Negative Effects of Social Media


While social media has many positives, it can also have negative side effects on mental health, especially for kids and teens. Some of the more significant side effects include anxiety and depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has even coined the term “social media anxiety disorder”. Social media anxiety disorder is the need to “check social media every few hours to avoid feeling anxious.” According to the ADAA, symptoms of social media anxiety disorder include:

  • Stopping to check social media in the middle of a conversation
  • Spending more than six hours each day using social media
  • Lying about the amount of time spent on social media
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Failing in attempts to cut back on social media use
  • Neglecting or losing interest in school, work, and favorite activities
  • Experiencing severe nervousness, anxiety, or withdrawal symptoms when not able to check social media
  • Having an overwhelming desire to share on social media feeds

Social media can have the most negative effect during the teenage years due to the harm that can be caused during important developmental stages. It is vital to teach kids that social media isn’t always an accurate reflection of peoples’ lives, monitor their screen time, and encourage them to find interests outside of social media. If you or someone you know is struggling with the negative side effects of social media, implement the steps above and visit the resource below to learn more helpful tips.


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