With the current developments in technology, social media has taken a bigger role in influencing how people live their lives. It has become a major part of people live that it has become a necessity; in that people can’t live without being present on any of the platform. With that being said, it is essential to understand the meaning of social media before getting into much detail. Social media can be defined as the application linked to websites enhances the sharing and creation of information and to also participate in social networking. Research shows that more than 40% of the worlds (which amount to probably 3 billion people) use social media (Leung 334).
The number spends at least three hours on average sharing liking commenting or communicating on any of the social media platforms. This means that per minute the people will share at least half a million worth of information. It is therefore not advised to ignore the influence and role of social media in peoples’ lives. It plays a bigger role in our lives that research has show people could be sacrificing part of their mental health by engaging themselves in either of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram among other platforms.
Since social media is still a developing factor within the communities, research has shown that it has adverse effects on the mental health of individuals. Therefore, this essay is going to address how both technology and social media have affected people’s mental health in details considering topics such as addiction, depression in emotional well being, and interaction with others.
The mental health of a person can be defined as the certain levels of psychology that do not qualify one to be mentally ill. A person whose emotions and behavioral levels psychologically fit is said to be of good mental health. With that being said, the first point of how social media affects the mental health of a person is that it is addictives just like drugs (O’Keeffe and Pearson).
Most experts on issues relating to the use of social media have come to an agreement that internet addiction is real and it has adverse effects on people. This can be second by the fact that several types of research have been done and shreds of evidence provided to prove this fact. For instance, a research conducted in Nottingham Trent university linked psychology to various characteristics that indicate a person being addicted to social media use. The research was conducted on a disease termed as the ‘Facebook Addiction Disorder’’ which indicates more than 60% of users develop an addiction which makes them either post, comment, like and share information at a rate of half a million facebook activities per minute in general.
O’Keeffe and Pearson state that this can be likened to cigarette addiction; people often think more of what they will post, who will they talk to and how they will share their feeling or emotions. In general, the addiction levels have created instances that people engage in certain vices that generally hurt other people or themselves. All the research conducted can be summed up into three factors. The harm that comes with too much social media or use of technology includes cyberbullying, physical health risks and creates bad habits. These cases have been scientifically proven to cause harm to the mental health of a person and they are discussed in details below.
The first issue of concern is cyberbullying with the intent to make some people boost their confidence. Many people have been mistreated or hurt in real life by people who take advantage of them or are superior in one way or another (O’Keeffe and Pearson). The only possible solution to their inferiority is to hide behind a platform (any of the social media website) and seek revenge to make them feel better about themselves. In the event of building their confidence, they end up making other people their victims in any of the social media platforms. Cyberbullying mostly happens when someone uses electronic media to harass others which in turn mess ups with an individual’s mind.
Most people do this with intent to make other people suffer for what they have done or are going through in their lives. Such cases end up in murder at worst scenarios. Another effect off too much social media or technology is it comes brings about physical health risk such as hand/finger problems and a disturbed eye site. Most people who spend more time on social media or watching (technology inventions) are prone to such problems. Research conducted shows that 46% of people addicted to social media or use of any kind of technology will end up having eye problems because of the light emitted from the gadgets (mobile phones, laptops or televisions among others) used.
Apart from that, some technological inventions may be a risk to people body parts. An example is the use of various machines which may require people to control them personally. In the event, they end up getting injured in the process (Leung, 334). Apart from above-mentioned limitations, social media has been known to be the cause of various developing habits. There is no restriction when it comes to posting on social media platforms. There are some cases that people engage in bad vices; posting and promoting drugs and criminal activities. Such vices can be blamed on the not so strict policies by social media providers. People see such platforms as areas to promote bad vices not considering that the site has a variety of user; children included.
Secondly, the use of technology and social media has been related to the increase in various cases of depression and emotional well being of people. This has resulted in a community that is driven by loneliness, envy, and stress in most cases. Loneliness exhibits itself in various forms. Most people have become loners due to the fact that they find it easier to interact with social media platforms especially Facebook rather than associating with real peoples (Leung, 338). At the same time, most people spend much time on these websites that they tend to forget the presence of the people around them. This makes people feel abandoned and they will often drown in loneliness.
Another issue related to the emotional well being of a person is envy. Most people often fall in other peoples trap in social media; they want to live the life they see in social media. Not everyone lives a life that they portray in social media; some live a lie. However, people would like to live the lie to and in the event end up living a jealous life because they can’t be like the other person. Basically, people often fight within themselves because they just want to be like another person, an aspect of that they can’t change; therefore they end up hating other people. The last point in this area of discussion is that the use of social media and technology often comes with new levels of stress that people find it hard to handle at times (Leung 334).
An expert can relate when it is noted that too much of social media and use of various technological inventions cause anxiety and stress. This is because people often try to relate what they see on such platforms and try to practice them in their real life. This becomes a habit that eventually leads to an obsession that when not satisfied it leads to stress. A perfect example of this situation is when a couple is affected by the perfection that comes with seeing other couples life on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This might come as a stress to one of the partners in the relationships since he/she cannot live up to that life. Another stress that also comes with use of social media is it has caused rampant cheating in recent times. Reason being most of the websites promote privacy, therefore it is hard to notices if a partner is cheating or not.
Lastly, technology and social media have an effect on people interacting with others. In the recent past, people preferred visitations and quality time spent as a way of catching up with friends and family members. However, Boyd says that the coming of social media and new technology has overseen such moments and they have since been replaced with people spending the most time on their phones and getting updated with the current movies and trends other that come with certain kinds of technology.
At the end of the day, these activities promote inactivity, too much privacy, and poor relationships. Inactivity comes in when people prefer to spend more time updating their social media pages, watching movies and playing games making them lazy to even do their laundry or wash dishes for days. It has become so addictive to this extent that people forget there I a life beyond technology and social media which requires them to be more active in their daily duties (Boyd). This attitude goes up to workplaces where employees spend too much time on social media forgetting to do their allocated works. Apart from that, social media makes people live private lives that make it hard to associate with others.
In most cases, individuals hide behind the keyboard and live a totally different life from what is expected of them. the privacy that comes with the use of such applications makes it hard to understand the way people live, operate or work. Lastly, technology has promoted the development of poor relationships because people spend less time interacting face to face. Instead, they prefer communication through Whatsapp messenger and other platforms(Boyd). To make this worse, the inventions have enabled sharing of pictures and video calling. It is therefore hard to establish a relationship with a person because people spend more time communication on social media use of new technological gadgets like phones other than sticking to the old ways of face to face integration.
Even though there are more negatives as compared to positives when it comes to the influence of technology and social media, other individuals still believe there is much to use of these elements. For instance, research shows that most people believe the various inventions in technology and accessing social media websites and applications act as a confidence booster. There are many people who access either of the websites and application and standing a chance to share one’s ideas and certain information will boost the confidence of a person. It is only in social media that a poor and unemployed person can argue with a rich and notable person within society. It actually builds confidence in a person.
Also, access to information shared on Facebook Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp make one more informed. Current trends and news are mostly shared on such platforms first therefore if one is not in either of the social media pages they stand no chance of being well informed like those who have signed up for the pages.
In conclusion, social media and technology have taken over the world to an extent that I have an effect on the mental health of individuals. The effects can be so adverse that people find it hard to lead a normal life like in the past ages. Social media has come with an addiction, depression and a poor social life; something that is not advisable within a normal society. Having a word ruled by social media and technology will be like gambling with the life progress that has been made from the ancient times. In as much as embracing technology is good, it can also be a drawback in our lives.