ExcessiveUse of Social Media Can Contribute to Mental Health Issues
Researchon the implications of social media addiction to mental health
Introduction to the aspect of social media
Discuss the impacts of social media to mental health
Introduction to the aspect
Give an exhaustive picture of social media by defining the term social media, giving its advent and how it has skyrocketed in the recent years to the contemporary levels.
Alsotouch on some of the key intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that havemade individuals to resort to excessive social media usage like theneed to belong, enhancing self-worth and networking.
HighlightFacebook as the leading social network visited by people supported byconcrete evidence from previous studies.
Briefly touch on the general impacts of the social media to the individuals
Touchon a speculation about the relationship between social media andmental health.
Thesis statement: Not just mere speculations but theories and studies have confirmed that excessive use of social media has aversive impacts on a person’s mental health.
Discussion of the impacts of social media
Brief background on technology supported by a case study that saw over 93 homes get computers and access to internet.
Impactsof the move on mental health assessed among the individuals after oneyear of the program.
General impacts of social media to mental health like the physical health implications like diabetes, heart diseases and blood pressure.
Individual theories aspects: sedentary behavior, displacement theory, effects of the blue light and the multitasking effect
Wrap up of the paper by touching on key issues in the paper
Elaborative closing, quick review of the main points, and restatement of thesis
Theuse of the social media has rapidly increased in the contemporaryworld in line with the advancements in technology. Generally, it isan electronic communication technique in which individuals comes upwith online groups for sharing facts, ideas, private issues and othermaterials, like videos (Collier, 1). The aspect came into thelimelight in 2004 and has ever since climbed sharply to the currentsituation. It is estimated that over 73% of the adults today make useof social media to network (Collier, 1). Facebook is the leadingsocial media platform with over 71% of adults using it. Studies haveshown that Facebook users are many and tend to visit the siteregularly. However, further research has pointed out that the use ofsocial media is high among the youth. Young adults between the agesof 18-29 years have been found to be the frequent visitors to thesocial media sites.
Whymost people have resorted to the use of social media has been apertinent question among the neuropsychologists. Research haspointed out two principal reasons that intrinsically motivate theonline users. The young adults yearn to belong and also presentthemselves to others, and the social media offers a good platform forthat. The profiles, the comments and the likes that one sets andgets, build his self-worth and honor. Other studies have alsoincluded reasons like the need to stay in touch, make friends,following fashion trends, politics, celebrities, and also the questto find the love partners (Collier, 3).
Theincreased reliance and use of social media has also sparked debateson its effects on the mental health of the addicts. Though theevidence provided is not clear, researchers have closely linked theincreased problems experienced by the youth today to addiction to thesocial media platforms. In this paper, I am going to lay emphasis onthe relationship between social media and mental health.
Impactsof social media addiction to mental health
Alot of negative impacts have been attributed to excessive use ofsocial media. High levels of depression, anxious conditions,obsessive actions, being lonely, and egotism are some of the impactsthat have been pointed out in the several studies. It is, therefore,necessary for researchers to draw their attention to recognize themany factors linked to mental health and how to deal with them infuture.
Itis widely known among individuals that excessive use of internet hasaversive impacts on an individual’s wellbeing. For instance, in theyear 1995, a project initiated by Home Net made internet accessibleand provided computers to over 93 homes, which initially had nointernet connection, and closely trailed their mental health for anumber of years (Macnab, 1101). Within a period of one year, underexcessive use of the internet, it was found that certain conditionsof loneliness and depressions that were absent before the provisionsof the internet were evident among the individuals. This led to thecoining of the term "iDisorder” which was described as thenegative relationship between the excessive use of technology andmental health. Several theories have been used to describe theeffects of social media to the mental health of individuals.Individual theories are one set of theories that have been used todiscuss this topic. The theories touch on individual characteristicsand behaviors (Macnab, 1102). They base their arguments on thesedentary lifestyle, the presence of the blue light from screenswhich interrupts sleep and the consequences of multi-tasking.
Activitiesinvolving sitting down and lying are what constitute the sedentarybehaviors. Ideally, the metabolic equivalent total and energy spendduring these activities is low. The metabolic rate of the behaviorsis either at the resting levels or a touch above it. Watchingtelevision, using computers, and playing games on the mobile phonesare some of the activities that fall within this category. Thebehaviors cannot go unnoticed and are further exhilarated by thesocial media. Most people engage the social media in their attemptsto pass the time during sedentary activities. For instance,individuals are always glued to their mobile phones while sitting onthe train or waiting for their turn to be served.
