JUDGING YOUR JUDGMENT – HOW SOCIAL MEDIA COMPARISONS CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
It’s just a fact of life that many people, especially young people, spend a lot of time on social media. There have also been a number of studies that show that spending too much time on social media can be detrimental to a person’s mental health.
Many adolescents and celebrities have wisely taken what’s known as social media breaks, where they step away from constantly checking their Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as taking a break from other people’s social media accounts as well.
There’s a number of reasons why taking breaks from social media are important for your mental and emotional well-being, and here’s why…
Social Media and Mental Health
A recent report on NBC News tells us that people born after 1995 have been experiencing a sharp increase in mental health problems, and one of the reasons has been the rise of social and digital media.
As this report explains, “The research, published by the American Psychological Association, found sharp increases in the number of young adults and adolescents who reported experiencing negative psychological symptoms – specifically in those born in 1995 or later, known as iGen. Coincidentally, the greatest spike in symptoms occurred in 2011, around the same time social media burst onto the scene. No corresponding increase was observed in older adults.”
The fact that there’s been a big jump in mental health problems in recent years coinciding with the rise of social media is alarming. The connection is clear. Spending too much time on social media can absolutely be detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem.
Perspective Beyond the Internet
It’s easy to forget that while the internet can bring the world to your fingertips, a lot of what you can see on the net is a very narrow vision of things. What you’re seeing is only a small part of a very big picture, and it’s important not to get tunnel-visioned.
One of the most important hazards to avoid in social media is what’s called “compare and despair.” So many people see others on social media living such great lives, but that’s only a tiny piece of somebody’s life, and it may not be the reality of their lives at all.
In the age of the internet, a lot of people mistakenly think that appearance is a reality, and they’re only seeing things on a superficial level. So many people think the grass is greener on the other side, but we’re not around these people every day, so how can any of us really know for sure?
The internet and social media are important tools, and they can be used for a lot of good. But it can also have a negative effect on people. It all depends on how much time you’re comparing yourself to other people you assume are better looking and are supposedly living better lives than you are, when that may not be the reality at all.
Taking a break from social media is becoming a growing trend among many people, especially celebrities, and it will hopefully be a growing trend in society in general. Breaks from social media give people perspective, a clearer look into reality, and it can be much healthier for all of our lives overall.