Since 21st century started, people started spending their most of free time on social media. And today if we take a look at the usage of social media, we can see most of the people spend their free and time allocated for enjoyment on social media. So lets have critical analysis on Effects of Social Media on Mental Health for men, women or you can say in youth.
The debate is still out on internet to know whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens. This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
“Concerns about the negative impacts of social media have dominated public debate. However, recent studies show there are clear health benefits to being online and connected.”
Joanna Egan, Women’s Health
Well it’s difficult to get estimate Social Media Effect on Health accurately as social media is constantly changing and evolving. Plus, no long-term studies have been completed. So, we’re left making educated guesses based on current research. There’s just not enough data to back up the potential long-term pros and cons of living on “likes”.
Much research has been devoted to studying the downside of social media. Many of these studies are, in fact, legitimate. For example, addiction to social media is an epidemic among our nation’s teens, and this seems to be the case everywhere. The potential downsides of social media are many, as you can see below, yet nearly half of the sources I reviewed suggested possible benefits as well. What the negative findings seem to overlook are the many positive effects social media has on its users. In other words, the use of Facebook, Twitter, etc, may be good or bad, depending on how they are used.
Average Time spent on social media
Well its difficult to calculate accurately but according to the survey, internet users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms. Trended data is also suggesting that there may be saturation in social media consumption.
Experts claim that the limited use of social media is linked with users having a better understanding of ‘screen time’ as well as the drawbacks of being too active on social media.
The amount of time teenagers spend on social networking sites has risen 62.5 percent since 2012 and continues to grow. Critics have claimed that more screen time is increasing depression and anxiety in teenagers.
“We spent eight years trying to really understand the relationship between time spent on social media and depression for developing teenagers,” Coyne said about her study published in Computers in Human Behavior. “If they increased their social media time, would it make them more depressed? Also, if they decreased their social media time, were they less depressed? The answer is no. We found that time spent on social media was not what was impacting anxiety or depression.”Sarah Coyne, a professor of family life at Brigham Young University
Coyne has three suggestions to use social media in healthier ways.
- Be an active user instead of a passive user. Instead of just scrolling, actively comment, post and like other content
- Limit social media use at least an hour before falling asleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the most protective factors for mental health
- Be intentional. Look at your motivations for engaging with social media in the first place
Social Media Effect on Health [Cancer]
Another research paper published which conducted case studies at Positive Impact of Social Media Use on Depression in Cancer Patients. The focus of attention was the prevalence of depression among cancer patients using social networks. An attempt was made to determine if social media could help cancer patients overcome their stress and depression, causes of serious emotional and mental problems for them and their families.
“The results obtained from this study have revealed that a considerable number of cancer patients have depression. This result is in line with reports of a critical review article stating that in the context of cancer, depression is common comorbidity (Pasquini and Biondi, 2007). Khan et al., (2016) in another survey, evaluated depression among cancer patients and found that the more than 50% of the patients have severe symptoms of depression. Khan et al., (2016) on the other hand, some studies indicated an association between depression and the overall occurrence risk of cancer. Jia et al., (2017) Also, routine screening and adequate assessment of depressive spectrum disorders is necessary for patients with cancer (Caruso et al., 2017).”Hamid Reza Farpour, Bone and Joint Diseases Research Center, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Excessive usage of social media will definitely have bad impact not only on mental health but also physical health.