The Social Dilemma: Are social Media Really Affecting Our Mental Health?

After the release of Netflix’s hit docudrama, many people became aware and concerned about the negative effects of social Media on self-confidence, body image, and psychological well-being as this movie creates a dystopian picture of social media, in simple terms it means technology is now becoming a threat to humanity.

Social Media Dilemma? | Comms Business

The new algorithms of social media have created a strong addiction, and manipulating us which very easily start controlling our behavior and want us to keep on scrolling. Due to this our desires are increasing and dopamine get activated with this and mind starts feeling happy we don’t realize these are temporary happiness which doesn’t even fulfills our deep human needs. As per the Records, worldwide the average adult spend two hours a day on social media and the average teenager spending up to nine hours a day, which affects almost half a million people globally.

 The documentary is important as it shows whole host of negative emotions which get easily fixed by this social media, as we have accepted social media as kind of maladaptive coping strategy used by us to make us feel good when we are lonely or sad. The problem of mental illness is constantly rising in high income countries and it’s mutually related to high use of social media.

Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma': How Today's Social Media Is A 50/50 Gamble  On Impending Disaster - Homegrown

 “The correlation between social media and mental health seems to be about the same as the correlation between eating potatoes and mental health: small and weak. Hence connection between mental health and social health is critical, complex and bifacial. As along with how much we use it, most importantly what matters is how we perceive it and what we do on it.

The explanation is quite mixed whether social media some research showed various sides like social-media use can contribute to poor mental health, others have found there to be no effect, while some have even found evidence to support the idea that it can improve mental health, possibly by reducing loneliness and improving self-esteem.

This movie reflects a important thing that people are subconsciously totally dependent on digital mode of connection, it’s the key factor in ruining our confidence and making us feel lonely and more connected as for instance let’s talk about COVID-19 as we are forced to isolate from outer world but social media became our key medium to dilute our loneliness over its virtual world and kept us connected to our loved ones by sharing memes, texts and emojis.

Certainly, more research is needed on the topic, but the consensus among most psychologists is that it’s not necessarily the social-media platforms themselves rather than the content we are consuming that has the biggest impact on our mental health. “We need to be attentive to certain types of content and certain individuals or times in our life where we are more susceptible to the negative influences of social media. Indeed, we must be more critical when generalizing about social-media use: 20 minutes chatting with friends on Facebook Messenger is not the same as 20 minutes looking at distressing content.

What do you think?

Written by Ayushi Kedia

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