Is There a Rise in Mental Illness Due to Technology and Social Media?

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Alexis Dragon-Greeno, Writer

The decline in mental health has had a significant rise within the past decade, and I blame social media. Teens and young adults are living on the internet. Research by The American Psychological Association found that adolescents and young adults are experiencing negative psychological symptoms. The decline in mental health has had a significant rise within the past decade, and I blame social media.

Social media holds a lot of power in our society. Rumors can be started, photos can be leaked,and you can show any part of your life on social media. Sharing any kind of information or thought leads to conflict, which can lead to bullying. Bullying is a serious matter and affects one’s mental health

Also, spending hours scrolling through any social media app takes time away from the real world. A Britain study in 2018 showed that social media delays and decreases the sleep you get at night. Poor sleep habits are associated with depression, anxiety, memory loss and poor academic performance. All of these things will overall affect someone’s physical and mental well-being.

Let’s face it, social media is addicting. Excessive use of social media can lead to physical and psychological addiction. According to The Addiction Center, social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is defined by being overly concerned about social media. 

Does social media have an overall positive effect on our society? Social Media sites are thought to be the greatest way of communication. The use of social media improved relationships with the communication resources they offer. According to a Harvard study, using social media is a part of our daily routine, and responding to content that others share is positively associated with all three health outcomes. 

Yes, there is such a thing as positive social media use; however, the use of social media has increased. Now, 4.6 billion people are using social media, which is over half of the world’s population. It is predicted that around 6 billion people will be using social media by 2027. An average person spends around 7 hours on social media a day. This means that between 38-43 hours of waking time is spent on social media, which affects one’s mental health. The idea of social media is threatening to our society. Anyone, even I, can agree that decline in mental health increases because of social media. The hardest part about it all is realizing how a change can be made.

The length of social media use is increasing, and it can’t be denied. Social Media seems to have everything we need, but that’s not always the case. Before I go to bed every night I sit on my phone for around 30 minutes before I go to bed, and I’ve realized that’s why I can’t fall asleep afterward, and also why I can’t wake up to an alarm. An average person loses an hour of sleep when using their phone before bed. As previously mentioned, poor sleep increases the likelihood of several mental disorders. 

Mental health disorders are increasing worldwide. As over half of the world population is living on the internet, we are losing a sense of the real world we are living in. The consequences of lengthy use of social media are up to you. So the real question is, is social media worth it?