Social Media Weighs Heavily On Your Mood & Emotions
- March 16, 2016
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How many social networks do you belong to? Are you among the 320 million monthly active users on Twitter or do you have a profile on Facebook that’s mixed into the other one billion profiles? If so, your social media presence may be doing more harm than good, especially if you frequently use it. The original concept behind social networks was to connect people so they could keep in touch but as it has progressed, social media has changed into a platform where users are no longer using it to be social. With that said, psychotherapist Stuart MacFarlane has attributed some forms of depression to frequent use of social media because it becomes an addiction that is hard to beat.
A 2014 study that was published in Computers in Human Behavior found that approximately 9% of Facebook users’ activities actually involve communicating with others. While the majority of the remaining users consume random pieces of content that isn’t fulfilling or satisfying. The study pointed out that participants experienced drastic declines in their moods as they scrolled through Facebook, whereas when they surfed the internet, they didn’t have the same experience. The researchers concluded that once users logged off FaceTime, they reflected that they had wasted their time and felt remorse over being unproductive, which translated in a feeling of sadness.
Facebook Jealousy Is Real
It’s without a doubt that many of us compare our lives to the lives of others and sometimes this can make us feel envious. When scrolling through exotic vacation pictures, happy status updates and gorgeous family moments, many people feel jealous and depressed when they compare these to their own life. According to a study, those social comparisons lead people to assume their Facebook friends are leading better lives and the consequent feelings of envy increase the odds of developing depression.
Despite the toll on mental health, Facebook users continue to use the social network with the belief that it’ll actually make them feel better, which is called affective forecasting. However, taking a momentary break to scroll through Facebook won’t make someone feel better because the majority of users aren’t using it to interact with others.
Prevent The Emotional Toll
It’s important that you are consciously aware that Facebook and other social networks can harm your emotional well-being. This means that you need to keep a watchful eye on your social media activity as it can be detrimental to your mental health.
As a good rule of thumb, limit the amount of time you spend mindlessly scrolling because it can prevent you from being productive. Additionally, stop making social comparisons because they will only stir up feelings of depression. Learn to be in the present and grow each day towards being the person you want to be.