Facebook Can Be Dangerous for Your Mental Health

Facebook Can Be Dangerous for Your Mental Health

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Facebook is great for many, many reasons. You can stay in touch with people, see what they’re up to without having to pick up the phone, you can share news, and links, and retro #tbt photographs that make everyone cringe. BUT, (and there is always a but), there is also growing evidence to suggest that everyone’s favourite social networking site could have a potentially detrimental effect on mental health, especially for those predisposed to illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Here’s why…


1) COMPARE & DESPAIR

No matter what you are doing or how happy you are, one look on Facebook can convince you that everyone you know is having a much better time than you.

If you are already feeling vulnerable, and the voice inside your head is telling you that you’re not good enough, Facebook provides the ideal looking glass to provide ammo to that little gremlin. Sparkly fantastic lives are reflected back at you through a falsified looking glass. You think ‘how beautiful she looks’, ‘how many friends he has’, ‘how exciting their life is’, and in comparison reduce yourself to nothing. This is one of the mechanisms used by people suffering from anxiety or depression.

2) COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR

The introduction of smart phones paved a very easy path for compulsive behaviour. On average we check out phones 150 times a day, and a fair few of these include checking our Facebook apps. Even when we are not on Facebook, how many people would admit to thinking about what picture they want to post, or what status to write?

Without even using it, we are thinking about using it.

Like any kind of habitual, compulsive behaviour it becomes addictive and distracts us from the other activities we are engaging in.

Studies have also found that overuse of smart phones to maintain social interaction can lead to increased stress especially amongst those already suffering from anxiety.

3) THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SELFIE

Dying to take a Selfie? Think again, it may be more dangerous than you imagine. True fact? More people have been killed taking selfies last year than in shark attacks.

After the 23rd attempt you manage to take a Selfie that makes you look your best. You then spend 10 minutes editing it to achieve the perfect skin tone, and eye colour, and the result is a stunningly beautiful, but completely unrealistic version of yourself.

4) LONGING FOR LIKES AND SOCIAL APPROVAL

If you have a personality that seeks approval Facebook is the ideal platform to provide instant gratification. Unfortunately though it’s just a short term solution, 72 ‘likes’ on your photo may make you feel great about yourself for an hour or so, but doesn’t change how you feel about yourself deep down.

From a young age now people are measuring their activities, images, thoughts, and opinions with the amount of ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ they receive. To hold the belief that the reason that you are doing something is to see how much approval you can receive from others cannot be good for long term mental stability.

Remember that people choose what they want you to see, and most of the time it’s far from the true picture.

Therefore, Facebook can be good or bad, depending upon the way you use it. It has many advantages but at the same time, disadvantages too

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Pamir Times

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Pamir Times is the pioneering community news and views portal of Gilgit – Baltistan, Kohistan, Chitral and the surrounding mountain areas. It is a voluntary, not-for-profit, non-partisan and independent venture initiated by the youth.