Social media use increases risk of mental health problems: DAK

SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday said the excessive use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites increases the risk of mental health problems.
President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said frequent use of social media negatively impacts the mental health. “Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to be depressed,” he said.
He said participants who checked social media more frequently were 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than those who checked less frequently. “Those who reported using seven to eleven social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than those who used zero to two platforms,” he said.
Dr Hassan said people on social media compare themselves with others and they feel inadequate. “Comparisons tend to lower self-esteem which puts them in a negative mood. If you don’t receive likes or re-tweets, you feel at loss. Negative comments on your post makes you feel bad.”
“Social media provides a new means through which people are bullied. This has resulted in tragic events like self-harm and suicide,” he said. DAK president said the virtual world of social media actually causes you feel more lonely and socially isolated. “The loneliness and lack of real life connections is definitely a large factor for the development of mental health issues.
Social media has tremendous addictive potential.
Handing your child a smartphone is like giving them a gram of cocaine,” he said. “They get glued to their phones and take them to bed and keep scrolling through social media feeds all night,” Dr Hassan said adding, “This disturbs their sleep and puts them at risk of developing a host of unhealthy feelings and behaviours.”
“Excessive use of social media has been found to be strongly linked to underachievement at school,” DAK President said.