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I grew up in a time where, in the beginning of my short life, the internet was not even a
figment of the world's imagination. For us, it was AIM, and that was only the beginning. A
new way to talk to my friends and family that does not require having to physically speak? A
place where I can say anything I want, because the computer screen can hide my feelings?
Instant gratification monkey (see what I did there?) receiving hit after hit every time you hit
enter on the keyboard and hear the bloOoOp sound? Abso-fucking-lutely. c
Our brains have been groomed to crave the next dopamine hit, and how it is so easy to make
just a small movement with your thumb. The more a person uses social media, especially those
with certain personalities or traits, the more it becomes an addiction. Perpetually needing the
next hit of a “like” or “follow”. Not only are we becoming zombies, but we are also quite
literally seeking attention from hundreds, thousands, MILLIONS of people (looking at you
TikTok), when really all we need is to slow down and feel real love from other physical
humans. c c
Social media’s effect on psychological well-being can be linked to every single one of the
course themes.
Self-care: Staying up too late because you just cannot stop scrolling, and lose track of time.
Social justice: Posting misinformation.
Emotional intelligence: Feeling bad or upset when your post receives little attention. c
Career connections: Your boss sees a negative post you made and considers it hate speech.
You know where this is going.
Ethics: your ex makes a fake profile (identity theft) to stalk you.
In reading chapter 6 in the soomo learning book we have available. I took a lot of my notes
from here because the different aspects in there as well as the theories are key points that stuck
to me, and I listed as life notes. I am convinced personally that social media has a negative
impact on the psychological well-being of someone. The reason I feel this way is because I
agree totally with the article listed in the introduction of chapter 6 that stated about social
thinking. I feel that there is a bad habit formed known as "follow the leader" when one
displays that a situation, trend, or saying is the new trend, there tends to be so many others that
get caught up in a hype and feel that if they don't follow suite than they are not accepted and
feel as a loner. I feel that leads to having issues accepting rejection and I see it and I am sure
many of you as well feel the same way, the rates on suicide are at an all-time high. Social
media tends to follow and display all of the latest trends and have people so caught up in
believing that this is a norm. When those that don't have the abilities to keep up with the next
and be displayed or even refuse to be displayed in a limelight than they are labelled as not
being that person. In actuality it is better to be yourself and not worry about how others think
and feel. That is the issue nowadays though. People just do not seem to grasp that and get so
emotional and depressed that they feel it is better if they did not have any more worries and
result to such drastic measures. There are so many images on social media of the women with
great bodies and flawless makeup, awesome hair and the latest fashion and they appear to have
it all. That is so not right because even the people that are very well off and well capable of
doing the same and maybe even better still lack confidence and will go to drastic measures. I
hate to see those situations or even hear about them because it saddens me. This is another
reason I chose to be a psychology major honestly. I feel if we stick together and not follow the
hype and value our own thoughts and stop thinking on a mindset that we must follow the
leader and become a leader that this world would see a change and the issues and sadness
bestowed on our loved ones would drastically decrease. Fritz Heider (1958 Soomo learning
chapter 6) proposed an attribution theory that states, "We can attribute the behaviour to the
persons stable enduring traits (a dispositional attribution) or we can attribute to the situation (a
situational attribution). In my scholarly article choice, I feel that social media can negatively
impact this. I say that because the same person we see on social media is not always the same
person we tend to associate with at work. I know that having a night out with your girls and
having a good time can lead to so many issues when the whole selfie and displaying on social
media comes into play. When seen at a night club with bottle all over and people acting in a
party manner and letting loose can affect you negatively in many ways. People will judge you
more based on the negative they see more so on the positive aspects they know about you. This
tends to interfere with your career because you want to display yourself in a positive manner
and have your conduct displayed at its best because this can cause your superiors to feel you
are not a good fit. All these manners are based off of decisions and using your mind and
following instinct. We all know right from wrong, and we all are known that only self is held
accountable for ourselves actions.
Social media negatively impacts psychological well-being. Over the years of my life, I have
witnessed the beginning of social media and the internet. The changes I personally have
noticed in people are concerning to me for my own children growing up in this new age of
technology. Simple things like going outside to play with the neighbour kids have become a
battle between parents and kids. I remember when I could not wait to get outside and stay
outside until the sun went down, playing with all my friends and being active. Nowadays,
many kids choose to avoid that activity and social interaction. Instead, they choose to play on
the computer chatting with people that in the big scheme of things do not matter and become
harmful to their psychological well-being. The generation raised in this technological age have
also lost their ability to be patient and have created a false sense of demand for immediate
gratification. The world has become instantaneous in all forms such as movies on demand, full
seasons on the tv show in a click of a button, instant photos instead of waiting for
development, and cell phones with maps, calculators, phone books, GPS, music, games,
internet accessible in our hands at any given moment. The new generation is groomed to
expect things at the tip of their fingers and to never have to work for it. c
Social media has opened a whole new world of scary opportunities for our children to get hurt
starting with predators, keyboard warriors who share their mean horrible thoughts without a
care in the world to who they hurt, then down to their own personal friends who openly
chastise, insult, or put down each other. Even adults struggle with these same situations and
there is not an age limit on the pain that can be caused. One of the largest ways individuals
become psychologically injured is by their reliance on social media to decide their self-worth.
