Is social media affecting our mental health?
Social media is now part of our lives. Everyone is interconnected and the things we talk with our friends about are most of the time related to what we see on social media. The memes, the gossip, events, etc. But are we actually aware of the damage this is causing to us and our society? Our biggest problem is that we spend too much on social media. We spend our precious time on Instagram, Facebook, snapchat watching other people´s lives and the façade of their lives they are trying to build. Scientist’s research support that social media use can have a negative effect on mental wellbeing. A 2015 study found that more than two hours of social media use is linked with mental health issues, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts in teens. In 2016 I found myself obsessed with Instagram, in a sickening way. I would see this perfect lives and beautiful events and bodies. I was really starting to feel depressed and not good enough, but since I am such a fan girl one day I was googling Selena Gomez and found out that she was in rehab, and was currently in a social media hiatus. It was true, months had passed since she has last posted something on one of her social media accounts. Selena Gomez stated, “As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like sh*t when I look at Instagram. It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to,” she continued. So I thought, what if I just close temporarily my social media accounts, especially Instagram and see how things go on. I can´t tell you the soothing feeling I felt during those two months. I realized I spent more time enjoying my mom and dad, I would actually have full hour conversations with them. I even started to sing in the karaoke the songs they liked by the famous singer Luis Miguel, O tu o ninguna, Si nos dejan o si no supiste amar. I started to read more books and my connection with God was at its best. Mentally I felt so much better and I felt the rhythm of my life being healthy again. I actually forgot about toxic people and I realized keeping your life private is one of the most precious things you can do. It is really toxic when you see all these fake people trying to be something they are not. Why are people so shallow? I realized I event felt disappointed of myself when people saw me at the university and said to me comments like “why has the queen of Instagram not posted any pictures”. I confirmed I was being surrounded of toxic people and that at some point I was being toxic too.
If you don´t feel good at the time, I highly recommend you to take a step off social media. Study, write, work out, talk with your family, and work on your mental health. Broaden your perspective on what you really want with your life. You are not being mean if you unfriend or unfollow toxic people on social media, it’s definitely the best you can do so don´t hesitate if you distance yourself physically and on social media from these people. Remember, even if super stars Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber have gone through hiatuses that mean we all have a breaking point and need time for ourselves. It’s okay for you to have your apps, just limit yourself on the use of it. It can consume your life and your mental health. Remind yourself you are worthy of all the love and are perfect, and remember what Justin Bieber posted on Instagram this month: "HEY WORLD THAT GLAMOROUS LIFESTYLE YOU SEE PORTRAYED BY FAMOUS PEOPLE ON INSTAGRAM DON'T BE FOOLED THINKING THEIR LIFE IS BETTER THAN YOURS I CAN PROMISE YOU IT'S NOT!"
It is a problem many celebritieshave talked about but many people still remain quiet. By Jessi Arita