Does the extensive use of social media sites, channels and tools cause some kind of disturbance or another to our mental stability? What are the psychological issues and disorders that social media can help breed, promote and encourage for both kids and adults? How can we control our social media presence to contain such a serious dilemma?
A Brief Prelude…
No one can underestimate or try to deny the power of social media and its ability to raise awareness for important issues and spread the word about various causes, but is that it? I mean apart from the privacy related problems and the work related concerns, are there no other negative “side effects” that we seem to be overlooking?
So, what other concerns could I talking about? Mental stability negatively influenced by social media, and here is how…
The top 7 psychological disorders social media helps promote…
In addition to their ability to brainwash us, I think social media channels and social networking sites pose the following psychological threats on our mental health and personality:
1. Schizophrenia: “a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Distortions in perception may affect all five senses, but most commonly manifest as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction”.
As the above definition clearly suggests, perception disorders are a mental problem, especially when it comes to certain complexes such as the “God complex” and claiming that one is someone he/she isn’t! Social media can help encourage such disillusion perceptions due to the fact that they allow for claiming to be who you are not and describing yourself differently using various channels!
2. Insomnia & Sleep Disorders: insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both”.
In general, lack of sleep can be very problematic and I believe social media can cause it as well as insomnia at a more advanced stage. I take myself here as an example. I use social media from morning till after midnight and I confess Twitter has kept me up for early morning hours on several occasions. Not only is that not healthy, but it also can stress the mind and further cause lower level outputs.
3. Sexual Problems & Deviation: sexual deviation is “a term used to describe sexual arousal to objects or situations that are not part of normative stimulation and that can cause distress or serious problems for the paraphiliac or persons associated with him or her”.
Although we all know that there are thousands, if not millions, of porn sites, of different nature and content, all over the web. But do we realize how easy social media makes it is to share them now despite parental controls and site blocks? A great example would be the availing porn searches and their negative influence on kid’s mental stability and parenting as well.
4. ADHD: ADHA is primarily characterized by “the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone.”
In such a fast moving environment that we live in, we are becoming like goldfish; with a rather limited attention span. Attention Deficiency/Hyperactivity Disorder is a well-known and highly spread problem. I think that the use of social media and the many distractions the various channels, tools and sites cause actually help promote ADHD for all of us!
5. Addiction: is a “term used to is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence”.
There are alcohol addicts, drug addicts, cigarette addicts and there are social media addicts! Whatever the addiction may be, it is, by far, a negative state which can highly effect the way we deal with people and the world around us! Social media provides a well-prepared platform for weak people who can’t organize their time and control their social media use.
6. Anxiety & Depression: refers to “a state of low mood and aversion to activity” which is highly correlated with anxiety.
Sometimes, locking yourself inside, staying in solitude and keeping away from face-to-face interaction can cause depression and anxiety. I believe social media encourages people to spend more time alone, on their computers, rather than with others.
7. Eating Disorders: “is a condition in which an individual eats, or avoids eating, in a manner which negatively affects both one’s physical and mental health.”
It’s very simple: you sit all day at work, then sit some more for social media; that will probably help grow any eating disorder habits you have! Just like the TV used to cause us to eat more, especially in the evening time, social media use can motivate such a practice.
After having heard my arguments against the excessive use of social media and its adverse and negative outcomes. Would you agree, at least to some extent, that social media has the ability to bring about the aforementioned disorders or others I may have missed? What do you think are the right social media “daily doses” to help us avoid reaching to those levels?