You may be surprised to hear that social media can impact your health. However, if you consider the amount of time we spend interacting on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you’ll understand why.
Spending large amounts of time on anything, such as work, exercise, or watching television, negatively affects your health. So, is social media bad or good for you? The truth is, it can be both beneficial and harmful. That said, there are ways to minimize the adverse effects of social media,
How Social Media Impacts Health?
Social media can influence your health in several ways. For starters, if you’re addicted to social media, you might experience sleep deprivation, eye strain, and other negative side effects.
Furthermore, when you use social media, there’s always a risk of falling victim to misinformation. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is also a common phenomenon faced by many social media users. As a result, you may face higher stress and anxiety levels.
Social media makes it easy to stay in touch with your loved ones and interact with new people. There are many health benefits of connecting with people. However, social media can increase the likelihood of you being exposed to cyber-bullying.
You can come across a great deal of health information on social media, but this could be harmful if you follow advice without doing your own research.
Addiction to Social Media
Make no mistake; social media addiction is real. We take our handheld devices with us everywhere, so it becomes difficult not to overuse social media.
If you’re addicted to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it can harm your life and health.
Any kind of addiction is bad for you, especially if it leaves no energy for other things like work or relationships. It can also harm your mental health.
Everyone uses social media for different reasons like socializing, shopping, finding and posting information, and simply killing time. Some activities are neutral, and others provoke strong emotions.
Social connections are essential for your mental and physical health; as research has shown. There are numerous negative effects of social isolation, including shortened life span, poor sleep patterns, and depression.
While connecting with people on social media doesn’t substitute for face-to-face interactions, it can be advantageous nonetheless. For example, social media makes it possible for seniors and disabled individuals to interact in ways they otherwise couldn’t.
Someone traveling overseas can communicate with their family back home. Friends living in different countries can stay in touch online. These are just some ways social media makes our lives easier.
On the flip side, social media can result in stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. One such example is cyberbullying, which can have severe psychological and emotional effects. You may also be subjected to things like trolling.
If you’re becoming stressed by your interactions on social media, it’s far from good for your health and well-being.
Social media has an effect on your physical health as well. This is typically linked to how you use it. For instance, typing too much can lead to wrist pain.
If you stare at screens for prolonged periods of time, you can develop eye strain. Fatigue and sleep loss are other major symptoms of social media overuse.
Social media can also get in the way of your physical fitness, as you lose time that otherwise could be spent on exercising. All of these negative effects aren’t exactly caused by social media, but rather overusing it.
Access to Health-Related Information
You can acquire health information from various online sources. If you use Facebook, the chances are that you have friends who share their favorite health tips and advice. You probably also follow the pages of fitness personalities and celebrity doctors.
You may even discover a potential drug that could be useful for someone, you know. However, if you believe everything you find on social media without critically thinking it through, you might end up following poor advice.
Tips for Healthy Use of Social Media
If we use social media in moderation, it can have a positive impact on our lives. Here are some ways you can use social media healthily:
- Discipline yourself. Check social media only at scheduled times, so that it doesn’t affect your relationships, work, or academics.
- Productivity apps. There are many apps that help you fight social media addiction, such as AppDetox and Social Fever.
- You can use social media to research health conditions, but never take any advice without consulting your own doctor.
- Avoid social media while doing anything that requires your undivided attention, such as while driving.
- Don’t befriend anybody you don’t know in real life on social media. Don’t waste your valuable time arguing with people.
As with anything else, social media has both positive and negative impacts. It’s up to us to use it healthily and productively.