Is social media harming or helping our mental health?

Social media has become an important part of our daily lives, connecting people across the globe and facilitating instant communication. While it has brought about positive changes in how we interact, share information, and build communities. However, with an increase in it’s usage, mental health issues like anxiety, depression and even suicide are on the increase.

One significant aspect to consider is the curated nature of social media content. For example, Instagram and twitter often present an idealized version of people’s lives, showcasing only the positive moments. And you should know that most people only post the positive aspects of their lives on social media. Some people unknowingly start to compare themselves with the perceived success they see online. This puts pressure on them and some of them lose it when their efforts are not commensurate with the results they see online.

Here’s something else you should consider: the role of social media on body image. We’re in a world where everyone (celebrities especially) has a banging body. And there’s probably a young woman who sees these pictures everyday. She looks at herself in the mirror and hates her face because she has acne or hates her body because she doesn’t have the curves she wants. Her self esteem is in the gutters!

When next you walk into a restaurant, take a quick survey of how many people are seated in twos yet still on their phones. Social media has eaten deep into our human interaction and relationships. This is why two people will be on a date and one of them will be watching Layi’s skit because of boredom. While it is true you can be connected to people globally through your phone, we’re fast losing the essence of genuine friendships and relationships and many people are lonely, depressed and sad.

On the flip side, social media can also serve as a platform for positive change and mental health advocacy. Many individuals and organizations use these platforms to share stories of resilience, promote self-love, and raise awareness about mental health issues. Also, many young people are now “young and making it” because of social media. There are tons of opportunities for freelancing and making good money. Making some extra dollars in this Tinubu economy definitely cures some depression. Whichever way you look at it, I think social media is doing more harm than good. Many young people have a negative perception about life. Why? Because of the things they see online. So, they live in a mirage trying to attain those perceived heights which they may never attain.

How can we help ourselves then?

I don’t know how to help you because I need help too. But I think with deliberate efforts to curb the addiction to social media, our mental health may be in a good place.For example, when you next go out with friends, try putting your phone off and actually talk to your friends. Also, stop scrolling through Twitter by 3am.

A Twitter user echoes my thoughts accurately when he said “sometimes go out and meet new people, drop your phone, take walks and travel. Life will be better for you

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