Today social media has a great influence on society. We are continuously using social media to communicate with people, express ourselves and find out what is going on around us. We no longer have to wait for the newspaper the next morning to know what is going on. We just use our little thumbs and we have information on the latest gossip and the news.
Social media has the power to motivate people, change people’s perspectives as well as having the influence on social, political and economic policies.
Social media has the powerful tool to be able to give people, especially young people a platform in which they are able to express themselves and their opinions. It allows their voices to be heard.
It can be used to create publicity for businesses, charity events, community platforms, allowing people to connect and come together to voice our concerns about certain issues.
- Black Lives Matter
- Raising money for charities and organisations.
- Feminist movements.
- Terrorist attacks.
Social media allows people to rant, create and express.
It is a large community of people who you haven’t even met.
It can show great outcomes to individuals, it allows the distribution of ideas by new audiences that might otherwise have missed out. It has helped and encouraged young people to search and explore as well as allowing them to learn resilience as they are able to learn how to manage and recognise risks.
On the other hand, some may argue that the social media has disadvantages, especially on the younger community.
Adolescent individuals have been seen to be a culture of over-sharing. Publicising where they are, what they are doing, how they are feeling. Only thinking about how many likes their Instagram post is going to get.
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat allows people to present our own filtered sense of reality, showing only what we want to show.
This can lead to individuals, especially teenagers to continuously criticise themselves and compare themselves to others, using other people’s posts as measures for their own successes and failures. This can lead to major feelings of low self-esteem.
Studies have shown that the high use of social media can lead to low self-esteem.
There have also been studies conducted by psychologists such as Dr Paula Durlofsky, who has concluded that there is a great correlation between social media use and depression. Dr Paula Durlofsky aimed to analyse and show individuals how to establish a healthy balance between real-time relationships and virtual ones.
Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders are also on the increase due to the increased use of social media. The constant comparisons of other individuals and the high amounts of social media usage can lead to body insecurity as well as depression.
Cyber bullying is also another area which is on the increase. Many individuals, especially young people are becoming victims of cyberbullying. This can lead to depression, body insecurity, anxiety, self-harm use and in some cases suicide.
So do you think are you being adversely affected by social media? Here are some signs to look out for:
- Low self-esteem.
- Use of social media for the majority of the day.
- Finding yourself comparing yourself to others.
- Body insecurity.
- The sense of only having enjoyment by using social media.
- Being a victim of cyberbullying.
- Finding yourself using pro-ana sites and blogs.
Aye Mind is a leading UK mental health charity that campaigns for local and national improvements to mental health. It is founded on the premise that social media, and the media more broadly speaking, offer great potential with regards to improving the nation’s mental health. Aye Mind works closely with the NHS in order to address mental health challenges across society.
Do not suffer in silence. If you are suffering or know someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, depression, self-harm etc. Please get help.
Helpline 0808 801 0677
Youthline 0808 801 0711
ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA CARE
03000 11 12 13
0300 123 3393