In recent years, many people undergoing psychotherapy have had dysfunctional behavioral patterns in the use of social media.
This is in part due to the fact that these digital platforms have quickly become popular over the past 15 years, but it is not the only cause. The very design and mechanics of social media also contribute to the fact that many of its users are blown away by the experience and act out of counterproductive irrationality. For that, in this article we will look at a number of issues arising from the misuse of social media. with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok.
Top 5 Psychological Problems With Social Media Abuse
Social media has become one more part of the daily life of millions of people. In a world where the border between digital and hardware is becoming less clear due to the ubiquity of the Internet, smartphones and computers and tablets, the rare thing would be the opposite, that these virtual platforms are hardly used.
And it is that phenomena like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok take advantage of the incredible potential of the digital world to develop various functionalities and quickly adapt to circumstances, on the one hand, and to having a lot of information on users browse. between its pages, on the other.
The result is that some people see on these digital platforms something that is difficult to “take off” even for half an hour. And is that, to some extent, social networks aren’t made to help users solve problems and meet needs beyond screens, but are designed to constantly capture the attention of those who are on them? use, which makes it difficult to disconnect. In other words, they pose solutions to certain problems they create, at least in the face of people with certain psychological predispositions.
In view of the above, here we are going to see what are the psychological issues that arise from improper use of social media. Of course, these are not mental disorders, but simply dysfunctional patterns of behavior, which may or may not be part of psychopathologies with symptoms other than these.
1. Limit social interactions in the digital world
Some people go so far as to replace meaningful social interactions almost completely with social interactions on social media, whether it’s chatting, leaving comments, etc. Over time, this disconnection from face-to-face interactions leads to other issues, such as fear of meeting new people in person, adopting an overly sedentary lifestyle, inexperience in the workplace. use of social skills, etc.
This is a problem that can particularly affect those who are predisposed to introversion as a personality trait.
2. Poor time management due to distractions
One of the characteristics of social networks is that second by second, they offer different content and adapted to the preferences of each user. Therefore, it is easy to lose track of time while using them, causing some people to get used to using their breaks to use them, only to find later that they have wasted too many minutes or so. hours of use. etc.
3. Use social media to try to gain popularity at all costs
Most social networks offer a lot of visibility to a certain number of users who are considered as references in these virtual spaces: influencers, opinion leaders, etc. This approach makes some users feel pressured to seek the attention of others at almost any cost, devoting much of their free time to it and even being reckless just to receive likes and comments. .
4. Use social networks to not lose anything
Another mechanism used by social media is to raise the need to be aware of everything that is happening minute by minute. In fact, many people use these digital platforms for hours on end, not so much out of curiosity as out of fear of being “overwhelmed” in a certain social circle.
5. Use social media to try to encourage
A curious effect that social networks have on many people is that some users use them for a long time in a row when they are feeling sad or anxious, just scrolling down to see what the network has to offer them and forgetting the rest. The problem is, since these digital platforms mostly show idealized lives, it can make people feel worse without realizing it.
Are you looking for professional psychological assistance?
If you would like to receive psychological support from mental health professionals, contact our team. Fr Advanced psychologists we have spent two decades caring for people with all kinds of emotional distress, behavioral problems or aspects to improve the way they interact with the environment and with others. These include the inappropriate habits of using social networks and the difficulty in limiting their use: we perform psychological treatment to prevent these digital platforms from taking control of your life.
We currently offer psychotherapy for people of all ages, couples therapy, family therapy, coaching, and psychiatric and neuropsychological care. You will find us in our center located in Madrid, as well as through the modality of online therapy (carried out through a video call program). To see our contact details, go to this page.
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- Scott, H. and Clelland, H. (2019). Understanding the Links Between Social Media Use, Sleep, and Mental Health: Recent Advances and Current Challenges. Current Sleep Medicine Reports, 5 (3), 141-149.
- YHMM and RSPH (2017). #StatusOfMind: social media and youth mental health and well-being. United Kingdom. Royal Society of Public Health.