The Effects Of Social Media On Mental Health



This blog focuses on social media’s effect on people’s mental health. Humans are sociable. People’s mental happiness and well-being depend on their social ties. Socializing reduces stress, tension, and depression, improves self-esteem, brings comfort and pleasure, prevents loneliness, and sometimes even extends life. Conversely, social isolation may harm emotional and mental wellness. In the following sections, there will be discussions from various perspectives of social media affecting the mental health of people, especially young people. The upcoming sections will be content on the positive and negative impact, case studies, pandemic situation, and many more. In the end, there will be a concussion based on the topic.

The Positive Impact Of Social Media On Mental Health

  • Keep in touch with loved ones and friends all across the globe.
  • Meet new individuals and join groups that share similar objectives and interests.
  • Participate in or advocate for deserving causes; bring attention to pressing situations (Bekalu et l. 2019).
  • Feel free to lean on others or reach out to them for comfort when things are rough.
  • Find the support people need from others if people are isolated because of people’s location, lack of mobility, social phobia, or membership in a minority group.
  • Discover a way to express people’s self artistically (Abbas et al. 2021).
  • Find (carefully) new places to gain knowledge and insight.
Figure 1: Social media effects on mental health
(Source: alamy, 2021)

The Negative Impact Of Social Media On Mental Health

Feeling Inadequate

Social media may be a source of insecurity even if people are aware that the visuals they are seeing have been distorted. Also, they all know that individuals only talk about the good times in their lives and seldom discuss the bad times that everyone goes through (Keles et al. 2020). But it does not make the jealousy and discontent individuals feel while seeing their friend’s Photoshopped images of their exotic beach vacation or hearing about their amazing new job promotion any easier to bear. To know more students can take help from SourceEssay online assignment help experts

“Fear Over Missing Out (FOMO)”

FOMO is nothing new, but it seems to be amplified by websites such as Facebook as well as Instagram since they provide the impression that everyone else is having a great time. Realizing an individual is falling behind might have a negative effect on the overall sense of self-worth, set off worry, and encourage people for using social media much more (Alutaybi et al. 2020). If users suffer from “fear of missing out (FOMO)”, individuals may feel compelled to check their smartphone frequently for notifications or to immediately respond to all notification users receive, even if doing so increases the risk of an accident, keeps reader awake at night, or causes users to put online interactions ahead of face-to-face interactions.


A study conducted by researchers at the “University of Pennsylvania” discovered that frequent use of social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram makes people feel more isolated (Viner et al. 2019). A decrease in social media use was shown to have positive effects on loneliness, isolation, and well-being.

Stress And Melancholy

To maintain a healthy psychological condition, humans need regular face-to-face interactions. Nothing beats making genuine eye contact with such a caring person when people are feeling down or stressed (Meier and Reinecke, 2021). When online socializing takes precedence over face-to-face contact, it may lead to or exacerbate emotional problems like anxiety and despair. To know more about stress and melancholy students can take help SourceEssay online assignment Sydney experts.


Ten percent of kids say they’ve been bullied online, and many more report seeing objectionable content. Twitter is only one of many social media sites where harmful rumours, falsehoods, and harassment may spread rapidly and leave deep emotional scars.

Self-Absorption And Domestic Violence

Posting numerous photos and revealing ideas on social networks may lead to an excessive obsession with oneself and a decline in interpersonal ties. On the other hand, the domestic violence increases due to frustration and poor mental health (Liu et al. 2021).

