Social Media’s effects on Mental Health

How mental health could be sabotaging your mental wellness journey


Olivia Sunderland, Writer

Social media is a huge factor in everyone’s lives. People have the ability to share photos, communicate, and express themselves all on one platform. Social media seems harmless, but it does a lot of damage to people’s mental health and they have no idea it is happening. 

A person’s mental health is extremely important, especially during these hard times where most people have been stuck inside and isolated from the pandemic. If a person feels too sad or lonely, their day completely changes. Serious disorders could be diagnosed if a person’s mental health becomes dangerously low. There are several factors that contribute to how one is feeling mentally. For teenagers, social media is a major one. 

For starters, social media is very addictive. Some students spend over 5 hours a day on social media which is bad for their mental and physical health. Everyone needs physical movement to stay healthy, but there is no time for that if a phone is always on hand. Some students will stay on their social media until they close their eyes to get a good night sleep they have been waiting for all day, but they do not realize they will not get it because the light from their phone will keep them up for at least another 30 minutes. A writer for, Madeline Langham, said in a recent article,”research suggests that increased screen time may be related to a decrease in both sleep quality and sleep duration. Our sleep is a key factor keeping minds healthy, when it is disturded from something like social media before bed, it can intensify mental health struggles. 

High school is hard enough to get through with high set body standards, but now the world has platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and VSCO, which allow students to show videos and pictures of themselves. It sounds fun and entertaining but if boys and girls spend time looking at other famous models consistently, their self-esteem could decrease and give them anxiety, depression, or an eating disorder. Maggie Son, a sophomore at Battlefield High School says, “I think it’s definitely made me more self conscious and more self critical because it’s  very easy to compare yourself to Instagram models and influencers, or just people you know.” Comparing oneself to another person is a highly practiced act that everyone has done before whether they want to admit it or not. What people do not understand is that most photos on the internet are photoshopped, but sometimes it is hard to see the fake versus the reality on social media.  

A person should be able to express themselves on social media without getting backlash, although people have the right to comment what they want on every post. Everyone has the right to show the world who they truly are, unfortunately, what one puts out onto social media, will not always have positive effects. Once a photo or video is posted it is out in the world and the creator no longer has any control over it. Mean comments could be left on the post which could lead to vicious cyberbullying. Arlin Cuncic, a writer for wrote in an article this January, “if you find yourself constantly reading comments when you should be working or are feeling bored, then you might be addicted to the comment section. This can negatively impact your mental health because you’ll turn to reading comments when you should be doing other things, leaving you feeling unmotivated and as though you’ve accomplished nothing.” While some people can cope with mean comments, others can not and their self-esteem will decrease and with it, their mental health. Everyone knows what they can or can not handle, keep in mind the limits within and if one does not think they can handle negative comments, it is better to not upload the photo or video that could receive backlash.