Social Media and Its Effect on Your Life

Social media has had an outsized impact on all of our lives, so we should take a look at its day to day effects.

Social Media and Its Effect on Your Life

Emily Hamp, Journalism

Before reading, there is mention of self harm, suicide , anxiety and depression. 

In today’s society, social media plays a significant role in people’s lives. Having the often sought but rarely found quality of “thriving” in life has become a matter of one’s perception online. Sharing thrilling, sad, inspiring, or even mundane, anything that people can view, to solicit someone to like the picture and gives you the validation that ephemerally fulfills that distorted desire to thrive. These virtual relationships have a significant influence on one’s mental health and happiness. “” discovered that social media might make you feel lonelier and more isolated, but there are also positive aspects.

Positive aspect of using social media:

  • If you are living far from home or family lives out of state it is easy to stay connected to family and friends. 
  • It is easy to find and meet new people; easy to share and communicate with each other. New relationships from online connection can also help develop systems of communication that can build your understanding and integration into various communities; for culture, skills, or shared values. One major real world influence of this phenomena is in the greater proliferation of youth activism in our time, and the more visible impact it creates.
  •  It is easy to find help or emotional support during times in need. You can feel more comfortable when it comes to just talking over the phone with a call or just texting. Particularly, online help lines have proven very effective and accessible as compared to more traditional services. Peer support is also more direct than even, which in part leads to some of the deep and affecting relationships that people start online but sometimes bring IRL.


There are many more beneficial effects, however social media in today’s world can hurt someone’s mental health. Negative aspects of using social media include:

  • Cause body image issues- social media tends to be about who looks the best, who has the best outfit, who at times has more money to have these more expensive things, but especially who is the best fit and looks the ‘thinnest’. 
  • Some people get hooked to social media, believing that they must post everything they do so that others may see it.
  • Research from the University of Pennsylvania found that social media improves feelings of loneliness.
  • Individuals need face-to-face connections; experts have shown that favoring social media over in-person conversations puts you at risk of acquiring mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. 
  • Individuals might be bullied more frequently on social media; 10% of teenagers say they have been bullied on social media.
  • “Social Media and Mental Health” states, “Since it’s a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of social media use. However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.” 
  • In an article by Mclean Hospital, they state, “According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults and 81% of teens in the U.S. use social media. This puts a large amount of the population at an increased risk of feeling anxious, depressed, or ill over their social media use.


Social media can be described as a ‘drug’; It’s addicting. Once you get up you’re checking your phone, eating breakfast while looking at your phone, active during school because you don’t want to miss anything. The most important factor with regard to our attention and health is how much time we spend on our phones before bed. The draw towards the faux social environment encourages you to stay awake longer, exposing your eyes to harmful blue light and influencing your circadian rhythm, which can destroy your mood and energy for days to come. Make it a habit, and you’ll be subject to a constant social media hangover, while you’re still hooked on its liquor. 

Doctors generally recommend you to turn off your phone at least one hour before going to bed. Along with that, for best command of your mood and energy, screen use outside of work/school activities should be limited to two hours each day. Staying off your phone is good for your physical health and mental health.


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