We do not know if within a few years social networks will be evaluated as the most harmful and useless element of that wonder called the Internet. Perhaps, the studies that have already been done, are being done and will be done, longitudinally and transversally, revealing that social networks are detrimental to physical and mental health.
We still do not have enough data to support an absolute conclusion, but many of them already point to some important data about the use we give to networks. It seems that they can affect psychological health depending on the personality of the user, the amount of time spent in them, the type of social network or the age of beginning in which they begin to use.
Leaving aside the use or misuse of them, we know that they can become addictive, like any other substance, because they seem to act on the neural circuits of reinforcement. The phenomena of tolerance and abstinence have also been observed.
Different social networks, different effects
We have all felt or understood the feeling of inferiority, restlessness and even anxiety that trolls can project in the comments or photos full of photoshop. They draw an incomplete or different scenario from reality. Although the negative impact of social networks on our mental well-being was suspected, a new study has dealt a serious blow to social networks.
It is concluded that Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter can cause serious damage to the mental health of young people from 14 to 24 years old. Instagram would be the most harmful social network for young people, according to this study published by two organizations, the Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement.
In that study, they asked nearly 1500 young people aged 14 to 24 to share with researchers the impact of the five networks on them, also YouTube, according to 14 different criteria: loneliness, self-perception, anxiety, stress or the harassment. Of all of them, Instagram received the worst rating.
Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are not saved either. The impact of the three networks would be essentially negative for welfare. Researchers support the idea that they serve as sustenance for anxiety. Only YouTube is considered the social network with a positive impact, even though there are users who consider that the portal and its content make them sleep less.
“It’s interesting to see how Instagram and Snapchat are classified as the worst wellness and mental health networks. The two platforms are still very focused on the image and it seems that they can provoke feelings of inferiority and anxiety in young people, “said Shirley Cramer, executive director of the Royal Society for Public Health, one of the two organizations behind the study.
Instagram and the disintegrated self
Instagram can give us the sensation of being a network with very little content, lacking in story: in this social network is what is seen, what is exposed, what is displayed in photos, the biggest claim to enter it. Here we not only follow friends or acquaintances, but through hashtags and public profiles, we can see some celebrities and other people who have already become known through instagram; they are available to everyone.
It is the social network that is also used more among young people. This entails significant risks, since these young people are in the process of personal construction and acquisition of values for life in society and social networks show them that the effort and dedication to a study or occupation is worth less than a pose.
Certain social networks are no longer means to relate to others, to be an advertising space for many brands. Networks have become a business network and users are its main consumers. Many brands even see a vein where mothers advertise some brands that their children wear, converting minors (and not minors) into a product.
If you see a superficial, empty person, without any known office having thousands of followers, you can consider that “something will have”, that the important thing is to be as close as possible to them. They will start acting with little naturalness, they will start to like me and to be interested in things that do not really attract attention. In this way, his weak “I” can resent, decompose, disintegrate.
Too many photos, clothes, houses, trips, friends, jokes, kisses or hugs. For each account that provides some variability, there are 10 accounts that seek the impact through a powerful and seductive disguise for the empty.
We can not resist to look at some pretty pictures once, it is praiseworthy that we want to look at them and want to have a similar image from time to time, to make a similar trip but … What is the labor market today? What kind of contracts do young people face to achieve a decent life plan? How much distance between images and life do social networks offer us and what can we achieve in real life? Do we want to achieve it? Do we need to live?
The professionals must start acting: prevention and awareness
When the social networks in which you spend a lot of your time do not represent anything that you will find in reality, doubts arise about your approach to life, society, the value of effort and work, the illusion to undertake .
Young people, and not so young, can see in this virtual reality attractive values that are not found in the “harsh reality” and begin to reconsider in their lives the value of training, work, effort, involvement in a relationship intimate, etc.
There is no doubt that our self-concept is built to a large extent thanks to the references that come from abroad; however, in a few places these references appear as adulterated as in social networks. In little places we can seem so small, when in fact we have the possibility of being very big.