Posted: May 24th, 2022

Social Media Destroying a Generation

Social Media Destroying a Generation
Social media is a highly interactive, collaborative, and creative space and an essential tool in modern society. Social media helps people connect with loved ones or even network with strangers, get newsfeeds, participate in social debates, and participate in local and international events. For most people, social media is free, and with widespread access to the internet and smart devices, easier to join and engage other users. Accordingly, it has become an essential tool for communication. For example, corporations utilize social media for campaigns in integrated marketing communications. The pros of social media usage include its affordability and ability to disseminate information to a large audience in the shortest time possible. Still, while social media has made people more connected today and share information quickly, there is a flip side to its usage. The connection to many people can cause various problems, and even information shared sometimes lead to negative implications. In the article, Impact of Social Media Addiction on College Students,” author Iris Vyalkov explores its negative impact on students’ health. Alex Williams investigated the agony of using Instagram, while Wylene Rholetter linked social media usage to mental health issues. The article will conduct a synthetic analysis of the negative impacts social media usage has had on people’s health, as expressed in the reports by the three authors.
One of the main reasons social media is popular today is its affordability and ability to disseminate an updated and vast amount of information. It means that social media users rely on various platforms for things such as news. Accordingly, journalism has shifted and made social media central to how it reaches out to users. However, when there is an over-reliance on social media, it can easily lead to addiction. The addition precipitates the various health problems associated with widespread and uncontrolled social media usage. Iris Vyalkov’s article provided studies that have shown social media use on extensive scale results in addiction signs mirroring those of substance-linked addiction. The symptoms of social media addiction include often using the platforms more than planned, having continuous desires to stop, and contributing to less productivity in various areas of life (Vyalkov). It shows just like substance addiction; there are consequences for the uncontrollable usage of social media. The article provides examples of people who felt socially isolated or reported increased levels of depression and anxiety disorders. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine conducted a study whose findings revealed that frequent social media users felt “more socially isolated” than infrequent users (Vyalkov). Interestingly, the studies cited indicated that many users found it difficult to stop or reduce extensive social media usage. These findings support the proposition that social media harms members of society.

In the article, “Social Media and Mental Health Challenge,” Wylene Rholetter support the idea that social media harms users’ health. Rholetter focuses on its impact on people with depressive symptoms and argues that its consequences ‘have been of particular concern’ (Rholetter 1). Rholetter findings harm people who already have depression when they experience negative impacts such as cyberbullying. In particular, the article delves into the novel phenomenon of ‘Facebook depression.’ According to the research cited, it is a condition resulting from isolation from society and might contribute to destructive behaviors. The other term coined to capture the harmful nature of social media on mental health is Facebook Envy. According to the article, Facebook envy occurs when people get depressive symptoms from comparing themselves with others on Facebook who most likely have put forward a facade of a glamorous lifestyle. However, it is essential to note that some research associated Facebook support with decreased levels of depression by providing tools such as Online Peer Support. Facebook and other social media’s ability to help mental health intervention remains inconclusive. Rholetter largely concurs with Vyalkov’s article, which interlinks poor mental health and social media addiction.

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One of the main reasons social media worsens existing mental health issues is the perception it provides people of other users’ lives. There is the real-life character and the social media persona for most people. Often, the social media persona lives a glamorous life, while the real-life character life differs. For some users’ seeing others ‘prosper’ while left behind leads to agony, while some who fake their lives get pressure to live to those standards. All these contribute to negative impacts on one’s health. Perhaps, Alex William’s article, “The Agony of Instagram,” captures best the misery of fake social media profiles. William’s article seems like a further addition to the findings by Rholetter and Vyalkov, using the case of Instagram. Instagram offers users the opportunity to post images, some with edited and enhanced features. It is uncommon not to feel left out for regular users while others enjoy life. It torments people such that Williams thinks that social media envy might result in an ‘epidemic with no cure’ (Williams 3). The pressures of life are a primary reason why people feel bad when they see others supposedly succeeding. The more people feel isolated and envious, the more anxious and mentally destabilized they become. Accordingly, social media displays make it difficult for people to have mental stability, with envy and anxiety expected outcomes.

Social media has become an essential part of modern society. People often use social media to connect, network, and get information affordable and fast. Organizations use social media to reach a vast audience, and it is a critical part of modern communications. However, even with its use and advantages, there are cons to social media, which harm society. Vyalkov’s article analyzed how social media usage leads to addiction with negative health impacts. According to the evidence, social media usage has symptoms similar to substance addiction. Rholetter also confirmed the effect of addiction to social media, using Facebook Depression and Envy as examples. While Rholetter also offered counterarguments on how social media support can help alleviate mental health symptoms, it is a gray area that needs further research. Williams’s research supported the idea that mental distress could result from comparing with other users on Instagram. Paradoxically, social media’s purpose is to make people more social, yet it leads to isolation and has the potential to exacerbate preexisting mental health issues. Overall, the three articles have offered a critical analysis of social media implications and provided solid arguments for the high risk of mental instability.




Works Cited
Rholetter, Wylene. Social Media and Mental Health Challenges. Salem Press Encyclopedia.
Scholar Search: Discovery Service for Drew University Library, 2021, pp.1-3, [Accessed on April 2, 2022]
Vyalkov, Iris. Impact of social media addiction on college students. The connection, 2020, [Accessed on April 2, 2022]
Williams, Alex. The Agony of Instagram. The New York Times, 2013 [Accessed on April 2, 2022]

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