The Influence of Social Media on Mental Health

When discussing the influence of social media on mental health, first, it is pivotal to understand what social media is and the different dimensions of mental health. On the one hand, social media refers to how people can share information on various issues. Information can be shared in video, image, and audio, among other formats. The information shared via these platforms can benefit the users or have damaging consequences, such as mental issues and radicalization. Some popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Flickr. According to the Pew Research Center, over 84% of Americans will use social media in 2022, compared to 5% in 2002. The most used platforms in the United States are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Mental health is pivotal because it influences the decisions people make ad their participation in daily routines. Issues like trauma, abuse, child neglect, unemployment, and divorce can lead to mental health problems affecting individual functioning. Some dominant mental health issues include depression, sleeping disorders, stress, aggression, and self-denial. On the other hand, mental health incorporates three dimensions: physiological, social, and emotional well-being.

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It has been argued that social media can affect users’ mental health negatively or positively. One of the highly cited benefits of social media is that the platforms offer users a high sense of privacy. With privacy guaranteed, individuals can openly discuss their woeful experiences without having too woeful experiences. In other words, social media provides a better platform for self-expression, which is not guaranteed through physical encounters. Social media also has the potential to help individuals network with others and build healthy relationships, which is crucial in reducing exposure to mental wellness. Besides connecting with individuals, social media can enable people to connect with other agencies created to deal with mental issues (Robinson & Smith, 2022). On the downside, one of the repercussions of social media on mental health is that it increases the state of loneliness because users may find themselves spending more time on social media applications than interacting with other people. Social media can also lead to body image issues, depression, stress, and cyberbullying (Robinson & Smith, 2022). This research aims to delve deeper into the effects of mental health by focusing on literature and additional research.

Research Questions

1. How can the benefits derived from social media use be augmented to suppress the risks?

2. What are the triggers of mental health issues among social media users?

3. What strategies can be implemented to reduce social media use among adolescents?