Social media is an integral part of our society and daily lives. We use it to connect with family, friends, and strangers. The main objective of social media is to provide a way for people to connect.
However, as more time has passed, many are concerned about how social media shapes the minds of younger generations and how that will affect them in the long run. So, is social media good or bad for your mental health? This article will explain the benefits and negatives of using social media.
How Social Media Affects The Brain
Social media is built to be addictive. Many people may find themselves scrolling through social media feeds in the morning when they wake up and right before they fall asleep at night.
Using social media affects the brain’s reward system by releasing dopamine, or the “feel-good chemical” when someone engages with you online. Dopamine appears in our brains when we do pleasurable activities such as eating or socializing, which tells us to repeat the action.
Some may have other behavior reinforcements if they believe social media boosts their confidence. The positive responses can give them a dopamine rush that will tell them to do it again in the future when they’re feeling self-doubt.
The Benefits Of Using Social Media
There are plenty of benefits that come from using social media. It’s a great way to stay connected that will support your well-being.
Some positive benefits include:
- Communicating with friends and family
- Finding new friends
- Joining meaningful causes
- Getting emotional support
- Creating vital connections
- Having a creative outlet
- Discovering valuable information
The Negatives of Using Social Media
Some negatives come from social media use. There is little research about the long-term effects of social media use. Still, there are indications that it can cause an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.
Some common negative side effects can include:
- Comparing yourself to others
- Having a fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Increasing risk of depression and anxiety
- Experiencing cyberbullying
Many people experience the positive and negative effects of social media. Finding a way to balance your social media use to turn the experience positively is key.Read More About Social Media and Mental Health