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Social Media Is Hurting Your Mental Health

We’re talking about the effect that social media has on your mental health.
Don’t worry, this won’t be in the evening news “this new study says your kids are miserable” kind of thing; instead, it’ll be more like an examination of the often-overlooked detrimental factors that play a role in social media.
Because there are some very common arguments against social media, mostly by older people who don’t understand social media and don’t like it, but that’s not what this is.

In fact, there are lots of aspects of social media that are extremely positive.
It creates a place of community and allows people to find each other who never otherwise would have.
Especially for folks from marginalized identities, like queer people, it can be life-changing in a positive way.
But like any tool, social media has its good and its bad.

Today we’ll mostly be talking about the bad.
So the common arguments you hear about the negative effects of social media probably go something like this: “When you see everyone’s perfect lives on Instagram, it makes you sad that your life isn’t that perfect.”
“Everyone’s only posting online for followers now and it consumes their every waking thought.”
“People have record low self-esteem because they feel like they aren’t as attractive as Instagram models.”
“Your children are addicted to Snapchat and Twitter to the point that they never go outside!”
“People only communicate through apps now and never see each other face-to-face!”

Some of those arguments have a good point, I definitely don’t want to say that social media is perfect in every way.
I just think these arguments– for the most part — are overhyped.
Does social media have a negative effect on people’s self-esteem?
Yeah, sometimes it does.
But other times, it can have a positive effect.
You can find studies that point to all kinds of different results here, so what it seems to me is that social media doesn’t inherently have a positive or negative effect on self-esteem; instead, it depends on who you follow.
When people follow celebrities with way more money than them who don’t look like them, it can make them feel worse about themselves.
But when people follow their friends and family and people who look more like them, social media doesn’t have that same effect.
In fact, following people who look like you can help your self-esteem because you can say, “Look, I think they’re hot, and my body is similar to theirs.”
And the wonderful thing about social media as opposed to like, media in general, is that you can choose to follow only people from certain niches who look like you. If you’re trans, you can follow a bunch of trans people.
If you’re not thin, you can follow other people who aren’t thin. If you’re a person of color, you can follow other people of color.
That way, you’re seeing lots of people who look like you in a way that mainstream forms of media usually can’t provide.

Social media has the potential to help your self-esteem, it just depends on how you use it.
And I don’t want to put this solely on people who use social media — it’s also largely influenced by what the algorithms of these social media apps are recommending to you.
So there’s definitely ways for social media to improve there, for sure, but I don’t think it’s the Big Bad Evil that it’s often hyped to be.
And to briefly touch on those other arguments, I think that older generations will always be afraid of new things.
When books came out, people thought they would cause everyone to stay inside and read all day.
When TV came out everyone thought the same thing.
And now people are just picking on social media cause it’s the newest thing young people like that’s popular to hate on.
People still go outside.
People still interact face-to-face. None of that is going away any time soon.
The only difference is now we have online ways of organizing to meet up in real life with people we actually like.
So, none of that I would say is the main reason social media is hurting your mental health. The biggest reason, honestly, is something that I see discussed sometimes, but not very often.
It’s the fact that thanks to social media, we’re seeing so much depressing, negative, painful news day in and day out.

Before social media came around, all this stuff still happened.
Bad stuff has always happened, obviously.
But before, we didn’t have a way of perceiving all of that at once. We’d read about it every now and then in a newspaper, or see a couple stories about it on the evening news.
Dealing with negative news stories is a fact of life.
But social media has taken that and amplified it to its extreme.
When you wake up and check Twitter, you likely see tons of stories about awful things that have happened in the world.
All day as you scroll through, even if a lot of your timeline is positive, negative news stories are chipping away at you all day.
Then when you go to sleep, they’re likely one of the last things you see as you scroll through your phone before bed.
A certain groups’ civil rights have been taken away.
A terrible human has been appointed to a high political position.
A person is raising money so that they can try not to die from a preventable illness.
A war continues to be fought and civilians are killed.
Most people see this stuff all over their timelines.
And even when people don’t see this stuff everywhere, they can feel guilt over not being informed enough about these things.
So it’s kind of a catch-22 where you’re always miserable.

Human brains aren’t mean to deal with so much negative news at once.
We can deal with bad things happening occasionally.
We can have hope and we can see that there is good in the world.
But negative stories so much more often make the news because they’re more likely to be one-time events than anything positive — since positive things tend to happen more slowly over time.
And then those negative stories evoke an emotional response in us and get us to share them, so they reach more people.
And then we’re all swimming in all this depressing news.
And again, I’m not trying to say that it’s social media users who are at fault here.
We share things that tug at our heart strings for good reasons.
We want the world to know about negative things so that we can change them — because you can’t change something you’re unaware of.
I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to talk about the bad stuff happening in the world so that we can fix it.
But when all we see all day is a constant deluge of negative news stories, it can take a toll on our mental health.

People may not want to admit it, but it’s difficult to see so much bad stuff happening in the world and not feel at least a little down about it.
For many, it can be debilitating.
And really, I don’t know what the solution is here.
I think one piece of it could be adjusting social media algorithms, because large chunks of what we see now aren’t decided solely by us but by an invisible algorithm that guesses what will keep you on the app for the longest amount of time.
Often, they find that stories that evoke a strong emotional response do that the best — even if that response is anger or extreme sadness.
But even if changes were made to the algorithms that show us the content we consume, I don’t think that would fix everything, and so I don’t have all the answers here.
This article isn’t about fixing social media; it’s more about how you can cope in a world where this is a reality.

