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Social media and mental health: Does it affect a person positively or negatively

Mekhiya Gregory

gmekhiya@radford.edu

Social media is an outlet for a lot of individuals to be creative. It is a mixture of a lot of personalities, as well as opinions. Our society has evolved to the clicking and sounds of our cell phones notifying us when something is posted on social media. We have become addicted to staying up for hours on social media rather than being connected to the real world around us. We are sucked into this virtual world. But does what we read on social media negatively impact our mental health or improve it?

I think social media can negatively affect younger teens in a way that does not influence them positively. They are being disconnected from the real world and are beginning to lose a lot of social skills that they need. The lack of social skills can impact them when interacting with their peers as well as getting a job in their career choice. I also think that their self-esteem is negatively impacted. With the day-to-day basis of seeing individuals that you wish you could look like or comparing yourself to them, it would take a toll on what you think about yourself. According, to Dr. Steiner-Adair, “girls are socialized more to compare themselves to other people, girls, in particular, to develop their identities, so it makes them more vulnerable to the downside of all this.” She warns that a lack of solid self-esteem is often to blame. “We forget that relational aggression comes from insecurity and feeling awful about yourself. You want to put other people down, so you feel better.” We see that a lot of social media individuals putting other down. When younger individuals see this, they may even result in doing this act in the mindset of them thinking it’s cool.

I do not believe that all of social media is bad. However, I feel like the negative aspects of social media get more attention than the positive. Kestin Currie shared her thoughts on whether or not the use of social media can improve your mental health, or hurt it. She said, “both, some people express positively through support, and others through tearing you down.” Currie also feels like social media has an impact on our society. She said, “it kind of control our society, everybody’s everything has to go on social media.” I agree with her and feel as if we are conformed to the ways of putting or displaying our lives on our social media accounts. Do we need to show everything for everyone to see?

I think that social media could affect our mental health negatively by some individuals comparing themselves to others. I believe we should all promote positive messages on social media to help uplift people who feel down on themselves. Positivity will bring happiness out of everyone as well as helping some accept all of their differences.

 

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