How does social media affect our mental health? The Mariva Clinic gives us the answer

The great change of our time comes from the hand of the internet. New technologies have allowed us all to be connected and informed via smartphones and computers.

If at first glance this better access to information and communications is only an obvious advantage for our species, the truth is that there are also people who lose control and have a problematic relationship with these technologies, to the point of developing executives. its misuse.

How does social media affect us?

As we saw in an article a few months ago, social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is a great way to stay in touch with people far away, but at the same time has led to troubles such as FOMO syndrome. We seem so connected to networks that we have lost the ability to focus on ourselves, our well-being, and the present moment.

But that’s not the only problem with social media. People who are addicted to the reward of having more followers or more “likes” in their photos are also in consultation. Spiritual retreats are even in vogue in which dozens of people take advantage of the weekend to free themselves from the toxic burden generated by their addiction to new technologies.

Interview with Marta Marín Martínez, from Clínica Mariva

To explore all the problems that generate new technologies in general, and social networks in particular, we wanted to talk to Marta Marín Martínez, From Clínica Mariva to Valencia.

Bertrand Regader: Has it affected our self-image and our way of valuing the fact that we regularly use social networks on the Internet?

Mariva: I think there is no doubt so. We started to use social media in which, although the image was important, it was not the main one or it was not necessary. We shared texts and others, but it got to the point where the dominant social network is based on the image as a strong point, so we got to a point where it affects too much.

How have interpersonal relationships changed since we used platforms like Facebook or Instagram?

These social networks have as one of their positive points that allow you to maintain relationships, meet the latest news from friends, etc., in order to help maintain the feeling of belonging, which is fundamental for human beings. humans.

However, it is also important to reflect on the fact that sometimes we have social media contacts that we did not stay with years ago, then do we need to know aspects of his life or vice versa?

More specifically in the area of ​​relationships … what kinds of problems arise from using these online platforms?

Problems arise, especially when it comes to jealousy. There is an obvious increase in inquiries in our center due to issues like “he liked a photo of another girl … he is following his ex-partner on social media … he is not responding not on my whatsapp at the moment … talking to another boy … “these are phrases we hear every day and which, contrary to what one might think, are not all about youth. I think the problem is not the social network, there is a problem of jealousy and mistrust and the social network or the use of instant messaging serves as a catalyst.

Another common problem is that the couple are together but one or both of them are more mobile attentive, watching other things, or even waiting to upload photos of what they are doing. In these cases I would tell you the same as in the previous case, there is already a basic problem which is not the social network itself.

On the other hand, the use of these digital resources carries the cost of some loss of confidentiality. Do we tend to underestimate this downside?

Of course, that’s what we said, that we have contacts that we haven’t seen in years and that are in the day of our lives. We subtract the value of privacy, which is a prime value and which I think we should care about a lot more.

There is also talk of how social media keeps us glued to the screen. How do you explain this ability that they have to be aware of what’s going on and share the rest of our contacts?

People are curious about the people around them, it’s only natural, however, that it can turn into “gossip” and that’s why social media as well as reality TV shows are so successful. We usually like to point to the window and see what the neighbor is doing, and the social network allows that instantly, although by the metaphor it’s a window with many filters in which we don’t see the neighbor’s total reality. , but usually its most positive part, which can lower our self-esteem through the goddamn social comparison.

It is possible that people with anxiety problems do not carry the torrent of information that platforms like Facebook or Twitter throw at us. Is this reflected in the cases seen in therapy?

The worst part about people who are anxious, or even without, is the feeling that you have to be available and located at all times, something that keeps you from disconnecting.

On the other hand, as you say, over-stimulation is very detrimental to anxiety and it is essential that we relearn how to watch a movie, listen to music, go out with friends … by enjoying only this task and not watching the cell phone.

Are you educated to compete with the number of likes, retweets and comments on photos?

Yes, although little by little we are realizing how unnecessary it is and many people choose to remove social media from their lives, but this is especially worrying in the world of young people and adolescents because at one time fundamental for the development of adequate self-esteem, we encourage it to be based on the perception of others and their reaction to our image or the image we want to give, this is detrimental to the development of a healthy self esteem.

And what about the people who decide not to use social media? Are they harmed by the lack of ability to meet new people?

As we have talked about, I perceive that this is an increasing trend, although it is still strange to meet people who have decided to go without social media and those who do, tend to feel more excluded and, at the same time, to meet new people, it begins to be essential, even, to build relationships.

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