How Does the Internet Affect Mental Health?
The turn of the millennium witnessed a massive change in lifestyles as the internet slowly snuck its way into the common man’s life and made a permanent place for itself. And with smartphones and a plethora of internet-linked appliances becoming an integral part of day-to-day living, internet dependence is reaching new heights with new terms like internet addiction and internet gaming disorder becoming common disorders.
Most people don’t realize that when their internet dependence leads to psychosocial or psychological disorders. While the internet is a helpful tool for work, education, commerce, social interaction, and entertainment, its overuse can lead to a negative impact on mental health. Here’s a deeper look at how internet overuse can affect health:
Social Media vs. Social Life
While connecting with friends on social media is a good thing, you need to keep tabs on how it affects your psyche too. Excessive usage of social media can lead to dependency and depression. Such people constantly need affirmation and compare their life with others. This can take away your joy and also lower your self-esteem. Instead of obsessing over others, focus on the good things in your own life.
Anxiety and Internet Overuse
There is so much information available on the internet about every topic under the sun. Spending too much time researching and reading negative news online can result in feelings of anxiety. This becomes a problem especially when you start researching your health symptoms online. It’s always better to see a doctor instead.
Internet and Sleep Loss
The human body needs sufficient hours of sleep to function normally. The bright light from smartphones, PCs or laptops can disrupt the secretion of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.
Set Boundaries for Social Media
You have to draw a line on the amount of time you spend on social media daily – limit your screen time by putting a timer instead. And if you really want to get social, choose to spend time offline with friends and family – you will be healthier and happier for it!
If you are someone who checks their social media/emails, etc., even in the middle of the night, then you are definitely addicted to the internet – Talk to your doctor for help.