Gul Rukh

With technology sneaking into our daily lives and being insistent upon bringing any kind of comfort imaginable to help us make our lives more convenient, the emergence of smartphones and social media has brought so many changes, for good as well as for bad.

Since with a surge in low-cost Internet connections and affordable smartphones, social media has become a haven for people, alienating them from the people and surroundings around them.

And no doubt that human beings subsist on interaction with each other helping them feel connected and more energetic and that’s what social media offer but little do they know that spending a lot more time than they should, on it can cause more harm than good.

As the saying goes that; ‘excess of everything is bad. Likewise, an unhealthy obsession with your smartphones can lead to more destruction of your mental health in the long run. Since it’s a slow poison because you don’t observe or feel the changes in your behavior or mental health at once. It acts slowly in deteriorating your inner peace but when once the harm is done, it will take you years to undo the mental destruction it has caused.

If we talk about the effects of social media on mental health, first of all, it attacks your patience level and attention span.

With continuous scrolling and swiping up everything, you pay little attention to the content that comes your way and become more anxious about the posts, images, or videos that await your attention.

Moreover, it makes you feel rather dissatisfied with everything. Because of that short attention span, nothing seems to quench your thirst for getting some valuable information.

Besides, multiple studies have found that excessive use of social media can trigger depression, loneliness, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and even self-pity.

Because one thing is for sure that nobody fancies posting about their low times on social media. All they post about is their success such as an exciting promotion at work, the place they are spending their vacation at, a day out with their friends, and even pictures of their food and the restaurant they are dining in.

Having all such posts thrown onto your face as soon as you log in to your social media account, especially Instagram, could make you feel the less privileged one and far behind in this whole rat race, hence ending up attacking your mental peace and stability.

Apart from that, the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram trick you into believing that every minute something important is happening around your community and you need to keep a constant check on it no matter what the circumstances are, thus ending up making you glued to your mobile screens for the updates, all day long.

There is a special term for the said situation called FOMO meaning Fear Of Missing Out. Because of which a person tends to return to their social media accounts throughout the day, over and over again.

In addition to that, a person who feels mentally unstable is advised to have a one on one in-person conversation with their loved ones, as it helps them distract from unpleasant thoughts and elevate their mood but according to multiple studies majority of depressed people crawl further into their shells and find refuge in social media instead, which doesn’t help them a bit in having control over their mental situation. Thus leaving the person more self-centered and isolated.

Social media platforms can be hotspots for spreading rumors, lies, and hurtful comments commonly known as cyberbullying. According to studies, 10 percent of youth report being bullied on social media. The practice of humiliating people based on their appearances is way common as if sitting on the other side of the screen gives you a certificate of taunting and hurting the feelings of others which can cause the victim to have long-lasting emotional scars as they have no control over the painful comments people post about them.

To curb social media use, you need to make sure to cut it back up to 30 minutes a day, for that will surely help you improve your mental health.

You can bring the following tips in practice for this purpose such as not bringing your phone to bed, disabling social media notifications, turning off your phone daily for a certain period and read a book or take a walk instead, spending more time with real-life friends, which, for sure, will bring a drastic change in your mental health.