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How Social Media Use Could Affect Your Mental Health

You can stay in touch with pals near and far, publish updates to family and friends, and entertain yourself for hours with social media. However, as entertaining as social media may appear, there are significant drawbacks to long-term use. Here are some of the ways that social media might damage your mental health.

1. Problems With Impulse Control

Do you find yourself browsing continuously through your phone's social media feed? All you want to do is watch brief footage of "funny cats." Isn't it just one or two? It seems like only a few minutes have passed, but when you glance at the clock, you discover it has been many hours. Spending too much time on social media might make it difficult to concentrate and regulate your impulses. Which implies that if all you want to do is look at your phone, it may be more difficult to concentrate and study for that major test tomorrow.

2. Fear of Missing Out or ‘FOMO’

You're going through your Facebook page when you come upon an interesting post from a buddy. You become concerned when you realize that an exciting event is taking place somewhere and you are missing out. This is sometimes referred to as 'FOMO,' or 'fear of missing out.' Social media apps are always offering you the filtered and chosen "best versions" of people's lives. As a result, you may believe that your friends have a better life than you and that you are losing out on these life-changing experiences.

3. Self-Esteem Issues

Do you have low self-esteem as a result of spending a lot of time on social media? Even if you're aware that photographs have been filtered or changed, being exposed to them can make some people feel inadequate. Frequent use of social media might lead to excessive emotions of nervousness and dissatisfaction.

4. Depression

Anxiety and depression have been related to excessive usage of social media. According to a 2016 study in the United States, those who used social media just occasionally were three times less likely to experience depression symptoms than those who used it frequently and excessively. “[Social media] use was strongly connected with higher depression,” according to the study.

5. Isolation & Loneliness

Do you feel more alone when you log off of your social media accounts than when you log in? According to a 2018 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, the more time spent on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, the more lonely you may feel. Their findings showed that reducing your social media usage can make you feel less solitary than previously. Jordyn Young, a co-author of the study, noted that they "were actually able to prove a causal link between the two," suggesting that using less social media will make you less unhappy and lonely. Rather than just declaring, "If you use less [social media], you are less likely to be depressed," and make me feel less alone.” So, while five hours on Instagram may seem interesting at the time, it may just make you feel more lonely in the long run. Let's start with 30 minutes less per day. What are your ages? 40? 50? Eventually, a good ole 10 or 20 minutes here and there will suffice. Later, you may watch cat videos on Instagram.

So, do you recognize yourself in any of these symbols? Tell us in the comments section below!

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