A new survey from Onlinetherapy.com has now found that a majority of respondents reported that they have been negatively effected by the use of social media:
Fifty-eight percent of Americans say social media has a negative impact on their mental health.
Twenty-five percent don’t experience negative mental health effects from social media use, while 10% don’t know if social media has a negative impact on their mental health.
Seven percent of Americans do not use social media.
According to Clinical Counselor Danny Taylor, social media can absolutely negatively affect mental health.
“Social media can be a wonderful tool for connection and expression,” Taylor says. “However, many people engaged on social media platforms can get lost looking for validation and meaningful connection. They can also become filled with anxiety and self-doubt from comparison or FOMO (fear of missing out). Often, the longer we spend time on social media, the more preoccupied we become with the emotional disruption these mediums can produce.
When asked which platforms were most damaging to their mental health, a large majority of respondents choose Facebook:
Given the recent revelations about Facebook’s operations and internal research, it may not be surprising that when asked to identify which platforms are most harmful to their mental health, 74% of respondents selected Facebook.
Instagram comes in second as the most damaging app for mental health (66%), followed by TikTok (51%), Twitter (47%), and YouTube (45%).
Taylor offers advice for those who continue to use social media. He says, “Use social media tools intentionally, rather than passively. Monitor your use and assess how it is impacting you. Set some ground rules for your use, including time limits and taking breaks. If you find your mental health is seriously struggling, reach out to a loved one or professional for support. Don’t struggle alone! Help is here for you.”
In addition the survey found that far more men (65 percent) reported negative impacts from social media use than women did (49 percent).