The Role of Social Networks and Mental Health

People – are social creatures. We need to communicate with others in order to prosper in life, and the strength of our ties has a huge impact on our mental health and happiness. Social connection with others can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, improve self-esteem, provide comfort and joy, prevent loneliness and even add years to your life. On the other hand, the absence of strong social ties could pose a serious risk to your mental and emotional health.

In today’s world, many of us use Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram, to find each other and communicate with each other. Despite the fact that each has its advantages, it is important to remember that social networking can never be a substitute for real human connection. This requires personal contact with others to cause the hormones that relieve stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more positive. Ironically, for the technology, which is designed for the convergence of people, too much time spent on social networking can actually make you feel lonely and isolated – and exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

If you spend too much time on social networks and a sense of sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration or loneliness affects your life, perhaps it is time to reconsider your habits on the Internet and find a healthy balance.

The positive aspects of social networks.

Although virtual social networking does not have the same psychological benefits as in person, there are many positive ways in which you can stay in touch and maintain your well-being.

Social networks allow you to:

Communicate and be up to date with family and friends around the world.

Find new friends and the community; network with others who share similar interests or ambitions.

Join or advance the standing of the case; to raise awareness on important issues.

Look for or offer emotional support during difficult times.

Find vital social connections, if you live, for example, in a remote area, have limited independence, have social concerns, or are part of a marginal group.

Find an outlet for your creativity and self-expression.

Detection (with caution) of valuable sources of information and learning.

The negative aspects of social networking.

Since this is a relatively new technology, there is little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of the use of social networks. Nevertheless, numerous studies have shown a strong association between heavy social networks and an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.

Social networks can promote a negative experience, such as:

Inconsistency of your life or appearance. Even if you know that the images that you are viewing on social networks, manipulate, they can still make you feel insecure about how you look or what is happening in your own life. Similarly, we are all aware that other people tend to share only the highlights of their life, rarely those low points experienced by all. But this does not diminish the feeling of envy and frustration, when you look at airbrush pictures of their friends, telling them about a tropical vacation at the beach, or read about an exciting new promotion at work.

Fear skip (FOMO). Although FOMO there much longer than social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram seems to reinforce a sense of what other fun and live better than you. The idea is that you miss some things can affect your self-esteem, cause anxiety and encourage even greater use of social networks. FOMO may force you to pick up the phone every few minutes to check for updates, or is forced to react to every warning, even if it means that you risk when you’re driving, miss sleep at night, or prioritize social networks on real-world relationships.

Isolation. A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that heavy use of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increases, rather, a sense of loneliness. Conversely, the study found that the reduction in the use of social networks can actually make you feel less alone and isolated, and improve overall health.

Depression and anxiety. A person needs a personal touch to be mentally healthy. Nothing relieves stress and improves your mood faster and more efficiently than direct contact with someone who cares about you. The more you give preference to interacting in social networks, rather than a personal relationship, the greater your risk of developing or worsening mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Cyberbullying. About 10 percent of teens report that social networks bully and many others are subjected to offensive comments. Social media platforms, such as Twitter, hot spots can be harmful to the spread of rumors, lies, and abuse which may leave long emotional scars.

Self-absorption. Exchange endless selfies and all your inner thoughts on social networks can create unhealthy egocentricity and tear you away from real connections.

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