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Should the State Regulate Social Media Use to Prevent Its Negative Impact on Mental Health and Social Media Addiction?

As the world has become a global village, the people are more connected now more than ever. With the advent of virtual relationships, social media has become a new normal. However, on social media, everyone presents their best self and even tries to fake it, however, when users see the happy and perfect pictures of others, they develop inferiority complexes and it affects their self-esteem making them avoid society and creating loneliness. It is recommended that the state should step in and impose restrictions on the use of social media.

Recent studies on the impacts of social media argue that a highly visual environment due to the consumption of social media leads to decreased life satisfaction. As highlighted by many researchers, people of today utilize a good portion of their time on social media apps such as “Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.” These applications allow people to see images of others uploaded and feel as if they are not good enough, which can lead to eating disorders and low self-esteem (Kleemans et al., 2018). Similarly, another research aimed at older adults claimed that “body-improvement media content, exposure to thin-ideal TV and magazines, exposure to fat-character television, and exposure to a sports magazine,” can lead to body dissatisfaction (Harrison, 2000).

Besides being harmful and leading to a poor body image, social media threatens the physical and mental health of social media users. Harrison and Cantor (1997) discuss the “relationship between media consumption and eating disorders” and highlights the two diseases named anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa as consequences. These two diseases threaten women’s health in the present-day, particularly those who want to be thin in order to gain society’s acceptance. Although, social media might not be the direct cause of these two problems; however, certainly, it has all the right elements to contribute to it. The reason why social media creates a deceptive environment is that it’s a platform where disordered thoughts and behaviors actually thrive (Shen et al. 2019). It is medically-proven that the excessive and uncontrolled use of social media is causing major psychological issues like eating disorders and influencing behaviors detrimental to physical and mental health.

Even though social media usage is linked to several mental health problems, some people argue that social media platforms are some of the powerful tools when it comes to taking communication to another level. These platforms allow users to meet new people and learn things about them at the expense of a single click. People can post their pictures, videos, and feeling, and they can share their views with the rest of the world through social media channels. Although, these platforms keep us well-informed about what’s happening in the world and they can become a major distraction for users by keeping them hooked. Therefore, due to the prevalence of social media, it’s imperative to understand its impacts on human behaviors and to authorize the state for regulating Social Media in an attempt to prevent Its negative impact on mental health and social media addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Harrison, K. (2000). The Body Electric: Thin-Ideal Media and Eating Disorders in Adolescents. Journal of Communication, 50(3), 119. https://doi-org.uscupstate.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2000.tb02856.x

Harrison, K., & Cantor, J. (1997). The relationship between media consumption and eating disorders. Journal of Communication, 47(1), 40. https://doi-org.uscupstate.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1997.tb02692.x

Kleemans, M., Daalmans, S., Carbaat, I., & Anschütz, D. (2018). Picture Perfect: The Direct Effect of Manipulated Instagram Photos on Body Image in Adolescent Girls. Media Psychology21(1), 93–110. https://doi-org.uscupstate.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/15213269.2016.1257392

Shen, C., Kasra, M., Pan, W., Bassett, G. A., Malloch, Y., & O’Brien, J. F. (2019). Fake images: The effects of source, intermediary, and digital media literacy on the contextual assessment of image credibility online. New Media & Society21(2), 438–463. https://doi-org.uscupstate.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/1461444818799526