Social media platforms have expanded a lot during the past decade. In the beginning, they were very simple, and they mostly only had one purpose, or the purpose we were made to believe… which was connecting people.

Nowadays, they are way more complex with other intentions. For example, advertisement is one of the major purposes and uses of social media. Yet, besides all these good intentions, there are some major negatives to it. Not only has social media been proven to cause unhappiness, but it can also lead to the development of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression when used in mindlessness or without awareness.

When people feel lonely or socially isolated, they use these platforms to escape their isolation and feel less lonely, people spend a lot of time on social media isolating themselves from rest of the world. Mindlessly scrolling through our social media feeds when we have a few spare minutes or some hours. We are already witnessing people with their heads down on their phones all the time in public. So, the social media platforms may not be a very good help in connecting people after all.

Unrealistic social media comparison and envy could cause a drop in mood. Passively using social media, and just lurking in people’s posts and stories could cause this problem. The truth is that some people enjoy showing off the highlights of their life. Many people portrait their lives as just perfect with no flaws. They are always happy, and their lives are full of great achievements. The problem is that people sometimes tend to forget that what is shown to them on social media is only a part of someone’s life and not all of it. Thus, we start to feel envious when we compare our everyday lives with other people’s highlight which is all social media really is. When you start to compare yourselves with others it makes you feel inferior to them. One solution for this problem is to limit your time and usage of passively using social media. Choose what content you want to see on your feed and ignore the rest. Accept yourself for who you are, and always remember that what you see is not completely the reality of someone’s life.

The other thing that social media effect is sleep. The mobile devices and computer monitors used to view social media websites all emit high degrees of blue light. This artificial light disrupts healthy sleep cycles. The blue light included in artificial light is the most damaging to humans. Browsing social media before bed is no longer simply distracting you from sleep, but also it can literally stop you from being sleepy at all.

In conclusion, social media has some benefits too. It obviously keeps us connected across great distances and helps us find people we had lost touch with years ago. But getting on social when you are bored or need an emotional lift, is likely a very bad idea. Depression can be caused by heavy usage of social media or feeling envious towards other people’s, achievements. Isolation is another problem. You may be isolated because of your heavy usage or use social media because you are isolated. Furthermore, sleep deprivation because of the blue light that comes from our screen could also be a threat to our health. Lack of enough sleep could also lead to depression and anxiety. Social media could also be so distracting. Getting numerous notifications from your accounts distracts you from your daily activities to just check what is happening online. All these issues are preventable only if you could have self-control on your behaviors. Controlling and determining how often you should check your accounts is the key factor in this subject.

The dark side of social media by Syeda Shireen.

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