In the age of selfies, photo-sharing apps, and new technologies, everyone seems to engage with social media in some way. You can find people of various ages, genders, backgrounds, and more using multiple social media apps. While this is harmless when used in healthy ways, using social media for too long and for the wrong purposes can have a profound impact on your mental health.

Making Comparisons

When you log onto your favorite photo-sharing app, you may be bombarded by photos of models with the ideal body, whether it be overly muscular for men or extremely skinny for women. You may also see pictures of individuals having what seems like a perfect life full of vacations, dates, parties, fancy meals, and more. Seeing these types of photos can leave you feeling down on yourself as you compare your life to the lives of these people online.

However, the majority of the time, what you see online is not reality. People give snapshots into their lives to make it seem like they have it all because it may make them feel better. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors, so it is important not to compare yourself too much to the photos you see online.

Reinforcing the Dependence

Social media apps are specifically designed to be addictive, as they are created to draw viewers in and keep them busy scrolling. This causes these apps to have a reinforcing nature that uses the reward center in your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a “feel-good chemical,” meaning it gives you feelings of happiness, pleasure, and calm. However, over time, you may begin to realize that social media has you feeling anxious or depressed. You want to receive positive attention and feedback from your posts and engagements, but it doesn’t always happen. When this happens, it can leave you feeling negative, which can affect your overall mental health. However, you may not be able to stop using the apps because you have become dependent on them for that daily surge of dopamine.

Social media can be a great way to connect with loved ones, share life experiences, and see what is going on in the world. However, there are also negative effects to social media that can severely impact your mental health. This is why it is critical to monitor your social media use and ensure you are taking proper breaks to look after your mental health and overall wellbeing. Should you ever need help with this or are experiencing negative symptoms as a result of social media usage, call Alta Loma Transformational Services at (866) 457-3843 today.