COVID-19 (Pandemic), Social Media And Mental Health-Review

Almost all generations have expanded their usage of social media throughout the COVID-19 period, although the youngest generations are the most impacted. The vast majority of today’s students are members of Generation Z, meaning those born around 1996. Learners at today’s universities are considered “digital natives” since they grew up during the heyday of computer media and therefore are consequently fluent in its use. The already widespread usage of social media among college students has risen during the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result of the epidemic, university students had to spend more time online for school and other reasons, putting them at risk for both good and bad outcomes. Findings from previous research on the connection between social media usage and the psychological well-being of university students have been contradictory. Excessive use of electronic media during the epidemic has been linked to detrimental psychological outcomes, according to some research. In particular, the usage of social media during the epidemic has been connected to feelings of despair and secondary stress (Coyne et al. 2020). Constant coverage of COVID-19 could explain why some people experience emotional anguish after using social media; this suffering may be the result of the algorithm nature of social media’s processing. Even though social media usage has increased during the epidemic, and at least one research has established an inverse association between social media and depression, it is possible that COVID-19-related anxiety is being amplified by its use (Cauberghe et al. 2021). This apparent two-way causality is inherently complicated, and it suggests that social media usage during the epidemic has both beneficial and detrimental effects. As of “March 11, 2020”, the worldwide pandemic has been officially proclaimed by the “World Health Organization (WHO)”. Many nations imposed mandatory quarantine or lockdowns for many years after that day. People’s day-to-day lives and relationships with each other and the environment around them were profoundly altered as a result of this readjustment. Children’s social lives were severely disrupted when schools were closed and they lost almost all opportunities to contact with their classmates. Quarantine’s social exclusion inevitably affects the prevalence of mental issues and symptoms.

Figure 2: GHQ-12, pandemic, and social media
(Source: thelancet, 2021)

The average “GHQ-12 score” for the entire community reached a high of 12.9 just after 2020, within the first 5 waves of a COVID-19 online survey, and then gradually decreased afterward. Most individuals in the UK maintained or regained their level of mental health from before the epidemic during April 2020 and October 2020. 1 in 9 people showed signs of mental decline or ongoing dysfunction. Early intervention could be particularly helpful for those in places under lockdown, those experiencing financial hardship, those with pre-existing medical issues, and those infected with “SARS-CoV-2”.

Symptoms Of Having Bad Mental Health Due To Social Media

Rather than interacting with actual people, people spend people’s time on social media

According to thesis help experts, the amount of face-to-face time people spend using social media has likely decreased. people are compelled to continually monitor social media, even while out with friends, typically because people worry that people’s companions are having more fun (Chancellor et al. 2019).

Inadequate self-evaluation based on unfavourable social media comparisons

People don’t think highly of themselves or the way people look. Perhaps people even engage in problematic eating behaviours.

Having to deal with cyberbullying

On the other hand, people may be concerned that people cannot influence what others write about people online.

Distractions at school or at work

People feel obligated to constantly update people’s profiles with new material, to engage with other users by commenting or liking their posts, and to reply immediately and passionately to the postings of close friends.

Being too busy to reflect

People spend all of the people’s free time on social media, providing people with no time to think about people’s own thoughts and motivations, which prevents people from developing as a person.

Taking a risk to get a good response on media platforms

According to essay typer, people engage in risky antics, such as posting humiliating content online or engaging in cyberbullying against others, or using a smartphone while operating a motor vehicle or during other potentially hazardous scenarios.

Troubled by the inability to get a good night’s rest

Sleep disruption caused by electronic device illumination is associated with negative psychological outcomes.

Tension and sadness worsening

As opposed to improving people’s attitudes and relieving stress, social media really makes people feel worse.

A Case Study Example

This evaluation was completed in the year 2020. Web of Sciences, Google Scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, Magiran, and SID were searched extensively using keyword filters. A total of 501 papers were collected. In all, there were three rounds of screening for the papers. At last, 50 examples were thoroughly analysed from the original 501 articles. The results demonstrated both the excellent and negative impacts of social media on psychological well-being. These negative outcomes included but were not limited to the following: anxiety, depressed mood, loneliness, deterioration of sleep quality, bad mental health indicators, opinions of self-harm and suicidal behavior, enhanced levels of emotional distress, online bullying, body confidence dissatisfaction, apprehension about missing out and lowered life satisfaction (Torous et al. 2021). The same benefits of using the internet to connect with others online include the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences as well as the advice of experts in the field of health; the alleviation of depression; the creation of supportive relationships; the growth and development of offline channels and interrelations; the freedom to express oneself; and the consolidation and maintenance of existing interpersonal bonds.

