Social media can offer wonderful opportunities for people to connect, share and develop meaningful friendships online. However, use of social media sites can also post certain risks to our mental health.
Sometimes overuse of social media can lead to spending too much time alone, avoiding face to face interactions which can protect us from depression and anxiety. Social media is detrimental when it prevents meaningful and face-to-face connections.
- Cyber Bullying is defined as ” … any behaviour performed through electronic or digital media by individuals or groups that communicates hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or discomfort on others.” – Tokunaga, 2010
- Messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to large audiences. It can be extremely difficult to delete messages and images after they have been distributed and it is hard to trace their source. On some apps, messages are deleted instantly and it can be difficult to gain evidence to show parents or others.
- 43% of teens describe social media as causing them difficulties in their lives (Reach Out Ireland Teen Mental Health Survey, March 2017)
- Over-use of social media promotes limited and fragmented attention span
- ‘Facebook Depression’ can result when a person compares themselves negatively to everyone
- Some social media users share for approval and measure themselves on achieving a certain amount of ‘likes’
- Social media users can sometimes encounter age-inappropriate content
- Insomnia and sleep disorders can result from over-use of social media sites
- Control and limit the amount of time you spend on social media sites
- Keep mobile devices out of the bedroom at night
- Check your privacy settings – be aware that everything on social media, including photographs, is potentially public
- Learn about online safety
- Flag it when you find objectionable material
- Be aware of your mood
For further information, simply click on the links below:
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information in this section is not intended as a substitute for clinical diagnosis or to replace the advice of a medical professional. If concerned, please contact your family doctor or phone the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie.
Registered Charity Number 20204828 / CHY 22724