We are becoming a society that cannot leave without social media. It is not unusual to go for a social gathering only to find people glued to their screens instead of having intimate conversations.

Social media has its benefits. It offers a medium for interaction with friends and brands online. But, social media can also be addictive. This addiction can lead to several mental problems.

This article explores various ways that social media addiction can be harmful to your health.

Depression and Social anxiety

Various mood disorders like depression and social anxiety have been linked to social media addiction. Various research studies indicate that the more time you spend on social media,the less happy you are. Thisis largely attributed to the need to be validated on various social media platforms. People who are constantly updating their profiles and anxiously checking their phones for number of likes and shares have a higher likelihood of been depressed. Instead of constantlyupdating comments on your phone you can subscribe to auto comments Instagram. This will help you focus on other pressing issues in your life. Social media addiction brings a sense of isolation because it denies individuals face-to-face communication.

Decreased productivity

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Your employees could not be as productive as you think. All it takes is a click,and you lose focus on current tasks. Employees are spending more time browsing social posts instead of being productive. It requires discipline to remain focused on the tasks ahead. Some employers have installed CCTV cameras to monitor their employees’ activities on the net. While this seems effective, employees often find creative ways to bypass the systems.

Lack of privacy

People will often post their personal details on their social media pages. This leads to a lack of privacy. Revealing personal details like where you live exposes people to extortions and kidnappings. Various social media platforms have put in place privacy settings which you can use to control what kind of information is revealed to third parties. But, this is not full proof as has been evidenced with instances of hacking. You should be extra careful when you share information to pop-up ads as this could be used for phishing purposes. Be on the lookout for tags– you do not want the whole world to know where you are.

Spreading wrong information

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You cannot trust all the information that is available online without fast verifying it. Social media has been responsible for spreading fake news. It is not unusual to find a viral post about the death of a prominent person only to realize that they are alive. If you are seeking a news channel, subscribe to those that have built a reputation over the years. Verify that the accounts you are following are the official – many reputable companies often have duplicate accounts and this act a source of spreading false information.

The fear of missing out

When you login to your social media account and see people having fun or traveling to exotic places it can create the Fear of Missing out (FoMo). This further exuberates depression and social anxiety. What people do not realize is that people often post the fun and good parts of their lives while omitting the not-fun parts. FoMois associated with mood disorders,andconstant comparison of one’s life with others will lead to dissatisfaction with life.

Lack of sleep

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Social media addiction contributes to insomnia. If you are tempted to constantly check your phone for notifications you will experience problems sleeping. The blue light emitted by mobile phones can contribute to eye problems and makes it hard to find some sleep. To ensure that you get the recommended hours of sleep ensure that you turn off your phone during bedtime and that your room is pitch dark with no light coming in. Blue light interferes with melatonin – hormone responsible for sleep patterns.

Negative self-image

The kind of bodies that most people see on various social media platforms are often unrealistic to attain. Those pop idols we see on television and magazines often contribute to people developing a negative self-image. What most people do not know is that they do not have all of their lives together. Negative self-image has led to loss of confidence and eating disorders amongst teens. Spending time off social media often leads improved confidence levels.

Addiction

It has been revealed that social media likes and comments affect dopamine production in the brain. When dopamine is released, you feel good and motivated. It is the same chemical that is released in the body when people take drugs. This is the reason we feel pleasure whenever we receive a social media notification. The problem with dopamine is once it is weanedoff the body we require more of it to feel good again. This leads to addiction. Some people experience withdrawal symptoms,and that is why they appear sad when they are not close to their phones.

Cyberbullying

People are increasingly becoming less tolerant of each other – especially on social media. Cyberbullying has caused many teens to commit suicide. The need to fit in has led many teens to abuse others in order to gain leverage. While specific governments have put in place measures to curb the vice, it is hard to regulate the net. This created a need for parents to monitor what their kids are doing online. You should also block people who use hurtful words when communicating.

Conclusion

Gone are the days when you needed to travel for miles just to see your family or friends. Communication is a click away. Through messages and chat social media has helped to bridge this gap, but it has also affected society negatively. Spending many hours online has led to isolation which in turn fuels depression and social anxiety. Likes, shares and chats have replaced face-to-face communication. There has also been a rise of fake news online. Truth has become very subjective – especially instances where you cannot verify the facts. What people need is to be disciplined enough to stay off social media for some time.

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