Social Media has undoubtedly taken over the world and adversely creating some negative impacts on users and other platforms. Many of us have become so accustomed to social media that it is hard to remember when it was not innate to our lives,
Over the last decade, the amount of time spent on social media and in front of screens has slowly yet steadily increased, arousing the interest of many health professionals trying to understand its impact on human health.
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Facebook is currently the largest online social network in the world and plays active role in connecting people from distinct geographical regions and with diverse cultural backgrounds. According to statistics Facebook monthly active users currently exceed 1.79 billion and daily active users passed 1.18 billion as at September 2016.
Even as Facebook has become an integral part of people’s daily life, it is important we understand the mental impact of using Facebook. A research which is being hailed as the most trustworthy scientific assessment of social media’s effects, suggests that quitting Facebook is unequivocally positive for one’s mental health. This leaves us with the question:
Is Facebook Bad For Your Mental Health? Some Mental Effects of Facebook You Must Know
- Facebook Envy: People trend on Facebook through their posts. They show off their cars, houses, cloths etc. Comparing yourself with them by stalking their aesthetically perfect Facebook photos or staying up to date with their relationship status could do little to assuage your feelings of self-doubt and envy. Many people suffer from Facebook envy with those who abstained from using it reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives. This is why When we derive a sense of worth based on how we are doing relative to others, we place our happiness in a variable that is completely beyond our control. Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence and rids off envy.
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- Decreasing our Memory Level: It is a good thing that Facebook helps us recollect past events, pictures, stories, etc. However, it can also distort the way in which you remember certain tidbits from your life. We have been made used to pictures and arts daily on Facebook all the while without actually absorbing the firsthand experience of witnessing it with your own two eyes. When we direct all of our attention toward capturing the best shots for our social media followers to admire, we will be less available to enjoy other aspects of the experience in real time.
- Misplaced Attention: While it’s incredible to consider the amount of information readily available in Facebook, it also means that people have become far more easily distracted. At offices, schools, places of worship etc, people lose attention to Facebook rather than concentrating more at this centers. If you’re unable not to check your phone for at least a few minutes, then you’d do well to practice exercising your willpower on occasion.
- Bargaining with sleep: Having enough sleep is paramount. However, many of us prefer scrolling and chatting on Facebook too soon before choosing sleep, making it harder to doze off. Getting worked up with anxiety or envy from what we see on Facebook keeps the brain on high alert, preventing us from falling asleep. In addition, the light from our mobile device just inches from our face can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired to sleep.
- Human Communication: As human beings, it’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another. However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.
- Addiction: Research has it that quitting Facebook was more difficult than quitting cigarette or alcohol. This makes it even more harmful. The desire to subscribe and stay on the platform is a function of this addiction.
Not only has Facebook been proven to cause unhappiness, but it can also lead to the development of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression when used too much or without caution.
Deleting and quitting from Facebook causes small but significant improvements in well-being, and in particular on self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety.