5 Surprising Ways Social Media is Affecting Your Mental Health

Social media becomes more commonly used on a seemingly daily basis, with now a countless amount of apps and websites to choose from that allow us to connect to people around the world. It’s now estimated that around three-quarters of people with access to the internet have at least one social media account.

Sure, there can be some great things that social media can do for you, but there are also a lot of downsides, especially when it comes to your mental health. Let’s take a look at five surprising ways social media is affecting your mindset on a daily basis.

Body Image

Since the dawn of the social media age, society has become increasingly obsessed with body image. No matter your body shape, weight, etc., you’ll likely have heard that you’re too small, too large, too short, too tall, or that your proportions aren’t flattering. 

The popularity of Instagram models, plastic surgery, and Botox have left people on social media seeking to achieve unachievable and unhealthy beauty standards. Spreading fake photos full of filters and enhancements can have an incredibly negative effect on our mental health, altering the perception of our own body image. This can result in eating disorders, an unhealthy obsession with cosmetic procedures, and decreased self-esteem.  

Endless Content/Addiction 

Used sparingly, social media is a great thing. There are a ton of incredible causes and wonderfully entertaining media to be consumed. The problem with just how much content is freely available is that, for some, it can become an addiction. 

Like any addiction, social media can take over your life. You can become obsessed with scrolling through endless content, posting, and feeling as though your self-worth is based on likes and positive reception from others. This mentality can do real damage to your emotional and mental health. If you have a problem with social media, it’s best to seek help before it consumes your life. 


Bullying is never okay. The scary thing about cyberbullying is oftentimes the perpetrator never gets reprimanded and can go on to cyberbully you through multiple platforms. Dealing a heavy blow to your self-esteem and mental health. 

If anyone is a threat to your mental health, be sure to make your pages private, block any accounts they make, and involve the authorities if you feel someone is a valid threat to your physical safety. Taking a break from social media may be necessary if you have mental health issues that are easily triggered.  


Everyone’s a critic. Even more so online. When you’re an active poster on social media, it’s to be expected that you’ll receive some unwanted responses and critiques. If your mental health isn’t at its best, feeling judged can undoubtedly do a number on your self-esteem and self-worth. 

Even if the criticism isn’t meant to hurt you, an unwell mind might perceive critiques as insults. Seeking professional help to learn healthy coping skills can be beneficial for your mental health. 

Comparing Lifestyles 

Social media gives us the illusion that everyone’s lives, besides our own, are absolutely perfect. What you don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes of these perfect photos, posts, and videos. Oftentimes the people behind the seemingly flawless media are troubled, hyper-critical of themselves, and full of anxiety from striving to exude perfection with each post. 

Sometimes we find ourselves comparing lifestyles with these fake posts and the people behind them. This can lead to worsening depression and mental health issues. It’s important to recognize the unhealthy habit of comparing your life to the lives of social media posters. 

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