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Negative Effects of Social Media on Health


Humans are social creatures who require the company of others to flourish, and the strength of their bonds has an impact on their general happiness and fulfillment. Websites and programs largely focused on communication, engagement, and collaboration are referred to as social media. People use social media to communicate with their friends, families, and the general public. On the other hand, businesses use social media platforms to market and promote their products and compile big data to forecast client patterns. While social media can help people communicate and learn more effectively, its negative effects on health should not be underestimated, as seen below.

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Mental Health

First, while many people love using social media to keep connected, excessive use can lead to feelings of worry, melancholy, and loneliness. Increased usage of social media causes inadequacies in life, which are then translated into social media insecurities. Depression and anxiety are more likely to develop and worsen as humans substitute in-person conversation with social media interactions. Negy et al. (2018) conducted a correlation analysis to determine the amount of time spent on social media, its importance, and people’s propensity to post for attention. According to the study, numerous participants were concerned about the potentially harmful impact of social media. Negy et al. (2018) discovered a direct link between excessive social media use and suicidality, loneliness, and a lack of empathy. There is a need to control social media use to avoid pressures and worries that negatively impact mental health, a global public health concern.


Second, cyberbullying, which takes the form of text messages and social media posts, harasses, intimidates, and threatens people to harm or isolate them. Cyberbullying victims frequently experience sociability, loneliness, loss of interest, and attention problems. According to Carvalho et al. (2018), cyberbullying is a hazard to the well-being of adolescents. Adolescents who were cyberbullied reported higher depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicidal behavior. According to Carvalho et al. (2018), cyberbullying perpetrators reported increased substance misuse, violence, and delinquent behaviors. Increased substance usage has been linked to health issues, including an increased risk of injury and death. Accidents, hazardous sexual conduct, and infections, such as AIDS and STIs, contribute to drug abuse-related injuries and deaths. Although cyberbullying constitutes a serious threat to one’s well-being, stakeholders have yet to put in place measures to address the issue.


Apart from cyberbullying and its effects on mental health, excessive social media use harms sleep patterns. Individuals can stay awake by checking social media posts and writing emails before bed. Devices influence the stimulating effects of blue light on sleep at night. While in use, screens emit blue light, which stimulates brain areas and increases attention. Alonzo et al. (2021) wanted to know how social media use before night influenced sleep quality in various ways. Sleep deprivation led to increased weariness at work or school, decreasing students’ efficiency and academic performance. The amount of time spent on social media impacts sleep quality (Alonzo et al., 2021). Social media applications have significantly impacted how people spend their time and connect in the communication arena. These apps are simple to use on smartphones and keep users interested with constant notifications, making them tough to control. Individuals’ health is impacted if they do not get enough and good sleep.


On the other hand, social media is a powerful communication tool utilized by businesses, with widespread effect. Not only can one listen to what others have to say on social media, but one can also respond to them. It is critical to recognize that social media has dominated the business and advertising worlds, with long-term implications for communication. Through the evolution of internet communication, Ardiansyah et al. (2018) highlighted customer socialization through social media peer communication as an effective marketing technique. Customer socializing influences purchasing decisions by boosting product involvement or encouraging customers to adhere to their social media peers. Nelson (2016), on the other hand, looked into the elements that influenced knowledge sharing within organizations. Social media platforms are used by businesses to share information and facilitate internal collaboration (Nelson, 2016). Any organization’s success depends on effective communication and data exchange.


Furthermore, social media encourages self-directed learning by allowing students to explore for answers and make decisions independently. Guided social media integration in the classroom improves learning outcomes and raises critical awareness. Students can get the knowledge that makes sense and interests them directly from social media. Rather than passively consuming content for exams, acquiring information directly enhances understanding. Moghavvemi et al. (2018) explore the importance of using videos and visual items for teaching in several universities worldwide in their research. Learners are primarily motivated to use YouTube as a learning tool because it provides instructional content and entertains them. If they are relevant to the subject, social media platforms are powerful learning aids that enhance the learning experience.

Social Media and Distractions

Although social media is a valuable tool for improving learning, it exposes children to distractions. Inappropriate content posted on educational, social media sites harms the school’s reputation. Increased use of social media in the classroom impacts students’ face-to-face interactions. Students and teachers gave excellent feedback on using Facebook, a social networking site, to create relationships, according to Lim and Richardson (2016). According to Lim and Richardson (2016), Facebook allowed students to create positive interactions outside of school since it allowed for simple sharing of data and information outside of the classroom. However, both students and teachers agreed that face-to-face learning is essential. Writing and reading are essential in classroom interactions and cannot be replaced. Traditional and new literacy should be combined to attain better results.

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Social Media and Poor Brand Image

Negative social media content can quickly devastate a company’s brand. Social media apps are the most immediate dangers to a company’s reputation, which negatively influence the financial and cultural spectrums. Corporates frequently collaborate with social media influencers to improve brand perceptions and drive traffic to their websites (Singh et al., 2020). Engaging brand influencers is frequently misunderstood as a form of manipulation, resulting in a detrimental impact on the institution’s trustworthiness and reputation. Spence et al. (2016) also looked at the risks of social media to corporate reputation, including how it can be harmed by customers, staff, and the company itself. Many businesses lack a real-time system for managing social media risks, greatly influencing their reputation. Stakeholders should be extremely vigilant when it comes to social media platforms to assess their performance and spot abnormalities that could affect businesses.


The impact of social media on various facets of life is a topic that will never go away. When used effectively, social media accelerates learning and improves corporate performance in the business environment. Excessive use of social media, on the other hand, causes cyberbullying, has an impact on mental health, and interrupts sleep habits, all of which are detrimental to people’s overall well-being. There is a need to regulate the use of social media to promote overall health and performance in various parts of life.


Alonzo, R., Hussain, J., Stranges, S., & Anderson, K. K. (2021). The interplay between social media use, sleep quality, and mental health in youth: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 56, 101414.

Ardiansyah, Y., Harrigan, P., Soutar, G. N., & Daly, T. M. (2018). Antecedents to consumer peer communication through social advertising: a self-disclosure theory perspective. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 18(1), 55-71.

Carvalho, M., Branquinho, C., & de Matos, M. G. (2018). Emotional symptoms and risk behaviors in adolescents: Relationships with cyberbullying and implications on well-being. Violence and Victims, 33(5), 871-885.

Lim, J., & Richardson, J. C. (2016). Exploring the effects of students’ social networking experience on social presence and perceptions of using SNSs for educational purposes. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 31-39.

Moghavvemi, S., Sulaiman, A., Jaafar, N. I., & Kasem, N. (2018). Social media as a complementary learning tool for teaching and learning: The case of YouTube. The International Journal of Management Education, 16(1), 37-42.

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Nelson, A. J. (2016). How to share “a really good secret”: Managing sharing/secrecy tensions around scientific knowledge disclosure. Organization Science, 27(2), 265-285.

Singh, J., Crisafulli, B., & Xue, M. T. (2020). ‘To trust or not to trust: The impact of social media influencers on the reputation of corporate brands in crisis. Journal of Business Research, 119, 464-480.

Spence, P. R., Sellnow-Richmond, D. D., Sellnow, T. L., & Lachlan, K. A. (2016). Social media and corporate reputation during crises: The viability of video-sharing websites for providing counter-messages to traditional broadcast news. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 44(3), 199-215.

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