Social media has well and truly taken over our lives.
Almost two-thirds of American adults are using social media platforms and, unsurprisingly, 90% of young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 are active on social networking websites. Everywhere we turn, social media is mentioned, demonstrated and used by everyone around us – but what effect is this obsession having on our mental health?
Whilst social media has become part of our routine and lifestyle, is there something deeper that keeps us going back for more? Studies have shown that taking selfies can lead to mental health conditions that focus on our growing obsession with physical appearance.
Pamela Rutledge of Psychology Today explained the link very clearly; “selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self-indulgence or attention-seeking social dependence that raises the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t spectre of either narcissism or very low self-esteem.”
Snapping the perfect picture and getting enough “likes” to feel attractive is what many people aim to achieve on a day-to-day basis, so it’s no wonder that we place such a strong need on the opinions of others through an easily-accessible app we have on our smartphones. Understandably, this can go one of two ways – narcissism or depression. Our selfie addiction can push us to gain confidence in our physical appearance, although there’s a thin line between gaining confidence and becoming reliant on the social media platforms to demonstrate our worth, and if it goes too far, we may become narcissistic. Secondly, the obsession with achieving the perfect picture and the availability of images of others who we deem to be “perfect” can cause us to look at ourselves and feel as though we aren’t good enough.
The infographic below will be looking at the first of those scenarios by exploring the definition of narcissism, as well as the negative effects of specific social media platforms.
What are your thoughts on social media? Do you think it can negatively affect our mental health? Please share your thoughts.
Infographic source: BestComputerScienceSchools.net