5 Negative Side Effects of Social Media

It’s no doubt that social media has completely changed our lives over the years and has redefined how we interact with our friends, family, colleagues and the rest of the world…but at what cost to our wellbeing?

As the VP of Marketing for two companies, I find myself on social media A LOT for work purposes… so much so it has gotten to the point where I now try to limit the time I spend on various platforms outside of work as much as I possibly can.

While social media is a great way to connect with loved ones, share experiences and memories, market products and services, below is a list of ways in which social media may actually be detrimental to.

  1. Lack of sleep

Truth be told, I am completely guilty of this one. I use to crawl into bed at a reasonable time every night, and somehow only managed to get 5 hours of sleep. The culprit? I was taking my phone with me to bed, scrolling aimlessly through social media, and getting lost in a treasure trove of ~pointless~ content. When my days were being affected by my late night social media use, I decided to make a change. I now limit my time spent on my phone before bed to only 30-45 minutes, use blue light blocking glasses to limit the amount of blue light exposure I receive before sleep, and leave my phone on my nightstand before hopping into bed.

2. Unrealistic expectations

I believe MANY millennials can relate to this point. Constantly seeing upwards of 100 posts a day from people who *look* like they have their lives together can really affect your psyche and make you question where you are at in your own life. Some words of advice: most people only share the best parts of their lives on social media.

3. FOMO (fear of missing out)

I’m sure everyone at some point in their life has wished they were able to be some place they couldn’t be. This feeling of missing out can be magnified 100x when you’re regularly active on social media. Oftentimes FOMO can lead to extreme sadness, anxiety, and loneliness.

4. Cyberbullying

Unfortunately, cyberbullying is extremely prevalent in today’s social, mainly because of the anonymity that exists in the online world. Individuals believe they can say whatever they please without any repercussions. If you are being bullied or harassed online, it’s important to reach out to someone you trust.

5. Depression

It’s no surprise that many individuals will experience at least a few symptoms of depression with regular to high amounts of social media use, especially since many of the previous points I have made can all lead to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, guilt, sadness, anger, self-loathing, and lack of interest in regular daily activities.

Have you recognized any of these side effects of social media use in your personal life? If you have, it may be time to take a step back from social media and evaluate its priority in your life.

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