A large part of the well-being of an individual is to have a keen sense of self-worth and
understanding of who you are. In today's day, individuals rely on social media to establish
belonging, self-worth, self-esteem, and who they are as an individual. If social media deems
you as not worthy, it isolates you and depression sets in. Crawling out of that hole can be
extremely difficult. A study done in an article I found showed several different negative
impacts social media has over an individual. “Feeling that one’s self-worth was dependent on
external factors (e.g., approval from others, appearance, competition, and academics) have
been associated with an increase in depressive symptoms among college students” (Sabik,
Natalie, p. 411-421). College students should be out finding out who they are and who they
want to become instead of sitting at a computer waiting for the approval of others and
becoming depressed. Social media can be very cruel and is devastating to the psychological
well-being of an individual. c
Social media effects link to the programmatic theme of self-care. As humans, we strive to
better ourselves and meet the needs of Maslow's hierarchy. 4 out of the 5 tiers are affected by
social media. Safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. If we are unable to
reach our needs as human beings due to the influence of social media, then self-care cannot be
achieved. Self-care means taking the time to reflect and develop skills to improve your well-
being. How can self-care be achieved when our world has become dependent on social media
to tell them who they are as an individual? It damages our mental stability and overall well-
being. Putting away the computer, tablet or phone is one of the best self-care habits you can
create for yourself to achieve good overall psychological well-being. c
The world has grown at a fast rate and does not seem to be slowing down. This is true in
regard to technology as well. One of the most impactful inventions of our time is that of social
media. It is hard to escape. Everywhere you go you see people glued to their phones. People
talk more through posts than in real life a lot of the time. Although, social media is not going
anywhere anytime soon (that we know of) it does have extreme negative effects on the mind.
c c c c Social media can be seen as a drug because of how it is addictive and there are withdrawals
(TED, 2017). In a recent article, 22% of teenagers checked their social media accounts more
than ten times a day. The dreadful side effects of social media are extremely apparent in
teenagers that have grown up exposed to it. They are suffering more mental disorders due to
isolating from families and communities, diving too far into sexual and violent situations
online, and dealing with harassment that can haunt them to the point of suicide. These are only
a few main key points to think about when considering the negative impact social media has
on the psyche (Elsayed, 2021).
The internet has not been around long enough to determine the severe long-term affects it
will have. Not to mention it is changing and growing every day. It is becoming more and more
normal to have these multiple social media accounts and check them all the time. Meanwhile
not feeling fulfilled if you do not post on each one. Also, creating an uneasy feeling that you
are not showing the love you should to others because you did not post for 'Love your daughter
day' or comment on a friend's picture.
c c c There seems to be a need for social justice when it comes to what our youth is dealing with
regarding this issue. They have made it clear that many of them are not happy or content.
There is a widespread of gun violence in schools. Bullying is not just in the cafeteria, now it is
in their own rooms. There needs to be a focus on the mental health of our youth and that begins
with the other worlds they live in which is social media. This is how this issue directly relates
to social justice.
I must admit that I went back and forth with my position on this. I decided that I would choose
the side that I felt had a bigger impact than the other instead of thinking of one side being
completely correct. I believe that social media has more of a positive impact on psychological
well-being. The extent of the negative impacts largely relies on the individual using social
media. On the other end of that, the positive impacts are widely seen throughout all social
media users. The biggest benefit that social media offers is a sense of community. No matter
what a person is struggling with or interested in, social media allows them to connect with like-
minded people. This offers the idea that no one must feel alone. Another benefit of social
media is being able to search and reach out to people over long distances. I personally have
used social media to get to know a cousin of mine that I have only met once. We have grown
quite close. Social media has opened doors that would not have been possible otherwise. Self-
care, social justice, and emotional intelligence are all a part of the positive impacts of social
media on psychological well-being
TED. (2017, June 22). Bailey Parnell: Is social media Hurting Your Mental Health? [Video].
YouTube. https://youtu.be/Czg_9C7gw0o
Elsayed, W. (2021). The negative effects of social media on the social identity of
adolescents from the perspective of social work. Heliyon, 7(2). https://doi-
Sabik, Natalie, et al. “When Self-Worth Depends on Social Media Feedback: Associations
with Psychological Well-Being". Sex Roles. 2020, Vol. 82, issue 7/8, p. 411-421
Heyman, Jennifer L. September 2022.Social media use predicts greater liking in in-person
initial interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Vol 48(9). pp. 1393-1405.
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