The world has come a long way since the days pigeons carried messages from town to town. The formation of modern postal systems was a considerable upgrade from using animals to transport messages, but the invention of the internet and electronic mail (email) took human communication to a completely different level.
There is no longer a need to wait days, months, or, even, years before a message reaches its recipient since modern technology allows us to communicate with people all over the world instantaneously.
We can now sent texts, emails, and video messages that only take seconds to reach the recipient, and we can rekindle relationships with long-forgotten friends thanks to social media sites Like Facebook and Twitter.
While these new communication methods bring many benefits with them, some would also say that they have negative effects on our mental health.
According to a 2012 study by Anxiety UK, consistent use of social media sites can lead to increased feelings of anxiety, accompanied by feelings of inadequacy. The study also found that: More than 50 percent of subjects who consistently used social media noticed a negative change in their behavior, 45 percent of regular users who can’t get online feel worried/uncomfortable, while 60 percent need to power down their device just to summon the will power to take a break.
The results of this study were certainly interesting, considering the rapid growth of social media sites.
Social media has also helped give rise to a new form of peer harassment called cyber bullying, a testament to the fact a majority of social media users are under the age of 30.
About 43 percent of kids who use social media sites have been cyber-bullied, 81 percent feel like it’s a lot easier to avoid getting punished for cyber bullying, and 70 percent of young students admit they regularly see cases of cyber-bullying.
Obviously, any form of bullying can be damaging to young adults since it can lead to serious mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and, in some cases, suicide. Cyber-bullying tends to be even more damaging than regular bullying since it’s virtually impossible to remove things that have been circulated on the internet like unflattering pictures and slanderous postings. That means the victim will have to deal with the pain indefinitely.
Fortunately, while social media sites can have negative effects on your mental health, overall, for those who use these sites appropriately, the overall benefits outweigh the negative.