The Effect of Social Media on Mental Health

Since the beginning of the 21st century, social media has started to gain fame. Billions of people use social media worldwide. Everyone has an account of one social media or the other, mainly, the “Big Three” of social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Almost all social media have some things in common; a follower system, a like system and a comment system. One’s popularity is based on how many followers one has and how many likes they average on their posts. Apps like Instagram are the most popular amongst teenagers and they like to post an update on their life every single moment. Whether it be through stories, or through posts.

Let’s go explore the effect of social media on mental health with an imaginary character, who we will call Bob.

Bob is your average Instagrammer, he doesn’t have many followers, he just follows some celebrities and a few friends.

Another kid who goes to Bob’s school also has an Instagram, let’s call this kid Charlie. Charlie is very popular in his school and has over 3000 followers. In contrast, Bob has 12.

When Bob scrolls mindlessly, he sees Charlie’s posts. All of his posts have more than 300 likes and lots of comments. But when Charlie posts, he gets hardly 2 or 3 likes and no comments. This upsets Bob very much and ruins his mood.

Now, coming back to real life, there are many Bobs and Charlies. People get depressed when they don’t get engagement in the form of likes and follows. Every time a follower or like increases, people are filled with excitement, and at the same time, when their follower count drops or stays idle, they lose hope, and seeing the success of others hurts them even more.

The fact is one shouldn’t even get upset over internet points. It’s not something to really get upset over. You keep doing your stuff and eventually, people will recognize you. Some people even buy fake follows, which is just pointless if you ask me. Say you have a 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, but your videos barely get 1000 views. That’s an extremely bad subs-to-views ratio. People will say you bought fake subscribers, but that may not be the case. This happened when in one of Mr Beast’s videos, he gave a shout-out to a few channels, amongst one was a creator named “Nalterdeeds”. At that time, his channel only had 1.45k subs, but after the shout-out, over 24 hours, he gained 100k subscribers. That would sound amazing, it is, but if you look at his views, it averages only 5k-30k views. This is not Mr Beast’s fault, he’s a great guy, but it just eliminated the hard part of growing a channel.

Coming back to the topic, such disparities cause depression among teenagers. It just makes them feel bad, and they lose self-worth, they think they’re not good enough. Especially when people post about their lives, how they’re doing in the gym, new things they bought, etc.

Concluding, what I have to say is, don’t get upset by comparing someone else’s life to yours and don’t ever compare followers. Just keep grinding and gradually, your talent would be recognized and you will organically grow more and more followers. That’s how many big creators grew.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.