7 Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users
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If you can’t imagine your life without social media, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen a victim to the evil power and impact of social networking as well as the attention economy. It also means that you’ve experienced one (or more) of the negative effects of social media on society.

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Don’t pretend you’ve never heard of these. While social media can have a positive impact too, that doesn’t mean it’s all hearts and flowers. Unfortunately.

How Social Media Is Bad for You

Let’s explore the darker side of social media and exactly how (and why) it’s bad for you. You’ll be surprised to learn the negative effects of social media are both physical and mental. It can change your perception of the world and yourself, and not always for the better.

Don’t believe us? Then read on to find out some of the negative effects of social media. And if you recognize any of them as your own symptoms it may be time to consider stop using social media altogether.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Do you spend more than two hours per day on social media? Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood. In fact, you’re more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So how to use social media without causing yourself psychological distress 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression Technology can worsen depression. With tech enveloping our lives, we should be more aware of technology's potential impact on us. There are some things you can do to lessen the burden. Read More ? If you turn to the same research (and common sense), the recommended amount of time you should spend on social networks is half an hour per day. So, as with so many things in life, it’s all about moderation.

2. Cyberbullying

Before social media, bullying was something only done face-to-face. However, now, someone can be bullied online anonymously. Today everyone knows what cyberbullying is, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person. And since screens hide our faces, you can end up being a jerk on social media and other websites without realizing it.

While social media made making friends easier, it also made it easier for predators to find victims. The anonymity that social networks provide can be used by the perpetrators to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers.

These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases. You’ll be surprised to find out that cyberbullying isn’t just affecting kids, but also full grown adults.

See how to hide your social media profiles How to Hide Your Social Media Profiles From Bullies How to Hide Your Social Media Profiles From Bullies Social networking sites can be a breeding ground for bullying. Here's how to hide your social media profiles from bullies. Read More if you suffer from this issue.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born at the same time as Facebook—and it’s one of the most common negative effects of social media. FOMO is basically a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience or emotions that someone else is getting.

This fear is constantly fueled by your social media engagement. The more you use social networks, the more likely you are to see that someone is having more fun that you are right now. And that’s exactly what causes FOMO.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

This one probably comes as no surprise, but social media helps you to form unrealistic expectations of life and friendships. The networks that do it most are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those are the social media platforms that severely lack online authenticity.

One simple way out of this is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram celebrities and YouTubers who earn millions, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

5. Negative Body Image

Speaking of Instagram celebrities, if you look at popular Instagram accounts, you’ll find beautiful people wearing expensive clothes on their perfect bodies.

Today, body image is an issue for many people of both sexes. Of course, seeing those perfect in accordance with the society standards people on a daily basis makes you conscious about how different you look from those pictures. And not everyone comes to the right conclusions in this situation.

6. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

On top of increased rates of anxiety and depression, spending too much time on social media can lead to poor sleep. Numerous studies have shown that increased use of social media has a negative effect on your sleep quality.

If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular and that this is affecting your productivity, try and avoid spending a significant amount of time on social media.

7. General Addiction

using smartphone

Social media is often described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, with the worst social media apps being Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok when it comes to addiction.

Don’t know if you’re addicted to your social networks? Think when was the last time you went a full day without checking your social media accounts? Do you feel rejected if someone unfollows you Unfriended or Unfollowed? How to Handle Rejection on Social Media Unfriended or Unfollowed? How to Handle Rejection on Social Media It sucks when someone unfriends or unfollows you. Here's what you can do when you face social media rejection. Read More ? What if your favorite social networks completely disappeared tomorrow; would it make you feel empty and depressed?

If you just realized you’re addicted to social media, don’t worry, as most of us are there with you in varying degrees. And it’s not necessarily a reason to go and wipe yourself off all those social networking platforms.

However, if you think quitting is the best solution for you, we won’t stop you. In fact, one of our writers tried quitting social media What Happens When You Quit Social Media? 6 Things I Learned What Happens When You Quit Social Media? 6 Things I Learned If you're planning to quit social media, you might have questions about what comes next. Here's what you can expect. Read More once, and it was an interesting experience.

Social Media: Is It Time to Quit or Detox?

As with everything else, social media brings both good and bad things into our lives. At the end of the day, you’re the one who decides whether there’s more help or harm in it for you.

Consider the pros and cons of social media The Pros and Cons of Social Media The Pros and Cons of Social Media What are the pros and cons of social media? We explore both sides of the debate. Read More if you need more info. And if you decide to stay, use these tips to spend less time on social media 7 Tips to Help You Waste Less Time on Social Media 7 Tips to Help You Waste Less Time on Social Media Here are several tips and tricks you can use to waste less time on social media and become a happier individual. Read More .

