Almost everyone, nowadays, is a member of a social networking site. The growing cult of social medias like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter etc were actually found to connect people, to make world a more open and in a word, small. It has provided us a platform to share and learn and allows us to make new friends from any part of the world in just seconds.
The impact of the social medias have come a long way that it is, now, a part and parcel of life. It is, indeed, a great achievement but the negative sides to it are also know. People have become more vulnerable to crimes and defamation. These social networking sites are now paving its way to affect mental health of the population.
Researches to be Proof
Studies conducted earlier, last year, by researchers found social media to cause anxiety and depression in population which could possibly lead to poor sleep quality , further intensifying the problem. Another study conducted earlier this year showed social medias to be linked with sleep disturbances.
However the latest of all studies , conducted by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania focusing on all social networking platforms available to the young adults, reveal that more time spend on social medias increases the chances of depression.
The researchers used questionnaires which asked about 11 social medias along with an established depression assessment tool. Out of 1787 adults who were assessed in the research, more than a quarter showed signs of depression.
Ethan Cross, a social psychiatrist from University of Michigan, based on a study that he led said that using Facebook may even make us miserable. ” On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result- it undermines it.Similar is the case with other social medias as well.
Why such Impact on Minds
On any social media, you post a status or a picture and support keeps coming your way as likes and comments. With the support you get, your mind tends to come back and keep doing the same again that it becomes a habit not so easy to stop. There are people who almost plan their day around these social medias. They spend time thinking of it, planning what to post on it, whom to message etc.
Slowly but surely, these social networking sites have become addiction to many, it’s like a place to wander about in. Some turn to them to forget their personal problems, while others appear to be in the quest for fame and name. It is a matter of boosting self esteem for their. Definitely, it is obvious to compare the number likes and comments you received with that of others but that’s just very basic. Next in your comparison list would be their status, places they visited, people they hang out with etc. This eventually becomes an obsession and the negative thoughts build up to push you into depression.
The studies found that people who are more anxious and socially insecure are more likely to use social medias. It was also found that more than half of the social media users were reported to have a changed behaviour, out of which only 2 percent reported to have a positive change. Such social media interactions also make face to face encounters difficult for people with higher anxiety levels.
The obsession with the websites have reached to an extent that some find it difficult to relax or sleep after using the site, some other users state that they feel worried and uncomfortable when they are unable to log on.
In other cases, cyber bulling or other cyber crimes have had huge mental and emotional impact on the victims.
So why wouldn’t these medias have an impact on people’s minds. It is not that these social medias haven’t helped in improving people’s mental health or well-being. It definitely have helped people who found it difficult to have a social life. But the need of taking some time off these medias have become compulsory as it is just eating the human behaviour bit by bit. There is no more real conversations happening. Time has come that people reduce use of such social medias to limit.