The correlation between social media and mental health.
By Joyce Lee
February 16, 2023
UPDATED 12:00 PM EST
In the 21st century, social media has become an essential part of our lives. It shares our private life through the online platform, allowing people to see how others’ lives are. It connects people to people, making us more alert to other people’s lives. we wake up, and the first instant we check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Yet, as much as social media brings fun into our lives, it also brings many tragedies; much research suggests it harms mental health.
When we find entertainment or anything that brings joy, the brain produces a hormone called dopamine. This hormone allows you to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and more.
When we encounter a fun post from social media, which can be way more fascinating than real life, the release of dopamine intensifies. For instance, platforms like TikTok, youtube, and Instagram have recently introduced a new form of media, a short media platform. This 15 second-to- few-minutes-video brings people momentary entertainment, leading to dopamine addiction; because of the short and robust amount of dopamine people’s body release, people now find real life dull, where everything takes time, and achievements are shown gradually. Now, this can build up to the status where an individual is incapable of accomplishing normal life activities; because an individual finds everything boring and tedious, it can lead to mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and more.
Social media is where everyone hides their flaws and tries to be perfect. People choose what to post and what not to post. We have no idea of the backstories of a single picture. Due to the amazing development of technology in the 21st century, it is absolutely possible to turn a person into a completely different person. Yet, our brain tricks us into falling into the lies of social media. We tend to compare those artificially-made-impeccable contents to our basic, natural selves. The comparison naturally makes us feel depressed, disappointed, and rather like a worthless creature.
It is essential to realize how social media is not an actual reality and rather a made-up illusion. Studies have proven it is absolutely possible to break out of the vicious circle of social media by oneself’s desire. Although it might be hard to quit social media completely, it is important to realize the consequences of it and try to reach out for help when needed.
Gordon, Sherri. “How Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 4 Jan. 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/link-between-social-media-and-mental-health-5089347.
Is Social Media Bad for Your Mental Health?: Middle Georgia State University, https://www.mga.edu/news/2022/06/is-social-media-bad-for-your-mental-health.php.
Karim, Fazida, et al. “Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review.” Cureus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 June 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7364393/.