Being engulfed in the modern age of smartphones and advanced technology has become the new normal. If you are not a slave to your cell phones, you are called a nomadic being who is years behind their time. This unfortunate truth has driven our lives to the edge, where we have started blurring the lines between the real and the virtual world. Social media platforms have made us hungry and desperate for online validation because we don't think we will get enough of it from reality.
While some people have mastered the art of finding a balance between the two worlds, most others are slipping deeper and deeper into the stronghold of social media. This media hypnosis causes mental health issues like excess digital consumption and social phobia, further heightening anxiety and depression.
Stating the Mental Health Issue:
While technology and social media have advantages and have provided unbridled assistance in several matters, its evil side seems to be growing at a much faster rate.
Stress, anxiety, depression, FOMO (Fear of Missing out), etc., are all recurring mental health issues that people are going through on an everyday basis and must be scrutinized with better attention. The problem with the current times is that depression and anxiety, being a mass mental health issue, is being unjustly generalized by the society and authorities.
A critical study in America shows that depression is the second leading health issue after alcoholism and required a thorough diagnosis. Excessive digital consumption and social phobia are the leading causes of depression and must be immediately checked.
Positive Aspects of Social Media :
Before discussing the innumerable shortcomings of social media, let us view some of the positive impacts it has on our lives on an everyday basis.
- If you are living in a remote area, communication will get you through your loneliness. And for this, social media is the mediator.
- Social media is a multi-purpose connection platform where individuals from varied geographical locations can share similar interests.
- It can be used as a platform to create awareness and spread positive messages during difficult times despite the negative impact of social media.
- Communication, being the most profitable business in the market, is a necessary marketing strategy.
- It is an excellent medium for gathering new and valuable information every day.
Negative Aspects of Social Media :
Now, moving on to the negative aspects of social media-
- FOMO is the “Fear of Missing Out” on updates on other people's lives or your comment box. This accelerates the need to reach out to your phone every 10 seconds and check social media.
- Excessive digital consumption can lead to choosing virtual interactions over the face to face interactions.
- Body image complex is a massive factor for depression. Social media is used as a platform to worship a single body type, and this drives people to hate themselves if they don't look like that.
- Facing isolation is a definitive negative impact of social media, and it gets worse when the person is slipping deeper and deeper into this realm.
- Cyberbullying is a common occurrence on social media, and it is not okay to generalize it. To combat cyberbullying, several laws have been established, which is providing the necessary justice. Due to cyberbullying, sometimes victims resort to extreme measures like suicide.
- Self-absorption is not okay. It is okay to love yourself, but being obsessed can cause negative repercussions. The constant need for validation on social media is clouding teenagers, and their real-world has been smothered. They use social media as an escape, rather than dealing with their problems.
How is online counseling convenient to keep your mental health in check?
A mental health issue, irrespective of its severity, should not be dealt with alone. To overcome problems like depression, stress, anxiety, you need some professional guidance. You need to be able to get out of the phase and continue with your daily life.
There has to be a correct balance maintained between how much time you should spend on social media and how much time you should spend away from it.
This magic won't happen in a fortnight. It would help if you had the perfect guidance to get through this one step at a time.
This is where counseling becomes crucial. As a result of the new advanced features in a smartphone and time paucity, several online counseling apps have surfaced. These applications are all legit, and some reviews state the legality and effectiveness of these apps.
Online counseling is a necessity because it is ten times more convenient than face-to-face interactions. Here is why-
- Individuals facing mental health issues might get intimidated to meet a stranger and talk about his or her illness. However, with online counseling, the individual might seek refuge in the virtual world because he is so used to it.
- Telephone counseling is more convenient in the sense that if it is impossible for individuals to access proper clinics in the areas they are living in, online therapy can take place from anywhere in the world through the internet or telephone.
- Re-scheduling online therapy sessions are much more comfortable than postponing appointments in face-to-face interactions. Moreover, you can message your online counselor whenever you are feeling uneasy or showing signs of depression and anxiety.
- In terms of money, online counseling is much easier to access than face-to-face interactions. Moreover, some apps have discount codes from time to time, as well as insurance benefits.
To sum it up, social media is an amalgamation of both positives and negatives. There is a lot to benefit from it, as well as loose from it. The main idea is to avoid being a slave to it and find a balance. Learn to appreciate face to face interactions and your real-world surroundings. Do regular digital detoxes and practice mindfulness.
Online counseling helps provide professional guidelines to handle your mental health issues, which seem to be consuming you.