Is Social Media Actually Bad For Mental Health?

Numerous studies have come out which found that the way social media apps are designed are addictive. Similar in the way that casinos are designed to entice gamblers into spending more money, social media apps are designed to entice users to spend more time in the app. Everything from design to the psychology of notifications was engineered in a way to get you to spend more time interacting with your favorite social media platforms. Studies have found that social media engagement acts in the brain the same way that stimulant amphetamines like cocaine do. The brain is highly stimulated by scrolling, liking, and commenting. The brain is extremely stimulated when notifications are received with positive feedback, a “like” or a comment, for example. Anticipating the reward of a positive notification is for social media what anticipating a win in a casino is like. There’s never any guarantee it will happen, but there’s a guarantee it could happen and that is addicting enough for the brain.

Social Media causes extreme FOMO

The fear of missing out is an animalistic drive. There is a story of a dog with a bone in his mouth whimpering at the sight of another dog with a bone in his mouth- only the dog doesn’t realize, he’s looking at his own reflection. Social media gives everyone an opportunity to display their lives in a certain way, curating what people do and do not know about them. What you see on someone’s profile might not be the whole truth, but it is truth enough for you to feel like you are missing something. As a result, social media is proven to increase depression, sadness, and loneliness, as well as social isolation. Not only do people feel they are missing out on what other people have, but they become addicted to social media and feel like they are missing out on what’s going on inside their favorite platform.

Social Media inspires comparison which is unhealthy

Body image issues have been linked to social media platforms, especially Instagram. Photo editing makes the pictures on social media platforms unrealistic. Especially younger men and women compare themselves physically to others, which makes their self-esteem and confidence drop. Unhealthy comparisons cause mental distress in self-worth, which can lead to depression, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, and even substance abuse.

Oceanfront Recovery wants you to create your own timeline from addiction to recovery. Our philosophy is that when you change your story, you change your life. As a treatment facility, we offer residential programming from detox to transitional living. For information, call us today: 877.279.1777