Specific Mental Health Impact

Anxiety And Social Media

Several studies have shown a correlation between excessive use of social media and addictive tendencies. A survey conducted in the UK indicated that 45% of individuals get antsy when they can’t log in to their preferred social media site (Sekulić and Strube, 2020). According to reports, members of the “virtual generation” frequently check various social networking apps for new messages. It was also discovered that members of a younger crowd suffer from a condition known as “Phantom Vibration Syndrome (PVS)” if they are unable to check the messages sent to them through social networking programs. Which is nothing more than how a mobile phone junkie imagines the vibrations to feel.

Stress And Social Media

Some individuals constantly evaluate their own lives against those of their seemingly perfect pals (O’Kane et al. 2021). According to studies, individuals who use free social networking platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) are able to keep in touch with their friends and access useful material, but they also report giving up a great deal of anonymity and privacy.

Depression and social media

Students who spend a lot of time on Facebook often report feeling more alone. Research also shows that issues with psychosocial well-being, such as adjustment and self-esteem, are exacerbated by time spent on social media. Young people with severe depressive symptoms tend to have less good and more unfavourable social interactions, according to the research. Social forms including playing and speaking have been shown to reduce the incidence of depression, suggesting an inverse relationship between the two.

Loneliness And Social Media

The “Mental Health Foundation” of the UK reports that 60% of people aged 18–34 who are surveyed have reported feeling lonely despite widespread access to smartphones, computers, and other means of communicating online. Researchers found that a correlation exists between the number of Facebook friends each student has and his or her reported loneliness (Martínez-Castaño et al. 2020). On the other hand, studies have shown that those who use social networks less often tend to report greater levels of shyness as well as loneliness. These people are also more likely to actively seek out new friends. 

Mental Health And Social Relationship

According to university assignment help experts, the quality of one’s social life has a significant impact on one’s psychological well-being. The youth of today are a particularly challenging demographic since they are still in the developmental stages of life and hence more susceptible to severe mental health issues. Present-day youth are heavy social media users with a special passion for issues relating to mental health. Recognizing the connection between social networking and mental illness is only the beginning of what’s needed to deal with the current precarious situation.

Figure 3: Social media effects on youth
(Source: statista, 2019)

Understanding the mechanisms through which social networking is having an influence on young people’s mental health today is the next step in elucidating the interrelationships between these factors. However, researchers do not agree on whether aspects of social connections really affect mental health. Those who had more social support from family and close friends had less psychological distress after a stressful experience.


  • If users want to have a positive impact on the world, then make use of social media to spread encouraging and uplifting messages and information to their friends, families, and colleagues. users may get in touch with someone to express their appreciation for something they posted online or just to let them know people are thinking about them (Madanian and Parry, 2019). Before reacting negatively to a message or post, take a moment to think about how users might reframe their response or how users could approach the situation in person.
  • Whether it’s a forum that encourages users to discover and cultivate their unique identity or a mediation tool that may help users calm down and concentrate, the internet is full of resources to help users do it all while staying connected and encouraging one another. Learn a new skill like sketching or yoga from the comfort of their own home, or enroll in an internet workout class to help users maintain their health and de-stress.
  • Don’t give up too much personal information like their name, address, or picture when joining online applications or services.
  • Talk to adult users’ trust, such as a teacher or parent denounce the content on the site in question (save a screenshot as evidence), and research online safety helplines including mental health resources in their country if necessary if people are  troubled by anything you’ve seen or encountered online.
  • To save energy and get in the habit of uncritically absorbing information, one shouldn’t check their smartphone or go internet during the first minute of the morning or just before night. users can get the same kind of stimulus from things like meditating, taking a walk, or talking on the phone with a friend, but people will come away from such experiences with a clearer head and a calmer attitude.