So what can you do?
Well, the first major thing you can do is go offline more.
I know I’m gonna sound like some anti-technology old person here, but going offline can be so beneficial.
Not because you’re tied to a screen or not getting human interaction or whatever — but because then you’re not seeing all this terrible stuff all the time.
And I think one of the best things you can do to cope with so much negative news is just to not see it. And I know that’s hard.
I know you might feel a lot of guilt about not always knowing everything that’s happening.

The only advice I can give you there is that you need to take care of yourself if you ever want to have an impact on these things in the future.
If this stuff takes such a toll on you and burns you out, you won’t be able to do anything about it.
You need time to recharge mentally before going back out there.
It’s good to want to change the world for the better, but that’s going to be hard to do if you lose hope.
So I think a necessary part of fighting for change is taking a minute every once in a while to stop and take care of yourself.
Go outside. Don’t go on social media. Go hangout with people, or play a sport, or play video games, or read a book, or whatever you want.
Just give yourself a minute to not be stressed out by every bad thing happening in the world.
And secondly, find people that you can talk to about all of this. And by that, I mean find some good friends who understand what you’re talking about and can help distract you when you need that. But also, find a therapist.
Talking to a professional who knows about coping strategies and how to deal with negative news can be so so helpful.
You can’t do this alone. You need the help of other people to get through this.
And really, that’s all the advice I can give you.
I don’t think anyone has figured out fully how to cope with stuff or fix it.
The best thing you can do is unplug and talk to your friends and ideally a therapist as well.
So that’s really all there is to it.
I do want to point out though that this isn’t the only reason social media can be harmful.
Like I said in the beginning, I think social media can do a lot of good, but it can also open the floodgates for online bullying and harassment, which, depending on your experience online, could be another component of how social media is affecting your mental health.
So the constant stream of negative news isn’t the only downside to social media, even though I think it’s probably one of the most major ones.

2 thoughts on “Social Media Is Hurting Your Mental Health

  1. Hi there! I want to share with you a very important message going around the internet.

    Would you allow your government to place a microchip in your body?

    Did you know that is the future we are approaching with RFID Microchip technology?

    Even more importantly, did you know there was somone almost 2000 years ago who prophesied of a cashless society in the last days? This mans name is Jesus.

    Did you know that this RFID Microchip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13:16-18?

    “He(the false prophet) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise we could still buy or sell without the mark among others if physical money was still currency. This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual, it would just say in the forehead.

    Mr. Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads of state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the CIA to discuss plans on how to bring forth this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to engineer a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world-a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle(a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Mr. Sanders, along with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies provided by US tax dollars, took on this challenge and designed a chip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable by the temperature fluctuations in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible(Brother Sanders was not a follower of Christ at the time), these engineers spent one and a half million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip placed under the skin.

    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand(the two locations Revelation says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient locations, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The chip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of holding pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this microchip.

    Mr. Sanders believes that this chip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16-18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is a word in the original Greek language. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick. Carl believes this is referring to the use of a hypodermic needle being poked into the human flesh to insert the microchip.”

    Brother Sanders spoke with a doctor asking what would occur if the lithium contained within the RFID chip leaked into the body. The doctor answered by saying a terrible sore would appear in that spot. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    The Bible tells us we cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast, or the number of its name. This number is identified as 666. The Bible tells us to calculate the number 666.

    In this world we are identified by numbers, whether it is our social security number, drivers license, or cards used to make payments. The number of the beast represents something like this, to identify us in a one world government system. This number will be stored inside the chip to identify us so we may buy or sell.

    To see the hidden meaning behind calculating the number 666(6+6+6=18), and how it aligns with scipture perfectly,

    Go to: https://biblefreedom.com/rfid-mark-revealed

    The Bible warns us in the last days that a false prophet will rise up doing miracles to deceive many to receive this mark. Whatever it takes, do not take it!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    With all these religions in the world, how can we be sure the Bible got it right? The scientific data has established and continues to support that the universe once had a beginning in which space, time and matter were created. This is known as the big bang.

    “The non-biblical religions tell us that god or god’s create within space and time that eternally exist. The Bible stands alone and says that time and space don’t exist until God creates the universe.” – Hugh Ross

    Did you know that the real Noah’s Ark was discovered where the Bible told us it would be with the correct dimensions? As well as hard evidence for the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing?

    The Bible is the most translated and read book in the history of the world, full of predictive prophecies. Wouldn’t you expect God’s word to be so?

    This information can all be found at https://biblefreedom.com

    “And He(Jesus) said to me(Apostle John), “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6).

    “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water(the Holy Spirit) that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

    “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-6).

    All religion is man-made. Man can create religion, but no one can create the Holy Spirit that comes from God out of Heaven. Jesus never told us to follow a religion or denomination:

    “Then He(Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

    You can receive the Spirit of God right now. If you are willing to humble yourself before Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day; call out to God and ask Him to forgive your sins, to receive His Holy Spirit. If you are genuine, He is faithful and just to forgive, and He will give you a new heart, a renewing of the mind, restoring everything the devil has stolen from you; making you like a child again.

    When we receive the Spirit of God, we become born from above, and His seed resides within us. We no longer make a practice of sin, but rather turn away from unrighteousness and receive the righteousness of Christ.

    From that point onward, we must put all our hope and trust in Jesus, and grow to walk in His ways, not straying from the narrow path. For Jesus says,

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

    “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty(One God), Who was(Jesus) and is(YHWH) and is to come(Jesus)!” (Revelation 4:8).

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