The Hidden Dangers of Social Media: How it Affects Mental Health in College Students

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Social media has become a major part of our world today. It is used globally and is a common way to connect and share information with others. However, it can also be detrimental to mental health. We all know that social media is a 24/7 job. The pressure to always be “on” and look perfect leads many college students to symptoms such as anxiety and depression. In this article, we will explore the ways in which social media impacts mental health in college students and what you can do about it.

Social Media and Mental Health

Social Media Impacts on Mental Health | by Ali Hasan | Medium
Social Media and Mental Health

More and more students are posting stressful and negative images of their lives on social media, which causes these students to constantly compare their own lives to those they see online. These comparisons can cause intense feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, which in turn can negatively impact mental health.

The high-stress environment of college has contributed to students wanting to socialize and share experiences with others. However, for those who do have access to social media and other Internet technologies, they can find themselves comparing their real life to those online.

The Pressure To Be Perfect

Although you are studying for an important final or fulfilling your summer job, you also have to do so while applying for scholarships, maintaining relationships with friends and spending quality time with family. On top of that, you may be working a part-time job. There is no escaping the fact that college students are under a lot of pressure to do well in school and get into a great college.

However, there is so much pressure that students can’t always manage to stay on top of everything that they need to do. This pressure often has them stressed and worried about the future. When we add the pressure of social media on top of this, it can lead to even more issues.

How Social Media Affects Mental Health

Social Media and Mental Health

Social media is everywhere. Most of us spend up to six hours on social media daily. This habit can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression for many. According to studies, social media is a large factor in these symptoms. As you continue to be active on social media, you risk not only the effects mentioned earlier, but a lower self-esteem as well.

People post pictures that are full of negativity or perhaps they feel that they need to continue posting to maintain a positive image in front of their followers. This is usually when people begin to have feelings of anxiety and depression, but there are many other factors that can cause the condition. Social media use can cause negative body image and exacerbate feelings of depression.

What To Do About It

When the demand for perfection is placed on social media, it causes stress and anxiety. It can easily become all-consuming. The constant need to be “on” and look perfect for everyone on your list on social media leaves you feeling inadequate, pressured and lonely.

There is nothing wrong with seeking out the attention of others, and the validation can be a great source of relief. However, if the pressure becomes overwhelming, social media can lead to an emotional breakdown.

There are steps you can take to help manage social media stress, such as setting realistic and attainable goals, not comparing yourself to others and learning how to take a break. Doing something as simple as going for a walk can be a helpful change of pace.


With the immense popularity of social media, it is important to be aware of how it affects mental health. This article will hopefully give you a basic understanding of how social media affects your mind and how you can improve your mental health in general.

Has your mind been affected by social media? If so, what methods have you found to ease the stress caused by this?

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