Social media is a relatively new technology, so research into its long-term effect on mental health is necessarily limited. However, there is compelling evidence to suggest that excessive reliance on social media results in an increased likelihood of the user experiencing mood-related mental health issues such as depression, loneliness or anxiety, and can lead to higher incidences of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Increasingly, our online personas are becoming an extension of who we are and how we see ourselves, even if these personas are curated or even false. When someone attacks our online persona, we therefore take it personally, no matter how true to life our social media posts are.
ReputationDefender can help individuals to take control of how they are perceived on social media and remove threats to mental well-being.
Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out, often abbreviated to FOMO in modern parlance, has been around for longer than the internet. However, the prevalence of social media today means that people of all ages are being constantly bombarded with images and other content that can result in a strong feeling of missing out.
Many people’s social media feeds are carefully curated to display only the most positive aspects of their lives. While we may all be aware of this on some level, it can still be hard sometimes not to feel like everyone else is living their best life and we are being left behind.
Fear of missing out can not only lead to conditions such as depression – it can also result in us indulging in dangerous behaviours, such as checking our phones while driving, just to make sure we are being constantly kept up to date.
Isolation and Depression
It may seem initially that having a strong social media presence is a good way of connecting with other people. However, a recent University of Pennsylvania study found that feelings of isolation and loneliness were actually higher among more prolific users of social media, and that reducing reliance on social media as a form of communication could improve overall wellbeing and reduce these feelings of loneliness and depression.
It is thought that around 5% of today’s young people are addicted to social media. By 2021, it is thought that approximately 3 billion people worldwide will be active social media users. This equates to a lot of addicts, many of whom may find themselves dealing with feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation as a result.
Harassment and Cyber Bullying
Online harassment and cyber bullying are two of the more serious issues that some users of social media have to contend with. Where other people are intentionally setting out to harm someone online, the repercussions can be serious and long-lasting.
Government advice suggests maintaining a record of any incidences of cyber bullying or online harassment and reporting the abuse to the social media platform moderators. However, there is always a chance that reporting such incidences can lead to further online abuse, especially where someone has inadvertently attracted the attention of a persistent troll. ReputationDefender has the expertise to help protect individuals from online abuse.
Everyone has the right to be able to move on after making mistakes, and this is as equally true online as it is in real life. ReputationDefender can help individuals with the process of removing sensitive or personal material from their past, allowing them to move on and enjoy a positive online experience in the future. You can follow ReputationDefender on Instagram for news and updates about online reputation management.