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  • Akash Walavalkar

MENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL MEDIA




Social media was born in 1997 with SixDegrees.com being the first social media site. Since then, within the past 24 years, social media has taken over the world and now, almost everybody uses some form of social media on a daily basis with teenagers being the primary users of such apps.


For many teenagers, social media can become extremely addictive. In a study, the researchers at “UCLA Brain Mapping Centre” found that certain regions of a teenager’s brain become activated by receiving “likes” on social media. One such region is the Nucleus Accubens which is the primary site mediating reward behavior.


Researchers say that this part is particularly active during the teenage years, explaining why teenagers are drawn to social media and why they feel a constant need to share.

This excessive use of social media has a negative effect on their developing brains causing a lot of mental health issues.


Several studies have shown that prolonged use of social media by teenagers is related to them developing symptoms of depression and low self-esteem. It has also proven to be the cause of anxiety in teenagers as they feel the pressure to have well-written posts and perfect photos. Cyber-bullying is another source of anxiety for them. Teenagers also lose valuable sleep due to social media as they are unable to properly regulate screen time. This causes them to develop problems like moodiness, a drop in grades, and overeating, as well as exacerbate existing problems like depression, anxiety, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).


Jealousy and envy are normal emotions. However, they can cause great harm to the teenage brain, if they dwell on what someone else possesses or experiences. The reason for this jealousy is that people tend to post only their positive experiences on social media which can make the viewer feel that others lead a more exciting life than they actually do. Cyber-bullying also stems from jealousy as the bully may be jealous of the victim’s achievements, successes and various other things.


Social media is a place to connect with our friends and the entire world but one must be cautious while using it in order to prevent any personal harm and protect ourselves from mental health problems which can last up to adult life.





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2 Comments


Vindya Ballal
Vindya Ballal
Mar 13, 2021

That's awesome Akash. Very well written and thank you for making us aware of the facts behind this addiction. Great going all the best

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Aarti Daswani
Aarti Daswani
Mar 12, 2021

Very well-researched and nicely written.

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