7 Signs Social Media Affects You and Your Mental Health

May 30, 2023 | Live it Not in it

7 Signs that Social Media is Messing up Your Mental Health

The birth of social media has been helpful to us in many ways. It created a way for families and friends to stay connected despite being away from each other, and it also paved the way for businesses to thrive on different platforms. But when does social media become unhelpful? How do you know that social media is interfering with your mental health? 

The Social Media Influence

Social media has a way of making us feel good. When people “like” our posts, someone writes a nice comment on our pictures, and even watching cats play-fight makes us laugh for some reason! However, being on social media all the time has its repercussions. So, what are the signs that social media is negatively affecting you? Here’s what we found out. 

1. You constantly compare yourself with other people.

We cannot deny that people on our Facebook friend list post the best things in their lives. It could be vacation pics, a new car, a new home, and the list goes on. When you compare your life with them, be warned that social media is messing with the way you portray reality. What’s worse is that you forget that they curate the best image of themselves in their posts. It’s not always the case, you know. 

2. You miss good sleep. 

Spending most of your time online makes you lose track of time. One minute you are scrolling through Facebook, and then the next thing you know, you are giggling on Tiktok videos at 2 am! You missed going to bed on time, again. The lack of sleep can have a severe impact on your mental health. If this happens often, the long-term effects could be detrimental to your overall health.

3. You spend more time online than with real-life friends. 

Sure, social media connects people, but when you spend time with friends in real life and feel like you still want to be online, it affects your mental health. 

4. You prefer social media over living life. 

One way to know that social media is taking over your mental health is you constantly spend your time in it rather than doing something productive. You miss out on real life, schoolwork, assignments, and if you are working, properly executing your job may become a problem for you. 

5. You engage in risky behaviors just for the likes. 

Dopamine is released in our brains when we receive “likes” on our posts, making us feel good [1]. So each time we get a like or a positive compliment, this neurotransmitter is fired up. Let’s be honest; getting positive feedback can be addicting. So what do you do to get that kind of reaction? Do something risky so that people can “like” what you have posted. The more you do this behavior, the more it affects your decision-making. 

6. You feel anxious, sad, or depressed after scrolling through social media. 

Have you ever felt more sad or lonely whenever you post through social media but cannot fully explain why? However, this is not all in your head. Studies show that there is a correlation between the use of social media and your mental health. Among the symptoms are low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression [2]

7. You tend to do everything with social media.

Can’t enjoy a cup of coffee without taking a picture of it first? How about finding the right angle for your selfies? Are you constantly looking for the perfect lighting for taking pictures of your food? – if this is you daily, then you are letting social media take over your life. It is not a healthy way to enjoy the little things anymore. 

Take a Social Media Time Out!

Social media connects all of us, and in many ways, it has been helpful. However, if you find yourself too distracted and overwhelmed by it, it’s time to disconnect and detox from these platforms. Giving yourself time off social media is healthy, and prioritizing your mental health is more important. Hopefully, the list above gives you a better view of things and helps you take the needed time out. Good luck!