Social media platforms are full with pictures of flawless lifestyles, idealised physique, and well crafted experiences that could cause you to compare yourself to others.
You’re exhausted, moody, and irritable after using social media right before bed. This can make it difficult for you to go asleep. This may have a negative effect on mental health and result in elevated anxiety and depression.
You have a poor opinion of yourself because social media stress frequently manifests itself in an idealised view of life, which can result in exaggerated expectations and a poor opinion of oneself. For example, seeing pictures of models and influencers with perfect bodies can lead to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.
Causes for the stress of social media
Social Comparison: the stress of Social media often stems from social comparison, where individuals compare themselves to others on social media platforms, leading to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. For example, seeing someone’s perfect life on Instagram may make one feel inferior and unhappy with their own life.
Cyberbullying: Under the pressure of social media, cyberbullying is a common problem where people may experience harassment, abuse, or humiliation. In severe circumstances, this might result in anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
Addiction: The use of social media can become obsessive and dependent, which can interfere with daily tasks and result in despair and anxiety. For instance, thinking continually about social media stress at work or school can have an impact on productivity and induce anxiety about falling behind.
Sleep Disturbance: the stress of Social media and its use before bedtime can lead to sleep disturbance, leading to negative impacts on mental health. For example, excessive social media use at night can lead to difficulty falling asleep, resulting in tiredness, mood swings, and irritability.
Self-Esteem: the stress of Social media can negatively impact self-esteem, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. For example, seeing pictures of models and influencers with perfect bodies can lead to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.
Anxiety and depression can be brought on by information overload, which is brought on by the stress of social media’s abundance of information. For instance, a constant barrage of news reports and updates can cause concern regarding the situation of the world.
Less Face-to-Face Interaction: The strain of social media can cause a reduction in face-to-face interaction, which can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation that can be harmful to mental health. For instance, spending excessive amounts of time on social media may cause one to spend less time really interacting with friends and family.
Comparing Life Stages: People comparing their life stages is a source of stress on social media, which can make people feel anxious and depressed. For example, seeing friends getting married or having children may make someone feel like they are behind in life or missing out on something.
Signs your mental health is suffering
Social media is used daily by billions of people around the world to communicate with one another, share information, and keep up with news and happenings. Social media can have positive effects on community building and tolerable communication, but it can also have detrimental effects on mental health.
These are a few indicators that social media use may be negatively affecting your mental health.
When you lack access to social media and experience its stress, you may feel anxious or stressed: Your mental health may be suffering as a result of social media if you experience fear or anxiety when you are unable to access your social media accounts. This emotion could indicate social anxiety.
You compare yourself to others on and allow the stress of social media to stop you: Social media platforms are filled with images of perfect lives, idealized bodies, and curated experiences that may lead you to compare yourself to others.
You’re exhausted, moody, and irritable after using social media right before bed. This can make it difficult for you to go asleep.
This may have a negative effect on mental health and result in elevated anxiety and depression.
You experience constant stress from social media and feel overloaded with information: Social media offers an excessive amount of information, which can cause information overload as well as higher levels of tension and worry.
You lack a sense of connection to your interactions in real life: You may interact with your friends and family less in person as a result of spending too much time on social media and dealing with its stress, which may make you feel lonely and alienated.
You think poorly of yourself: Social media regularly presents an idealised vision of life, which can lead to unreasonable expectations and a negative self-perception. For instance, viewing images of influencers and models with flawless bodies might cause body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.
Meet Sarah, a 35-year-old marketing expert who has battled mental illness for many years. She had always used social media frequently, but in recent years she had noticed a rise in her anxiety, worry, and loneliness. She constantly felt overpowered by the constant barrage of unfavourable news, drama, and comparison when she checked her social media accounts.
One day, Sarah decided to take a step back and deal with the stress of social media in a healthy way by focusing on her mental health. She began by setting boundaries for her social media use, limiting the amount of time she spent on social media each day, and turning off notifications.
Sarah also sought support from a therapist, who helped her develop coping strategies for anxiety and stress. She practised mindfulness and meditation, went on regular walks, and engaged in offline activities like cooking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Sarah also made a conscious effort to cultivate positive relationships outside of social media. She joined a local book club and started volunteering at a local animal shelter. She realized that these activities not only brought her joy and fulfilment but also helped her connect with others in a more meaningful way.
As Sarah took these steps, she began to notice a positive shift in her mental health. She felt more grounded, centred, and connected to herself and others.
Months went by, and Sarah was amazed at how much her life had changed. She had developed a healthy relationship with social media, using it in a more intentional and mindful way. She no longer felt overwhelmed or isolated by social media but instead saw it as a tool for connection and “
Sarah’s transformation showed that it’s possible to turn your life around and improve your mental health, even if you have been struggling with social media addiction or anxiety for years. By setting boundaries, seeking support, and cultivating positive relationships and activities, you can take control of your mental health and build a more fulfilling and joyful life.
How does social media cause stress?
Social media causes stress in many ways. Anxiety and stress may result from social media pressure, FOMO, and notification addiction. Comparing to others’ apparently ideal lifestyles and unfavourable news may sometimes cause stress. 24/7 availability and rapid replies might increase stress.
What are the 4 stressors on social media?
Social media stresses include social comparison, FOMO, online abuse, and information overload. Self-care and awareness of these pressures may improve mental health.
What are the negative effects of social media?
Social media may cause addiction, anxiety, sadness, cyberbullying, diminished face-to-face interactions, and misinformation. It may reduce productivity and distort reality.
What is the anxiety of social media?
Social media anxiety refers to bad sentiments and tension caused by social media use. Comparison, FOMO, cyberbullying, and pressure to project a flawless online image are examples. It may harm mental health.