negative effects of social media on mental health

There’s almost 3.8 billion social media user globally. It allows us to stay connected with friends and family than at other times in history.

Social media can have both a negative and positive effect on the state of mental health. Most people want to find out the impact of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube on people’s mental health.

Recently, Facebook, which currently has 2.07 billion active users, understands that social media can have a negative impact on a user’s mental health.

According to research, 90% of young people between the ages of 14 and 25 are using social media networks. Besides, rates of insomnia and mental health disorders for the same age group have increased by 70% in the past 25 years. Therefore, social media seems to have a very detrimental effect on the new generation’s mental health. Let’s explore them.

Negative effects of social media on mental health

  1. Social media can cause anxiety and depression.

A recent systematic study by a medical psychologist at Lancaster University in the UK looked at social media’s effects on consumers’ mental health. He revealed that social media use could lead to depression, especially when study participants compare themselves to other users.

Another new study found that the use of social media platforms was associated with anxiety and depression. In particular, the study found that those who used social media platforms the most had a higher risk of depression than those who used social media platforms less.

Interestingly, research has shown that using multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with stress and anxiety than spending time online.

  • Social media can lead to FOMO.

When you look at pictures of friends laughing at you on social media, it is a form of social anxiety. The form (fear of missing out) becomes more common. 

The results of a study by Przybylski and colleagues show that FOMO is associated with a decrease in mood, unsatisfied life, and the need to search social networks and retrieve messages. According to a recent #StatusOfMind survey of around 1,500 adolescents and young adults published by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health, a photo-based social media platform, Instagram, is sturdily affiliated with FOMO.

  • Social media can lead to sleep disruption.

According to new research conducted by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and supported by the National Institute of Health, spending more time on social media with teens increases their risk of developing sleep problems and symptoms of depression. Although the study suggests a link between social media use and sleep problems. However, researchers are concerned about the cause and effects of social media use on sleep quality.

Besides, artificial light sources such as telephone screens have been shown to interfere with the body’s circadian rhythm and interfere with sleep. Blue light naturally promotes sleep and blocks melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle.

  • Social media can lead to negative body image.

Earlier, magazines and television were accused of presenting false and invincible “ideas,” but now social media is not far behind. However, many social media platforms make it easier for us to gain approval for our appearance or compare ourselves with others. Not much is known about the harmful effects of heavy social media use.

  • Social Media can be addictive.

Scientists have found that the use of social media, such as liking and commenting on posts, and social interactions with social media platforms, releases dopamine into the brain (this explains we love to receive new notifications new ideas). 

Researchers have also found that social media platforms such as Facebook can allow rewards and action on specific brain areas. It allows us to be more active on social media. Our social media does not share all the features of drugs or gambling. Studies show that quitting social media can also lead to a return of people who frequently use social networking sites.

Hopefully, you’re well aware now of the negative impact of social media on our health. Let’s discuss a few tips to overcome the negative aspects of social media on mental health.

Tips to avoid the negative effects of social media on our mental health.

Here are tips you can do on your own, with the help of loved ones, or alongside a counselor to help manage a social media addiction. 

  • Set the timer to use

Facebook and Instagram have timers to monitor usage. They can alert you when you reach certain limits. When connecting to the Internet, it may be helpful to set a timer on your phone or other devices. Try using it for 15 minutes at a time.

  • Schedule a specific time (or pair) to verify your account

As mentioned earlier, this is very helpful. Plan your day. For example, use social media platforms for 15 minutes after breakfast, 15 minutes in the afternoon, and 15 minutes before 3 hours of sleep.

  • Install website blockers

These are web-browsing apps and add-ons. It allows you to choose sites and/or apps you can use. You will also find blockers that restrict access to certain times of the day and/or days of the week.

Other Tips and Ideas for Reducing Social Media Addiction and Creating Healthy Habits:


  • Stop following negative, scary, trolling, or click-byte pages.
  • Allow them to go online as a reward for completing a particular task.
  • Remove the application from your mobile phone and access your computer only when someone else is watching it.
  • Find a responsible partner. This is great for people who have no problems.
  • Think of social media that fills your life and other ways to fill it.
  • A journal to express and discover your feelings.
  • Contact with your friends and families from other sources, such as:
  • Write a real letter – everyone loves to receive emails
  • Call someone
  • Arrange to meet someone for coffee or lunch
  • Take regular walks with friends
  • Join a social group
  • Send a text message
  • Create a photo album or photo album to post online
  • Take a walk or exercise.


The correlation between the almost universal use of social media among adolescents and young people and the dramatic increase in mental health disorders in recent years is undeniable. Therefore, it seems appropriate to dedicate efforts to create rules that can further regulate the behavior of social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Equally important, however, is to strive to create educational resources and tools to teach the ever-connected new generation how to use social media healthily and effectively to maximize losses.

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