It is no secret that social media is bad for mental health. This is something that most people knew intuitively long before we had research to prove it. In many cases, you feel the negative impacts every time you open the website or app.
Unfortunately, we cannot just give up using social media. It has become crucial in business, as well as in keeping up with what is going on in the world. If you are part of an organization or form of activism, it is an incredibly useful tool.
The reality is that some social media platforms are worse for mental health than others. That being said, the context matters. The following are the worst social media platforms for mental health (with caveats when necessary).
YouTube is the platform for video sharing. Many content creators have built their successful careers with YouTube, but this platform has also a negative impact on your mental health.
Many users are used to watching videos for hours and they cannot stop scrolling their screens. These behaviours can lead to a lack of sleep and unproductivity and user feel depressed because of it.
While one can share knowledge through YouTube, there are many channels that show unrealistic life which leads to low self-esteem for their viewers. Viewers start comparing their living standards and their abilities with the unrealistic video which leads them to anxiety and depression.
The comment section of YouTube videos plays a major role in the user’s mental health. This is the platform where haters and critics throw negative and hurtful comments that impact a lot on someone’s mental health.
In conclusion, YouTube is a good platform for knowledge sharing and creative learning, but there are also many side-effects of this video channel platform that we cannot ignore.
Instagram is consistently linked with poor mental health outcomes. It has the biggest negative impact on mental health of any social media platform. This has a lot to do with what people share on Instagram. Since it is used by influencers, celebrities, and models to portray a ‘perfect’ life, it leads to low self-esteem for many users (including those posting ‘perfect’ pictures).
Instagram can be particularly bad for people who post regularly without the resources that the well-known figures have access to. There is a lot of cyberbullying that happens, and it is easy to accidentally share more than one plans to.
For people who use it to follow meme accounts, bands, or even sports teams, its impact is not quite as bad. In fact, it can be used to build a sense of community. Nonetheless, even those who use it to follow innocuous accounts know that jumping into the comments section is often a bad idea, as it brings out the worst in some people.
Twitter is harmful in an entirely different way. Twitter is bad for mental health because of how it hooks users. While Instagram users share their image of a perfect life, Twitter users more often share posts that cause outrage. It is the anger induced by these posts that causes them to be liked and retweeted.
If you spend a few minutes on Twitter, you may soon start feeling a sense of despair. If you are on Twitter for hours every day, your worldview can be negatively impacted and you may start relating to people in a more combative way.
Twitter has traditionally been a hub of anonymous abuse, as people can hide behind faceless accounts. While it can be useful for sharing information, it often becomes an epicenter for anger and hate.
Snapchat got immense popularity among the young generation. It is a social media platform where the young generation posts their pictures and do chatting. This app has become an integral part of their daily routine. Despite the popularity of this app, It can give you many mental health issues.
On Snapchat, young generations create their picture-perfect portfolio and they keep engaged themselves to manage this image. This constant pressure to maintain a particular image can cause intense anxiety and stress, leading to depression.
On the other side, those who are not photogenic faces and cannot post such perfect images feel low self-esteem and are demotivated. Moreover, the features of Snapchat like streaks and snap scores, encourage users to spend more time on the platform, leading to a decrease in real-life social interactions.
Also, the constant notification of the apps can lead you to a lack of sleep. So overall Snapchat features can lead to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and addiction.
TikTok become very popular in recent years. It is the entertainment platform where users keep posted their creativities, dance etc. By seeing the popularity of this app, many business owners also started their promotion on this platform to attract more users. However, this app can also lead to many mental health issues same as other social media platforms.
One of the most significant disadvantages is, some creators show unrealistic beauty standards with the help of an app which leads viewers to low self-esteem and body image issue. Some creators also keep updated the video about their lifestyles which makes users feel unhappy with their own life.
TikTok can be very addictive and users spend a number of hours scrolling their screens. This leads viewers to sleeping disorders, depression, anxiety etc. So even if it is the most popular social media platform for entertainment, it leads to a lot of mental health issues.
Finally, we end where it all began: Facebook. While Facebook was not the first social media platform, it hastened in the age of social media, becoming a powerhouse that was impossible to ignore. Today, Facebook’s user base is older than it used to be. It can be used to create communities of people with common interests. However, it can also bring out the worst in people.
Users of Facebook know that innocuous posts can lead to massive arguments. These arguments can culminate in the use of hate speech and slurs. In addition, it is on Facebook that people who do not use Instagram see others posting the semblance of a perfect life.
Facebook is not quite as damaging as Twitter and Instagram. Nonetheless, it still has a negative overall impact on mental health.
Unfortunately, simply giving up on social media is not possible for most people. However, you should try to minimize your time using various platforms and avoid content that is likely to be harmful to your mental health.