Numerous studies show that the way social media apps are addictive. Similar in the way that casinos are designed to entice gamblers into spending more money, social media apps are designed to entice users to spend more time in the app. Everything from design to the psychology of notifications is a way to get you to spend more time interacting with your favorite social media platforms. Many parents begin to wonder, “Is social media bad for your mental health?”
Studies have found that social media engagement acts in the brain the same way that stimulant amphetamines like cocaine do. The brain experiences increased stimulation by scrolling, liking, and commenting. The brain is extremely stimulated when notifications are received with positive feedback, a “like” or a comment, for example. Anticipating the reward of a positive notification is for social media what anticipating a win in a casino is like. There’s never any guarantee it will happen, but there’s a guarantee it could happen and that is addicting enough for the brain.
Social Media Causes Extreme FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is an animalistic drive. Many people enjoy being around others. Seeing people do certain activities or be certain places can trigger a sense of jealousy in some. Social media gives everyone an opportunity to display their lives in a certain way, curating what people do, and do not know about them. What you see on someone’s profile might not be the whole truth, but it is true enough for you to feel like you are missing something. As a result, social media is proven to increase symptoms of depression, sadness, and loneliness, as well as social isolation. Not only do people feel they are missing out on what other people have, but they become addicted to social media and feel like they are missing out on what’s going on inside their favorite platform.
In recent years, scientists have begun to look into the link between social media and mental health. Since it is still relatively new to the world, only so much research on the topic has been done. However, studies show that even though social media keeps us connected, it can have a negative impact on our mental health.
Social Media Inspires Comparison Which Is Unhealthy
Body image issues can be linked to social media platforms, especially Instagram. Photo editing makes the pictures on social media platforms unrealistic. Especially younger men and women compare themselves physically to others, which makes their self-esteem and confidence drop. Unhealthy comparisons cause mental distress in self-worth, which can lead to depression, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, and even substance abuse issues.
While sharing is not necessarily bad, It is not uncommon for people to overshare too much of their lives. Social media can often provide a window into the private lives of millions of people. With this, others may feel the need to share personal details or moments of their lives. The pressure to emulate this type of strategy to gain popularity can be harmful to your mental health.
Get the Mental Health Help You Need
Social Media can influence your mental health if you spend too much time on it. If you or a loved one is struggling with their mental health, Oceanfront Recovery can help. We offer a number of therapy options to help. Some of these options include:
- Family Therapy Program
- EMDR Therapy Program
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Oceanfront Recovery wants you to create your own timeline from addiction to recovery. Our philosophy is that when you change your story, you change your life. As a treatment facility, we offer residential programming from detox to transitional living. For information, call us today at (877) 296-7477.