Individuals’ psychological well-being and contentment are reliant on the strength of their relationships with others. Over the course of the COVID-19 period, users of almost all generations increased their time spent on social networking sites. This trend was most pronounced among the youngest demographic. It’s undeniable that people’s usage of social media like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram leads to a greater sense of isolation. Reduced social media usage has been associated with improvements in feelings of loneliness, isolation, and overall well-being. Learning from others’ experiences and the advice of specialists in the area of health; relieving despair; creating supportive connections; are all advantages of connecting with people online. However, research suggests that people who utilize social networks less often also experience higher symptoms of shyness and loneliness. Avoid checking phone or going online in the hours of the morning or just before bed to save energy and avoid developing the habit of taking in information without question.


Abbas, J., Wang, D., Su, Z. and Ziapour, A., 2021. The role of social media in the advent of COVID-19 pandemic: crisis management, mental health challenges and implications. Risk management and healthcare policy, pp.1917-1932.

Alutaybi, A., Al-Thani, D., McAlaney, J. and Ali, R., 2020. Combating fear of missing out (FoMO) on social media: The fomo-r method. International journal of environmental research and public health17(17), p.6128.

Bekalu, M.A., McCloud, R.F. and Viswanath, K., 2019. Association of social media use with social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health: disentangling routine use from emotional connection to use. Health Education & Behavior46(2_suppl), pp.69S-80S.

Cauberghe, V., Van Wesenbeeck, I., De Jans, S., Hudders, L. and Ponnet, K., 2021. How adolescents use social media to cope with feelings of loneliness and anxiety during COVID-19 lockdown. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking24(4), pp.250-257.

Chancellor, S., Birnbaum, M.L., Caine, E.D., Silenzio, V.M. and De Choudhury, M., 2019, January. A taxonomy of ethical tensions in inferring mental health states from social media. In Proceedings of the conference on fairness, accountability, and transparency (pp. 79-88).

Coyne, S.M., Rogers, A.A., Zurcher, J.D., Stockdale, L. and Booth, M., 2020. Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior104, p.106160.

Keles, B., McCrae, N. and Grealish, A., 2020. A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth25(1), pp.79-93.

Liu, M., Xue, J., Zhao, N., Wang, X., Jiao, D. and Zhu, T., 2021. Using social media to explore the consequences of domestic violence on mental health. Journal of interpersonal violence36(3-4), pp.NP1965-1985NP.

Madanian, S. and Parry, D., 2019, August. IoT, cloud computing and big data: integrated framework for healthcare in disasters. In Medinfo (pp. 998-1002). International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and IOS Press.

Martínez-Castaño, R., Pichel, J.C. and Losada, D.E., 2020. A big data platform for real time analysis of signs of depression in social media. International journal of environmental research and public health17(13), p.4752.

Meier, A. and Reinecke, L., 2021. Computer-mediated communication, social media, and mental health: A conceptual and empirical meta-review. Communication Research48(8), pp.1182-1209.

O’Kane, S.M., Lahart, I.M., Gallagher, A.M., Carlin, A., Faulkner, M., Jago, R. and Murphy, M.H., 2021. Changes in physical activity, sleep, mental health, and social media use during COVID-19 lockdown among adolescent girls: a mixed-methods study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health18(6), pp.677-685.

Sekulić, I. and Strube, M., 2020. Adapting deep learning methods for mental health prediction on social media. arXiv preprint arXiv:2003.07634.

Torous, J., Bucci, S., Bell, I.H., Kessing, L.V., Faurholt‐Jepsen, M., Whelan, P., Carvalho, A.F., Keshavan, M., Linardon, J. and Firth, J., 2021. The growing field of digital psychiatry: current evidence and the future of apps, social media, chatbots, and virtual reality. World Psychiatry20(3), pp.318-335.

Viner, R.M., Gireesh, A., Stiglic, N., Hudson, L.D., Goddings, A.L., Ward, J.L. and Nicholls, D.E., 2019. Roles of cyberbullying, sleep, and physical activity in mediating the effects of social media use on mental health and wellbeing among young people in England: a secondary analysis of longitudinal data. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health3(10), pp.685-696. Protection Status
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