The Negative Impact of Social Media
While social media has helped create an interactive network of friends and family around the world, it also has the potential to cause negative impacts. Research suggests that heavy use of social networking sites can lead to depression, self-harm, anxiety, and loneliness.
Social networking platforms are designed to keep users constantly checking their screens for updates. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and loneliness, and disrupts sleep. In addition, users are susceptible to identity theft.
For example, sharing intimate photos online can create blackmail or bullying. Additionally, people are susceptible to honey traps, which involve relationships that are fraudulent.
One of the most important consequences of using social media is the release of the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that rewards people for pleasurable activity. Using social media can increase the release of dopamine, causing an increased desire for instant gratification. When that is not obtained, social media use may become self-soothing.
Another negative effect of social media is FOMO, or the fear of missing out. It is a phenomenon that occurs when you believe that others are happier or more successful than you are. As a result, you begin to prioritize social media over real-life relationships.
These feelings can be even worse if you spend an unhealthy amount of time on social networking sites. Studies have found that people who spend more time on social networking sites suffer from poorer sleeping patterns, greater depression, and lower levels of self-esteem.