Published on Aug 30, 2023
10 Negative Effects Of Social Media | Tech Help Guide
Social media is rapidly changing and evolving. Over the past decade, social media have surged and considerably impacted people's lives. The availability of the internet and smartphones has increased social media usage in everyone's life.
It has come to the point that it is tough to live without social media. While it's fun to use social media for posting photos, stories, sharing your thoughts and experiences, and getting updated with the latest news and trends, you can fall into the dark side of social media too.
Social media applications such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter have made it thoughtful to connect to people worldwide. We can say that it has made a positive influence on our lives. But have you thought about the negative effects of Social media?
Can you recall the last time you put down your phone for 5 minutes and picked it up in less than a minute? Did you mindlessly scroll through the feed and post comparing your life to others? If so, you might have fallen victim to the negative side of social media.
To comprehend what negative effects social media has on people's lives, I have narrowed the 10 negative effects of social media below. Keep Reading it below.
10 Negative Effects Of Social Media
While there are many positive effects of social media, we have to look at its downside. Here are the 10 negative effects of social media on people's lives.
1.Anxiety and depression
One of the most prominent negative effects social media has on people is their mental well-being. Too much usage of social media apps can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety disorder and depression.
If you spend several hours on social media, it could adversely affect your mood and state of well-being. Nothing is as it seems, and it is primarily true in the case of social media.
People spending too much time on social media such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc., are more likely to experience mood swings, loneliness, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Reading and browsing through the unrealistic news, post, and photos videos of others can trigger your brain to compare your lives to theirs, which is necessarily not true, causing psychological distress.
2. Self-esteem and body image issues
Social media is full of people who try to show their best version possible, whether their lifestyle, status, job, or physical appearance. You can see many influencers and models on social media that portray the best lives and appearances.
Unfortunately, social media is changing the idea of how beauty is seen. The constant disclosure of unrealistic beauty standards and images and lifestyles on social media can generate feelings of overwhelmed in people's minds.
Comparing yourself to others online makes you feel low about your body image and can lead to body image issues, dissatisfaction, lessened self-worth. It can also develop eating disorders in some people, especially teenagers suffer from low self-esteem caused due to effects of social media.
Additionally, the use of photoshop, image editors and filters are easily available. The heavily edited photos through these editors create unrealistic body images, and people tend to judge their own appearances.
3. False Sense of Connection
Social media allows us to link with people in many ways, and it is a useful application for many different things, but it is a dangerous platform. Social media makes it difficult to distinguish between reality and the fake world.
Do you regularly check your favorite vlogger's videos or that perfect model's daily routine? If so, you may have a feeling that you know them well. But in reality, this isn't true.
We assume we know someone's life story by seeing their photos, videos, stories and posts, tweets they share, but the reality is that social media shows people showcasing their best version forward.
People assume they are close to their fans, friends, and followers, but they may be fake friends on social media in truth. People feel connected to others through their posts, friendships, and even relationships that get portrayed as authentic in the virtual realm of social media and create a false sense of intimacy and connection.
Social media has made it possible to communicate effortlessly and make friends from all over the world. While it allows us to interact with people, friends, followers, it also enables cyberbullies and predators to terrorize and ruin their mental and physical health.
Cyberbullying has taken its toll with the availability of the internet and multiple numbers of social media. Cyberbullying can take your mental, emotional and social health to a downside level. Teenagers and adults also often fall victim to cyberbullying and cyber-flashing.
Online bullies and friends masking as anonymous users can misuse innocent users, blackmail them that can create deep mental scars, and even compel people to self-harm in some cases.
5. Social Media Addiction
Do you feel the impulse to check your social media app constantly? Or do you use social media to forget about your personal problems? You may be a social media addict, not less than a drug or other substance addict in these cases.
Social media is undoubtedly addictive, with all the latest trends, posts, stories, gossip, friends' whereabouts, but too much consumption and usage of social media can lead to social media addiction.
Suppose you're constantly checking notifications to count the likes, comments, shares, followers and get validated with these. In that case, you feel as if it is rewarding and you have achieved something, which makes you use social media more.
Social media addiction can lead to negligence of your personal life, concealing addictive behavior, stalking others excessively promoting unhealthy behaviors.
6. Irregular Sleep Patterns
We can't refuse the fact that we use our social media apps before bedtime. You are scrolling through the feed, laughing at the funny videos posts, and it's already 2 AM. The yearning to check social media before bed may be too hard to resist.
