Does Social Media & E-Commerce Affect Mental Health?

In just a few years, social networks have transformed our lives by changing our way of relating or accessing knowledge sources. They are employed by one in four people in the world. Its powerful influence has even shown to be capable of conditioning electoral results. Moreover, the easy availability of all kinds of e-commerce websites also makes people buy things without thinking. Social media websites also take advantage of the data collected from the user to display the right types of advertisements to influence people into buying & accumulating things subtly. 

But we know very little in what way it conditions our health and mental well-being. Some researchers emphasize that, although social networks can be a valuable source of emotional support and thus improve mental health, they can cause serious psychological complications, especially in the youth population. 

Let us check out the effects of social media & e-commerce on mental health in more detail! 

Anxiety disorders 
Generalized anxiety, anxiety crisis, social phobia, and OCD have increased by 70% in the youth population in the last 25 years, attributed to social media by many affected patients. Distraction or emotional interference with other activities that generate social media, or simply addicted to them, maybe behind this increase.

Depressive disorders 
These disorders also seem to have increased in this population about the lives they observe in others and that they long for themselves. It is characteristic that in the social media, people make an unrealistic display of their social, recreational, economic and aesthetic “achievements,” which hurts the observer who lacks them and who feels that they may be losing their life and have been left behind. Also, many options available on e-commerce websites, as well as ads on social media, make people indulge in mindless spending of money, leading to depression. 

Sleep disorders 
These disorders are closely linked to adolescents who abuse or have an addiction to Social Media because of the physical or mental time they dedicate to this activity. Sleep deprivation in this population is especially harmful due to the immaturity of the central nervous system and can lead to depression, fatigue, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Body image disorders 
It is not by chance that body image disorders are more frequent in adolescents who worry about how others perceive them. Social media acts as a painful amplifier of this resonance. 90% of adolescents admit that they do not feel comfortable with their bodies. Several studies have proven that social media multiplies concerns about body image. The more time you spend in front of Facebook or Instagram, the more you want to change. 

Fear Of Missing Out 
There is a new phenomenon, the fear of missing out (FoMO), which leads the subject to be permanently connected so as not to miss a detail of what their friends and celebrities publish. They tend to have higher rates of social media addiction and mental complications due to this. 

To sum up, social media and e-commerce can adversely affect mental health. Therefore, it is good to limit your time on such websites and disconnect from them completely from time to time. 

A short story on "social media and mental health"