Is Social Media Bad for Mental Health?

By Esperanza Hernandez
     The revolutionary internet platform known as social media has fundamentally altered how individuals view the world and has ingrained itself into our culture. Social media has evolved into an essential instrument for everyday social interaction due to the expansion and evolution of technology. While social media has greatly benefited our society, it has a substantially detrimental effect on teenagers. Teenagers’ mental health has been negatively impacted by social media, and this generation is becoming more and more antisocial.
      Social media has improved communication, but it also has negative effects on teenagers’ social skills and interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal communication is deteriorating, and relationships are being damaged. Young individuals who use social media experience physical isolation and lack in-person engagement. Over the past six years, children’s communication methods have undergone a significant adjustment. Nowadays, most teenagers prefer texting their friends over in-person interaction. Teenagers are less reluctant to express their opinions and engage in conversation because most engagement takes place online. Additionally, they choose to spend less time in person with their friends, which impairs their ability to communicate and interact with others. The success of teenagers’ future work as well as their daily interactions depends on their capacity to communicate. Utilization of social networking sites decreases both the amount and quality of in-person interactions. Teenagers opt to spend the majority of their time online, preventing them from having meaningful interactions with their friends and family. The basis of their relationships suffers as a result of their loved ones’ inadequate communication.
     Teenagers now use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat in large numbers. Young adults’ mental health is negatively impacted by frequent usage of these websites, and as a result, mental disorders are more prevalent in this age range. According to a study, teenagers aged 14 to 17 who spend more than seven hours per day on social media are more than twice as likely to experience depression. Teenagers spend the majority of their day on social networking sites, where they may view the images and material that their classmates upload, which encourages social comparison. As a result, it encourages young people to over-analyze themselves, which lowers their self-esteem and negatively affects how they perceive their bodies. This can result in sadness and anxiety. However, over 43% of teenagers report feeling under pressure to share things on media platforms that make them look good.     Teenagers today squander their precious sleep because they are so dependent on social media. Major mental health problems like depression and anxiety are associated with sleep deprivation. According to a study on high school students, every hour of sleep loss was linked to a 38 percent higher risk of feeling depressed and a 58 percent higher chance of having suicidal thoughts. This is major. Suicide has gone up extremely in the past decade social media being one of the causes.      Suicide has become a major pandemic in today’s society. In the US, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24. In high school, 9% of students have attempted suicide, and close to 20% have had serious suicidal thoughts. Cyberbullying on social media happens to many people. 37% or so of teenagers between the ages of twelve and seventeen have experienced online bullying. 30% have experienced it more than once. This may lead a lot of teens to develop depression and possibly have suicidal thoughts.
     In conclusion, social media has a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and can overall cause many problems with a person’s communication skills, mental health, sleep, and self-esteem. It can be fun but it’s better to stay away or limit your time on social websites to lower the negative effects of it.