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HomeHealth‘We hold unrealistic standards, feel even worse about ourselves’: How social media...

‘We hold unrealistic standards, feel even worse about ourselves’: How social media impacts mental health


The impact of social media on mental health is a frequently discussed issue. But the problem has recently caused concern after informant Francis Hogen, former Facebook employee, revealed the harmful effects of Instagram on the mental health and self-esteem of teenage girls.

A Wall street journal article published in September contains conclusions Internal Facebook researchaccording to which 32 percent of teenage girls said they “feel bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”

Several studies in the past have shown how social media affects body image… Ketaki Natekar, psychologist at MindPeers, explains indianexpress.com“Research shows that who you follow has a big impact on how you feel about yourself or your body. If we follow the pages on appearance, we are adhering to unrealistic standards for how we should look and feel even worse. “

Social media is blurring the boundaries between the virtual and the real world for many users. (Source: pixabay)

The psychologist goes on to share: “A survey of 1,244 women between the ages of 15 and 65 in 20 Indian cities including NCR Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai found that 76 percent believe that images of beauty in the media are contributing your contribution. to bodily shame. Again, 89 percent of women reported feeling uncomfortable reading comments on social media about other people’s appearance. “

But how can social media apps leave such a deep impression? The main reason, experts say, is that a significant part of our day revolves around social media. In the end, it has become one of the most convenient ways to pass the time, whether we are waiting for someone or something, or to avoid boredom. More and more time is devoted to the virtual world, and this is what shapes our understanding of reality. Oddly enough, what we see on the screen is only half-truth, and sometimes not at all true.

“Our virtual self is different from the present. If a person is ignored on social media and does not receive likes and comments on a post, they may feel sad, annoyed and even anxious, ”emphasizes Dr. Satish Kumar CR, Clinical Psychology Consultant, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road.

Natekar adds: “With many filters and photo-edited, the looks we follow are often unrealistic. The more time we spend online, the less time we spend in real face-to-face communication, which affects our overall well-being and reduces the chances of meeting and interacting with real inspirers. “

Unfortunately, over the past two years, the situation has only worsened, especially in the context of the pandemic, when the time spent behind the screens has increased significantly among adolescents, ” says Dr. Ajay Dudhein, President of Anandavan Drug Addiction Center in Pune, which also treats people suffering internet addiction. “From what I’ve seen, today’s teens use Instagram a lot more than Facebook or Twitter, with the exception of some video sharing apps. They feel the urge to become viral; they imitate influencers or instantly shoot videos and clips of social media trends. Not only in cities, but also in rural areas. But they often follow the wrong role models on social media. ” As a result, they begin to live in a fantasy world, he adds.

All of this can lead to a personality change. Dr. Dudhane notes that excessive screen time interferes with sleep. “It also affects your body clock and diet. The person tends to become excessive and irritable. “

An easy way to deal with the situation is to set realistic limits on how much time you want to spend on social media. “Balance your time on social media with real engagement. Decide who you want to follow on social networks, advised Ketaki. “More importantly, work to build self-esteem and self-esteem,” she said.

Influencers play an equally important role in what content you see on the Internet. Thus, it is imperative that they take responsibility for what they share on social media. Popular digital content creator and influencer Masum Minawela says, “I stick to my ideals and what seems to resonate with my audience, and I also focus on sharing important and empowering content on social media. Many things can affect the audience on social networks in one way or another, but here it is important to focus on the positive side of things, not only for you, but for everyone. “

“I also emphasize that Instagram is part of my life, not my whole life, so people don’t mistake my life for a grid. Taking into account the type of audience; I only post positive, effective, knowledgeable and inspiring content. I believe you need to have clear thinking, ”she says.

Dr. Kumar also recommends strictly avoiding social media from time to time. “Deliberately not posting photos and not watching social media multiple times a day can be very helpful. Don’t check it out first in the morning and in the middle of the night, or whenever you’re bored. Try to keep the phone away, especially at night while sleeping. Communication, friendship and communication with people in real life can be very beneficial. “

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