Using social media before sleeping can affect your sleep patterns. Even when you're asleep and wake up in the middle of the night, you want to check your social media accounts to see any updates. This can interrupt your sleep time, making you feel unrefreshed, unproductive, and drained the next day.
The blue light emission from the mobile screens is harmful to the eyes, and constantly checking your social media accounts during the night can even lead to insomnia, a sleep condition.
7. Unrealistic views
Whenever you open social media apps, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, or Titktok, you can see tons of images, posts, travel vlogs and think how exemplary their lives are. All you want is their perfect body, but nobody knows what happens behind the screen of social media.
The portrayal of idealistic views on body image, extravagant lifestyle has a severe negative impact on the mentality of people. It can alter people's relationships with others in real life, causing low self-esteem.
It has gone so far that teenagers opt for extreme ways to lose weight or attain muscle fast but are clueless about body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and several other mental and health subjects.
Also, the depiction of friendship and couples shows that relationships aren't viewed as they are in reality. It may create serious relationship issues through impractical and non-viable expectations and can negatively impact the sense of self-worth, confidence, and well-being.
8. Fear Of Missing Out
Fear of Missing out (FOMO) is a common term used nowadays on the internet and social media, where people fear missing out on essential activities if they don't open and be active on social media.
People experiencing FOMO think that everyone they know is having a great time outside, partying, traveling, living luxurious lives, meeting up with friends, and you're the only one missing all those enjoyments.
The more active people are on social media, the more FOMO they experience. It can cause psychological distress in their minds and damage their physical and mental health.
The feeling of FOMO can lead people to feel low, stressed, unproductive, exhausted, and often develop the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
9. Social Media Narcissism
Is social media turning people into narcissists? Yes, Social media is shaping today's generation into a bunch of narcissists and egomaniacs.
Narcissism refers to the state where one feels a heightened sense of self-importance, that they should be treated special and deserve the best. Higher usage of social media is associated with narcissism.
Excessive use of social media apps to post frequent selfies and videos and share their every detail is often related to narcissist behavior. This leads them to think that others are interested in their lives and want others to know what they are doing.
People with social media narcissism seek affection and attention from others. They validate themselves with the number of likes, followers, shares on their social media platforms.
10. Toxic Comparison
It's fundamental human nature to compare ourselves to others, and positive comparison can help our well-being and growth. But toxic comparison, as seen chiefly on social media nowadays, is one of the negative effects of social media.
Everything looks perfect in the world of social media; those picture-perfect bodies, lifestyle, travel adventures, luxury social life, and success. And seeing these unrealistic lifestyles can generate unhealthy comparisons of their lives with others.
Toxic and unhealthy comparisons can be damaging to an individual's self-esteem, self-image, and overall well-being. It can promote competitive and judgemental behavior toward others in an unhealthy manner. And such toxic comparison can increase the feeling of inferiority, envy, self-criticism, remorse, and regret.
While social media provides many advantages, such as connecting with others, building relationships, and learning new things, it can also negatively impact both physically and mentally.
With the increasing rate of social media users, social media will likely be there for the rest of our lives. So it is necessary to learn about the negative effects of social media, how it affects our reality.
Thus, it is necessary to ensure that we are not fully immersed in the online world and reach a point where we can't differentiate between reality and social media. We should recognize where to draw the line, as not all things on social media are true.
Frequently Asked Questions
i.What are the negative effects of social media on students?
Some negative effects of social media on students are irregular sleep, eye strain, damaging body image, symptoms of anxiety and depression, isolation, cyberbullying, FOMO(Fear of missing out), JOMO(Joy of missing out), and more.
ii. Why should we use social media less?
Spending more time on social media can negatively impact our mental health and increase the risk of anxiety and depression, negative body image, loss of self-worth, and poor sleep patterns. Watching the unrealistic portrayal of beauty, success and lifestyle can make you feel like you've not accomplished anything in life.
iii. What are the positive and negative effects of social media on society?
The positive effects of social media on society are:
- Easier to connect and make friends
- Fosters empathy and kindness
- Spreading business
- Gaining support
The negative effects of social media on society are:
- Impact on mental well-being
- Increase risk of depression, anxiety
- Decreased social interaction
- Self-harm and suicide
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