Explore more about: Addiction, Depression, Facebook, Instagram, Sleep Health, Snapchat, Twitter.

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  1. lkgoetz
    November 5, 2019 at 11:21 am

    men and women foeget they're in a relationship already, but somehow deny what they're doing when confronted. it's ok though, it's just social media, right? i don't blame social media, i blame the liars and cheaters outhere

  2. me
    November 5, 2019 at 11:18 am

    social media, in itself really can be a good thing. For responsible, mindful people. But that's the real kicker right there: people (both men and women) see a dating or hookup ad and cannot resist the urge to loook

  3. nizla
    October 23, 2019 at 11:32 am

    this is good. subscribe to pewdiepie

  4. Nandhini
    September 25, 2019 at 9:10 am

    The article was quite interesting that was felt natural interaction..and gained some thing out of my box of learning.

  5. Monique
    August 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    DO NOT EVEN GO ON THOSE MEDIA PLATFORMS. They strip people from their happiness by giving them the anxiety and less sleeping, its like we’re slaves! Then the media teaches you to be materialistic, like with what people post on Instagram displaying the brands they wear like Gucci or Louis Vuitton or whatever. Those brands just use people to promote their stuff not caring that it corrupts their supporters at the same time with materialism, which further detaches people from reality. THEN those platforms like Snapchat or Instagram reduce your confidence by you getting the fear of missing out and feeling disappointed when you see the people with “perfect bodies”, nice clothes, and seemingly perfect lives.

    • lkgoetz
      November 5, 2019 at 11:23 am

      great answer!

  6. LANSANA K. KERRAH
    July 23, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The article is not clear/readable.
    Please repost it
    I have interest on this article.

  7. loser
    July 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    this article was helpfull

  8. Boss
    June 8, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    This article forgets about the biggest issue! Social media is not as complex or as personal as a real conversation whether in-person or over a phone. This is a very dangerous phenom since truly understanding society, history and geopolitico issues takes more complex communication and debate than social allows. Our society is screwed!!!!

  9. Yash
    June 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    This is a best article for this particular topic .

  10. Paula Lorraine Thomson
    April 30, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    I Quit Facebook after 3 yrs
    I have been Facebook free for 7 yrs !!
    I am not on any other social media..
    I love the fact that my phone does not demand my attention every second..
    My life is my own
    I'm not influenced by anything or anybody..
    It's beautiful and I don't need the whole world to look at me
    I don't want to look at a bunch of posing 'try hards'
    It ruins relationship s
    It's the biggest gossip column
    It is. Pathetic!!
    Try living your own life...?

  11. Harmony W.
    March 29, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I love how you have this article, then have a whole bunch of other articles of what you can do on social media on how you can make yourself look better to the online community. It also doesn’t help when you don’t give statistics and state that there is still a lot of evidence to be conducted.

  12. Claire
    March 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    i think social media is good. yes, this article does have good reasons and some of them are a little true. the first one (depression and anxiety), i very much disagree with. i suffer from anxiety and i know for a fact that it has nothing in common with social media. most of my true friends i met through social media and they have no problems with it. it is not social media that makes problems; it is the users. please stop saying it makes people have anxiety and depression.

  13. Claire
    March 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    i think social media is good. yes, this article does have good reasons and some of them are a little true. the first one (depression and anxiety), i very much disagree with. i suffer from anxiety and i know for a fact that it has nothing in common with social media. most of my true friends i met through social media and they have no problems with it. it is not social media that makes problems; it is the users. please stop saying it makes people have anxiety and depression.

  14. lauren
    November 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    this article helped me a lot with a school paper!

  15. Danilo
    October 21, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    It was a very nice publication. I'm thinking of quitting social media because i feel that i'm just spending my time for no reason. There is a TED Talk that is very interesting that talks about it, named: Why you should quit social media.

  16. Mark Tristan R. Ocampo
    May 20, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Thankful for No. 4 - Unrealistic Expectations... When most of your so-called friends are too beautiful and too rich and too happy and too much of everything. Yes, thanks to that, it made me use social media (especially Facebook) LESS. Social media felt more of like a medium where people try to be the most beautiful and the best, etc. No need for that BS.

    • naijacliqspot
      November 21, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Thank God for digital well-being, The use of social media to compare life's is invariably rampared, trying to do much to impress the world...
      Every social media user needs a nudge..
      Nice write-up