How Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health

Humans are social creatures. We are at our best when we have the companionship of others. Social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok are packed with loads of options that allow people connect with each other and stay up to date with friends, family and people all over the world.

Digital Health

Humans are social creatures. We are at our best when we have the companionship of others. Social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok are packed with loads of options that allow people connect with each other and stay up to date with friends, family and people all over the world. Social media also provides a platform for people to promote worthwhile causes and raise awareness on key issues. It can also act as an outlet for online users to express themselves creatively online to an audience. Unfortunately, research has shown that social media — particularly Instagram and Tik Tok — can negatively impact mental health.

As humans, we need face-to-face contact to keep our mental health in check. Face-to-face contact goes a long way to boost one’s mood and reduce stress. Sadly, social media sites like Instagram and Tik Tok prioritize inauthentic and unrealistic content as its main source of entertainment, exposing its users to the risk of mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

According to a recent survey of about 1,500 teenagers and young adults, while Instagram scored high for self-identity and self-expression, it has been linked with anxiety, depression and the fear of missing out (“FOMO”). In fact, within Instagram’s Help Center, there are specific tabs focusing on eating disorders, as well as how to address abuse. Studies have shown that adolescents who spend a minimum of two hours on social media sites are likely to develop psychological distress. Yes, seeing others living the life — holidaying, enjoying nights out, and being able to afford certain luxuries can make young ones feel like they are missing out while others are doing well.

This psychological distress is directly related to the inauthentic content and the unrealistic expectations placed upon the userbase. On new social media app Vlogmi, the platform focuses on genuine content. The backbone of this app is the idea of behind-the-scenes and real-life content. Vlogmi can enforce this through only allowing users to upload posts through the camera in-app. This means that you wouldn’t be able to post the perfectly edited sunset picture you took, or the facetuned selfie you’ve been waiting to post. This type of content will be a refreshing take on social media, especially since inauthenticity is what apps like Instagram and Tik Tok are based upon.

Tik Tok now looks just as novel as Instagram was in the early part of the last decade. There are currently 1 billion Tik Tok users in 150 countries, and the app has been downloaded over 120 million times. It is the rave of the moment. While its interaction model is different from Instagram, the need for validation still reigns supreme here. As adolescents create and upload videos and enjoy the fame that comes with it, other users still feel the pressure to upload the perfectly edited video to their feed. The fear of missing out and looking flawless remains the same.

How Increased Digital Well-being Can Help

Social media itself is not bad, but as it becomes more integral to the way we relate with others, it is important that we acknowledge its potential harm so we can make conscious efforts to avoid the pitfalls. Digital well-being is a term that refers to creating healthy tech habits — whether it be through unplugging often or improving focus. Vlogmi will allow some of this pressure to be alleviated and help users to become a part of a more inclusive environment where everyone is sharing raw and real content. Looking out for positive content or more genuine content is another great way to manage your mental health when using social media. While it makes sense to unplug at certain times of the day, make effort to find authentic content that can help you feel inspired or motivated.


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