SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR HEALTH

We are often reminded of how many glasses of water we should have a day, or how much Apple to keep a doctor away, or the amount of protein to take, to keep sickness at bay. However, the effects of social media on health, how much time we should spend on the screen, has, unfortunately, only attracted little attention.

At this point, I must remind us, the definition of health has not changed from; a state of complete physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of an individual and not just the absence of disease or infirmities.  Key-words: Complete; Wellbeing.

How do we achieve a state of complete well-being when more than 12 hours a day is spent on a screen, surfing the internet and most of the time, at a go with no breaks in-between? At a time like this, during a pandemic, where more persons are resorting to the internet for reasons such as work etc., and the line to social media addiction blurs by the day, the need for awareness of the effects of social media on health cannot be over-emphasized. This article seeks to expose one to the effects of social media on one’s health and the preventive measures one could take to be in a state of complete well-being.

 

Effects of Social Media on physical health

Too much social media usage and online presence could lead to isolated symptoms of

  • Headache
  • Eye pain and Eye discomfort
  • Back pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Waist pain

 

It could also trigger symptoms of existing conditions such as migraine, and refractive errors. Longer irregular periods could distort one’s circadian rhythm.

The symptoms usually result from too much exposure to light on the screen (eye pain) or bad positioning (back pain). Symptoms such as back pain, though benign, might become persistent, predisposing one to spine pathologies in the future.

There is, however, no evidence of a direct link between the radiation from screens of phones and computers and Cancer.

 

Effects of Social Media on mental health  ,

The impact of social media on mental health could be seen as a red alert. It is profound. Over the years, cases of anxiety and depression have resulted from exposure to the social media. The following are some of the effects;

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Delusions of grandiosity, jealousy etc
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Suicide

Largely contributory to these is what one is exposed to: the desire to be like others can be overwhelming, driving one to episodes of anxiety and depression. Social media can also become addictive.

 

What Can Be Done

Technology has its good sides too and so one cannot be told to completely stay off the social media. The following, however, can serve to promoting good health while using social media.

 

  • Reduce time of usage of social media to, say, 2-3 hours a day. It is recommended to have breaks in-between usage of social media if for a longer period of time.
  • Scheduling periods for social media. Being on social media while on bed and about to sleep is not a good option. This distorts your sleep-wake cycle. It could also lead to disorders of sleep.
  • Filtering the contents you need.
  • Not engaging in superfluous conversations and unending arguments.
  • Seeking professional care in a case of social media addiction

 

Wealth is health. Our health is determined by what and how much we give to it: by how much glasses of water we have in a day; how much fruits we take; the amount of protein we take in; and by how much time we spend on social media.

Stay healthy today. Stay complete.

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