The Link Between Social Media & Mental Health

‘Social media’ is a platform that has gained popularity since its creation.

Various social media platforms have emerged, including Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. Every platform has its own features and user bases.

As technology advances worldwide, using social media has become easier. According to research, in 2021, there are estimated to be over 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide. This represents 52% of the population worldwide.

There are pros and cons to everything, and social media is no exception. However, is there any link between social media and mental health?  In this EDU Blog, you will get an answer to this question. We will look at social media’s effects on mental health. And how these two are linked with each other.

How are Social Media and Mental Health Linked?

Social media has a great impact in our daily lives. That’s why it is also linked to mental health.

Well, the effects of social media on one’s mental health can be beneficial and harmful. Social media can serve as a powerful resource for improving emotional well-being.  

It can provide a platform for sharing information and resources about mental health. It further helps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Patients can receive valuable support from mental health professionals through social media by responding to their posts, sharing helpful advice, and listening.

Social media can also act as a platform for people to express their feelings without fear of judgment. This can help people to feel less alone in their struggles and more confident in seeking professional help.

Social media can be a lifeline for people struggling with mental health by creating a sense of community.

However, there are also downsides associated with using social media. Many mental health problems have been linked to excessive use of social media.

Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health?

The answer to this question lies in how you use a particular platform. Social media is a great tool to communicate with people globally. You can share your ideas and grow your business worldwide with the help of this.

However, excess of everything is bad. Excessive social media use can have bad consequences on your mental health.

No extensive research has been done on the consequences of social media yet. But various studies show how social media might affect one’s mental health.

Research estimates that social media may contribute to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. So, it can ultimately hurt your mental health.

Negative Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Some major effects of social media on mental health are;

1. Depression and Anxiety

Social media can cause depression and anxiety in young people. This association was shown to be stronger in those who used social media more frequently.  

Several factors, such as societal comparison, cyberbullying, and pressure to present a curated online image, could lead to this.

People who compare themselves to others online and feel that they do not measure up may experience feelings of low self-esteem. So this can lead to anxiety.   

Moreover, bad interactions with others online, such as cyberbullying, can contribute to feelings of sadness and worthlessness.   

2. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying on social media can have major negative consequences for mental health. It may present itself in various ways, including online harassment, threats, and public humiliation.   

In addition, the victims of cyberbullying may feel helpless, despondent, and alienated, leading to poor mental health consequences.  

3. Social Comparison

Social media users constantly upload their most attractive pictures and content. There are differences in the way people live, however. There are many people who may feel depressed if they see their life isn’t as good as others.

Although pictures or videos cannot define what’s happening in someone’s life. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Everyone’s lives may look different on the surface, but underneath, we all have our own struggles and triumphs to contend with. Just because something looks great on the outside, doesn’t mean that’s the whole story. 

Regardless, many users suffer low self-esteem due to social comparison.

4. Sleep Disturbance

According to a Canadian research in 2017, students who spend more than two hours each day on social media are more likely to report having poor mental health.

Thus, using social media before bed or late at night can cause problems with sleeping, which can harm mental health. The blue light emitted by electronic devices might interfere with melatonin production. It makes it difficult to fall and remain asleep.

However, lack of sleep can contribute to various mental health problems, including sadness, anxiety, and irritability.


Social media can worsen the feeling of FOMO, or the “fear of missing out.” Social media use may cause people to experience the fear of missing out on important events or experiences. Additionally, they may feel that others are having a better time than they are.

Moreover, this feeling can be so intense that they feel the need to check their phone constantly or respond to notifications immediately. If this behavior begins to interfere with their daily life, it can become a problem.

6. Feeling of Isolation

Last but not least, social media can cause feelings of isolation. Spending long periods of time on social media might make us feel distant from reality and the people and events happening around us.  

For instance, false sense of connection promoted by social media platforms is true. Although we may have thousands of online friends or followers, these connections rarely reach the depth and intimacy of those we have in our real lives.  

Even if you have many online friends, you may still experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.  

Final Thoughts

It’s important for parents and educators to be aware of these risks and to help support young people in navigating online spaces safely.

Although social media can negatively impact mental health, it is important to keep in mind this is not the whole story.

We can use the potential of social media to develop connections, encourage creativity, and promote healthy mental health. It can be done by embracing it carefully and intentionally.

Social media may be a valuable tool in our desire for well-being and pleasure if we use it with care and purpose. So, let us embrace the positive aspects of social media while managing the negatives to create a better, happier online experience.

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