However,social media can also be as an activity on its own. In most cases,individuals spent a lot of hours checking on sites making it asedentary behavior. Though in the past the sedentary behaviors havebeen linked to physical problems, like diabetes, blood pressure, andcardiac arrest, there is a little mention of the mental risks. It is,however, clear that elimination of social media activities thatencourage sedentary behavior can play a significant role inpreventing and regulation of depression and anxiousness amongindividuals. Sedentary behavior is directly linked to higher risksof mental health complications. A number of studies have tabledevidence relating long hours watching television, surfing theinternet on the computer or the mobile phones to the increasing risksof depression and anxiety development. Sanchez-Villegas carried outan intensive study to find out the relationship between the excessiveuse of social media platforms like the television and computer andthe mental risks. The study brought out clearly that individuals wholived a highly sedentary life were over 30% prone to mental problemsthan those who did not (Livingstone, 985). It was also established byDe Wit that most individuals who used a large fraction of theirleisure time on their computers and their mobile phones were hit bydepression and panic often (Livingstone, 986). However, though thetwo aspects seem to be connected, it is not clear which one comesbefore the other. It is possible that mental problems can lead oneto social media sedentary behavior or the behavior culminates tomental disorder.
Excessiveuse of social media has also displaced several activities as per theindividuals` theories. People have dissociated themselves from thesocial contact activities and physical activities that are proven tobe very effective in the prevention and dealing with the mentaldisorders (Livingstone, 987). The displacement theory, however, doesnot blame the social media for mental problems but shifts the blameto the absence of such activities. However, it is clear that socialmedia has replaced the activities. Individuals will spend hoursbehind computers televisions and on their mobile phones and forgetabout physical activities. Long-term depression and comorbid anxiousconditions have been attributed to inadequate exercise (Livingstone,987). Physical activities do not only eliminate the depression risksbut also trigger the secretion of endorphin which is crucial in painreduction.
Socialcontact between individuals is also important though this aspect hasbeen looked down upon by social media addicts. The more individualsbecome obsessed with the social media the more they dissociatethemselves from social interaction platforms leading to depression. The displacement theory further asserts that apart from breaking thesocial interaction, the bonds of social support and communication arealso broken leading to psychological torture.
Bluelight emitted by the mobile phones and the computers screens has beenproven to interrupt vigorous sleeping cycles. This disruption incases of prolonged hours may impact negatively on individual’smental health. Literary, a normal adult should sleep for 7-9 hoursper night. The connection between sleep and mental health is clearlyspelled out in documents. Inadequate sleep leads to anxiety,depression, and low reception to positive sensations.
Multitaskingis also another aspect that comes into the picture with the excessiveuse of social media. Social media has encouraged the art of rapidlyswitching from one task to another which can lead to depression. Itsplatforms have gone beyond the human limit even if the trait isconsidered natural in humans. For instance, computers can openseveral windows and the mobile phones have different apps. Thesefeatures, which come with audio-visual signals and vibrations, alwayskeep individuals switching from one to the other resulting indepression.
Itis clear from the discussion that excessive use of social media hasimpacted negatively on the mental health of individuals. I have basedmy discussion on the individuals’ theories which generally focus onpersonality traits and behavior. The theories go round the aspects ofsedentary behavior, the multitasking effect, the disruption of thenormal sleeping cycle due to the blue light and the displacementbehavior. The paper touches mainly on depression and anxiety thoughthere are also other areas like cyber bullying and the feeling ofinferiority which are perpetuated by the social media and haveimplications on the mental health.
Collier,Roger. "Social Media and Mental Health:" CMAJ:Canadian Medical Association Journal 185.12(2013): 1-8. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 30 July 2016.
Livingston,James. "Another Time Point, A Different Story: One Year EffectsOf A Social Media Intervention On The Attitudes Of Young PeopleTowards Mental Health Issues." SocialPsychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology 49.6(2014): 985-990. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 30 July 2016.
Macnab,A. "Risk-Taking Behaviour In Adolescents. `Chance Only FavorsThe Prepared Mind`." ArchivesOf Disease In Childhood 100.12(2015): 1101-1102. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 30 July 2016.