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Social Media and Associated Mental Health Risks

Social media is an integral part of the life of young people in the modern world. According to statistics, 97% of teenagers from 13 to 17 years old use such platforms, and 45% say that they spend almost all their free time on the Internet (Teens and social media, 2019). This frequent use of social media can lead to the development of depression, anxiety, and feelings of dissatisfaction.

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Adolescent Using Social Media
Fig. 1. Adolescent Using Social Media (Robinson, Bailey & Byrne, 2017).

Adolescents and young adults can use social media for both communication and entertainment, which allows them to engage in networking and build valuable connections. However, frequent or overuse of such platforms has a number of negative consequences. Research suggests that asocial media use for more than three hours a day by adolescents is associated with a “heightened risk for mental health problems” (Teens and social media 2019). Additionally, overuse and strong emotional connection with such platforms often lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances (O’Reilly et al., 2018). Young adults also report a decrease in life satisfaction with frequent passive viewing of other people’s photos on social media (Teens and social media, 2019). This activity also leads to feelings of loneliness and perception of one’s life as not happy enough.

It is noteworthy that young adults are aware of the negative consequences of using Internet platforms, but they focus on more non-obvious aspects. O’Reilly et al. (2018) identify that despite the prevailing negative perception of social media in relation to mental health in society, adolescents themselves are aware of the dangers of excessive use of these platforms. In particular, an interesting finding from the study is that young adults view social media from the perspective of the threat of cyberbullying (O’Reilly et al., 2018). Adolescents exposed to this activity by peers experience high levels of stress as well as anxiety and problems in socialization.

Excessive use of social media leads to an increased risk of developing mental illness. In particular, adolescents may be susceptible to the development of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, such platforms can lead to feelings of loneliness, dissatisfaction, and impaired socialization. Social media can become a tool for cyberbullying, which causes great harm to adolescents and is a serious threat in modern society. Thus, for all the virtues of social media, they can also have a negative impact when used excessively.

References

O’Reilly, M., Dogra, N., Whiteman, N., Hughes, J., Eruyar, S., & Reilly, P. (2018). Is social media bad for mental health and wellbeing? Exploring the perspectives of adolescents. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23(4), 1-13. Web.

Robinson, J., Bailey, E., & Byrne, S. (2017). Social media can be bad for youth mental health, but there are ways it can help. The Conversation. Web.

Teens and social media use: What’s the impact? (2019). Mayo Clinic. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 11). Social Media and Associated Mental Health Risks. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-media-and-associated-mental-health-risks/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social Media and Associated Mental Health Risks." July 11, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-media-and-associated-mental-health-risks/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social Media and Associated Mental Health Risks'. 11 July.

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