Social Media & Mental Health

Does it have a positive or negative effect on our mental health?


Bryleigh Conley

Social media can have an impact on us, whether it’s a positive or a negative.

Bryleigh Conley, Reporter

It’s been a tough few years with the pandemic going around and it’s only worsening our mental health.

This may be due to just the pandemic, but social media also plays a big part in it. While a lot of people believe only in the negatives of social media, you’d be surprised how much it can help us as well. 

As for the positives with social media and your mental health, it allows you to connect with friends and family. Like talking to someone you trust or someone you only feel comfortable talking about certain things with. Other social platforms can even allow you to video chat with each other so it seems like you are talking face to face. 

Online friends can also help with your mental health. But unlike close friends and parents, you don’t see them every day and they don’t always know a lot about you. Most of the time this makes it easier for you to talk to them about how you really feel.

Another positive aspect is that many therapists and doctors are able to talk online now. Many people find it hard to find time, so with therapists, doctors, hotlines, and other helpful platforms, it can help people get help easier and faster. There’s even apps that can help you as well. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a few apps that can help you take care/cope with your mental health.

While there are positive aspects to social media, there’s evidence it can pose risks to teens’ mental health due to issues such as bullying, body image concerns and other social pressures.

— St. Louis Post Dispatch

As for the negatives of social media, it can increase anxiety levels and concerns for your body image. Many teen girls like to post swimsuits or tight dress photos on platforms like Instagram. This can lead to other girls feeling bad about their bodies causing them to not eat or push themselves too hard to get the “perfect body.”

Another negative is that it can make others feel left out. Seeing friends and big groups all having fun posting photos/videos together can really make one feel they are “alone” or “not important enough” to hangout with their friends. 

Lastly, social media is a place where people can comment on what they want, where they want, and when they want. This makes it easy for people to comment on “rude” things freely without any restrictions.

Some signs that people show when they are at a low with their mental health are changes in eating, mood changes, losing interest, etc. Things that can help with this are limiting yourself to certain apps and allowing yourself to take time off of social media. Another way is to write down what’s bothering you or talk to someone about it. In the end, I believe social media can have an effect on us, whether it’s positive or negative.