that using social media will increase a feeling of loneliness. People that use social media try to find friends and connect with others but it does not happen. Some people and some teens may only have social media as their outlet to connect. The use of social media increases loneliness and will harm overall well-being.
Depression and Anxiety
Humans need to be able to interact with others in person to stay healthy. All humans are social creatures and they do need interaction. Social media is taking away from this in person interaction. People are more focused on what is going on over the internet than what is happening in their reality. A person that uses social media is at an increased risk for depression including young people.
Cyberbullying is on the rise. Now a teen cannot escape from their bully. Around 10 percent of teens report that they have been bullied on social media. Many other teens have stated that they have been the victim of hurtful comments. This is a major issue with teens. Rumors and lies that are posted online are harming the mental health of young people. They may be feeling these emotional scars for years to come.
Teens and other young people are becoming more self absorbed than others. Social media is leading them to think that they are the center of the world. People are constantly sharing on social media. Everyone wants to post the best selfie. They are sharing their thoughts and feelings for the world to see. While some may see this as an outlet it is very unhealthy. They are losing touch with real-life connections and friends.
The consent use of social media is harming the mental health of both adults and young people. Social media addiction is serious and something needs to be done to help stop this addiction and allow people to develop more connections with real life. This will help stop the decline in mental health due to social media.