The debate over the effects of social media on our health, relationships, and happiness has been ongoing for years, but there’s still no clear consensus among the experts as to whether it’s inherently good or bad. The reality is that social media can be both – and it all depends on how you use it. This article will explore the negative effects of social media in detail and reveal some of the less talked about side effects of social media addiction.
Social Medias Negative Effects
Social media has become a breeding ground for harassment, abuse, and bullying because people can hide behind their computer screens and say whatever they want without consequence. Anyone with an internet connection can anonymously bully others just by tweeting offensive remarks from their smartphone or posting cruel comments on someone’s Facebook status update. And while most people would never dream of making these types of statements face-to-face, they have much more confidence behind a keyboard where they feel protected by anonymity.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
People often compare their lives to others on social media, leading to low self-esteem and a lack of fulfillment. Those who spend too much time comparing themselves to others tend to believe that their life falls short in many areas. In fact, people who compare their lives regularly tend to report higher levels of stress and depression than those who don’t compare their lives at all.
3. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns
In addition to being distracting, social media has also been shown to negatively impact sleep. A study found that people who spent an average of five hours a day on social media reported higher levels of loneliness and lower levels of life satisfaction than those who didn’t use social media at all. Because loneliness can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, being active on social media may, in fact, be affecting your ability to rest. Not only does this make you tired during the day, but research suggests that irregular sleeping patterns can cause other side effects like weight gain and anxiety.
4. General Addiction
Social media also promotes addictive behavior by causing people to constantly seek new information and/or entertainment online. Excessive social media usage can be addictive, resulting in increased difficulty focusing on everyday tasks and even withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using. Withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, emotional instability, obsessive thoughts, and sleeplessness.
5. Negative Body Image
Social media causes people to become obsessed with their appearance, leading them to compare themselves to perfect-looking models in advertisements. As a result, they spend excessive time looking at images of photoshopped models instead of appreciating what makes them unique. This can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and a distorted body image.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to remember that anything consumed excessively can have side effects; social media is no exception. Keep these side effects of social media addiction in mind when deciding if your personal relationship with social media is healthy or not.