In a world where you can never switch off, where there’s always someone posting an amazing experience on Instagram, someone who seems to be achieving so much in life, someone who has a lovely house and beautiful family, we seem to be constantly wishing we were someone else due to social media. And in this generation we are all programmed to think we need technology in order to survive, in order to be in the now.
The Negative Effects of Social Media on Mental Health
A number of studies have found an association between social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk, warn researchers from the University of Melbourne’s National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, in an article on The Conversation.
The CNC in America recently revealed the suicide rate in the US has grown nearly 25% since 1999, with Dr Nassir Ghaemi telling CNN part of the blame must lie with the rise of social media.
A 2015 study by the University of Missouri found that regularly using Facebook could lead to symptoms of depression if the site triggered feelings of envy in the user.
Another link has been made between sleep disruption caused by excessive mobile phone use at night and depression and unhappiness.
A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found people who spend the night checking social media are more likely to suffer from mood problems such as neuroticism and bipolar disorder, and rate themselves as less happy and more lonely.
Analysing data from 91,000 middle-aged people, researchers found those with “poor sleep hygiene” - such as checking Facebook late at night - were 6% more likely to suffer from depression, 11% more likely to have bipolar, and scored their own happiness as 9% lower than those who had good sleep hygiene.