You were researching foot surgery for bunions when you received an Instagram notification. The next thing you knew, you spent over two hours mindlessly scrolling the social media app. It got you thinking, is social media use bad for our health? Let’s get into it.
Social Media Use & Physical Health
If you find yourself scrolling TikTok instead of making it to the gym, this isn’t a major cause for concern. Unless, and this is a big unless – you make this a habit. In moderation, social media isn’t always harmful. However, if you neglect being active because of your relationship with social media, this is a major red flag. Research also shows that you’re more likely to overindulge in unhealthy food when you’re involved in mindless activities like watching TV or scrolling through your phone.
Social media use, if not moderated, can lead to you being physically inactive and more prone to snacking on unhealthy food. In this case, yes – social media use is bad for your physical health.
Social Media Use & Mental Health
Social media use could have a negative impact on your mental health. A recent study found that “College-wide access to Facebook led to an increase in severe depression by 7% and anxiety disorder by 20%.” What could be the cause of this? For one, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others across the world. We’re also suffering from lower self-esteem because of the heavy use of filters. If we know this, why is it so hard to stop?
Yes, social media can severely impact our mental health. Heavy social media use can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Social Media Use & Its Addictive Qualities
If you’ve found it hard to stop scrolling social media, you’re not alone. These apps were designed to be addictive to us by influencing our brain’s reward system. In turn, we get addicted to hits of dopamine (part of the brain’s reward system) that come from the constant bombardment of posts on social media. In turn, this leads to a dysregulation when it comes to how we think and feel – which results in an unhealthy mental health state.
Social media use does have an impact on our well-being. If used in moderation, you are safer from experiencing any negative consequences. However, social media is designed to be addictive, so moderating your use can be challenging.
Social Media Use & Concentration
If you’re one to procrastinate, social media could end up being your worst enemy and best friend. Heavy social media use leads to poor focus and impulse control. In turn, this makes it incredibly challenging for you to concentrate when you need to. You might be trying to study hard for a test but find it challenging to focus on what you need to do. Social media use could be the blame for this.
Research is still being done, but there’s a strong correlation between frequent social media use and poor concentration. In turn, yes – social media use could be impacting your ability to focus.