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The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health and When to Take a Break


Social media has become an indispensable medium for our daily activities, be it in our free time or at work. It could have many effects on our mental health. As bizarre as it sounds, it is actually good for our psychological wellbeing. However, social media can be destructive if a person is exposed to it over a long period of time. With that in mind, there are some signals that experts have identified to help people know when they need a break. The benefits social media can bring can be devastating if used uncontrollably and responsibly.

Benefits of social media

(Photo: Miriam Alonso from Pexels)

The relevance of social media to mental health has been the subject of numerous studies throughout history. In fact, there has been a lot of research in recent years that has extensively analyzed the relationship between social media and mental health. The Pew Research Center has developed a system called the Social Media Fact Sheet. The information shows the statistics of numerous age groups using social media each year. The 2018 data showed that the age group of 50 year olds and older people using the Internet doubled from 22 percent in 2017 to 42 percent. 47 percent of the specified age group and 26 percent of people aged 65 and over are users of social media networks. According to the same study, the age group of 13 to 17-year-olds of a total of 750 participants has 45 percent permanent online users, 97 percent are users of the group who are already present on social platforms.

Arizona State University said in its 2013 Career and Professional Development Services update, titled “The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media and Marketing,” that there are many benefits to using social media in relation to all aspects of business and career because communication is effective, especially when a person is well versed in their niche.

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Excessive social media presence and its consequences

According to Lancaster Farming, Rutgers Cooperative Extension social media and marketing expert Jenny Carleo said social media is a tool that people can use to review details of a product before taking any further steps like buying it. According to the presentation, 47 percent of online shoppers refer to social media before reaching their stated product, and 26 percent were influenced by the details posted on a social media platform about a product they invested in were shown.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) said the benefits of social media for children and teens include connecting their peers, new groups with common interests, and an entire online community that could assist them with various activities that helps them to discover their skills and potential.

However, exposure to social media at abnormal rates of period could have repercussions not only on a person’s mental state but also on a person’s general health, regardless of age group. The Child and Mind Institute previously reported a range of extensive data showing a link between depression and prolonged social media presence. Overall, the collective studies suggest that guidelines and boundaries may help us stave off the harmful effects of excessive social media use.

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For more news and information on psychology, see the Science Times.


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