The social media it’s something we use every day. Either to find new information and talk to friends and acquaintances, or just to watch funny videos. Of course, the truth is that they serve many purposes.

There are many ways to use social media to benefit not only yourself, but others as well. It depends on each of us and how we use them, as with so many other things in life. It’s just a tool and depending on how you use it will determine whether it’s “good” or “bad”.

If we assume, therefore, that for every advantage, there is also a disadvantage of the effect of social media on our lives, then some of the examples are the following:

  • Social media creates more communication across all platforms, which reduces loneliness and enables new relationships

Through Social Media, you are able to connect with anyone around the world, be it for professional or social reasons. You can talk to people who are far away from you and combat any kind of loneliness you may feel. It is known that the existence of a strong social network is related to positive mental health and well-being.

However, according to psychotherapist Elsa Pouliouthere is also the opposite side: “At the same time, the same media are what enable and reinforce the sense of shame that a person may feel in intimate contact. Essentially, there is more permissibility for the person to be ashamed of various aspects of himself, which he hides in order to become attractive. It thus reinforces the notion that there is a perfect life full of travel, ideal relationships and friendships, delicious food, expensive clothes and flawless people.”

  • Social media can help people create their own identity

On the other hand, in this day and age, it can be difficult to define yourself, but social media can contribute to this effort. In addition, it can give people with mental disorders an interesting way to communicate their thoughts and seek help from people with similar problems or from experts.

But even in this case, we cannot ignore the opposite side, according to the psychotherapist: “So while the individual is provided with ease and immediacy in order to be able to take care of their mental health, at the same time the same ease does not always bring positive results. At the altar of usability and speed, true self-expression is sacrificed. Absent the lifelong therapeutic contact, the person presents an incomplete image of himself, as a large part of non-verbal communication is lost. Non-verbal communication includes body posture, hand movements and facial expressions, but these are lost due to physical distance. This can result, even subconsciously, in losing the relationship or not being able to create closeness and therefore the person not caring as much as possible. However, there are also cases where the person has no other means of reaching out and getting help, so flexibility is the golden ratio.”

  • Social media seems to make us happy through likes and comments

Finally, through likes and comments, a social acceptance is created for people who would not have had the opportunity to gain it otherwise. Thus, our creativity and self-esteem are enhanced.

In this case, the psychotherapist completes: “The deeper demand for acceptance of the individual emerges, which, within the online world, inevitably focuses on a comparison with those around them, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, increased anxiety and depression. As the individual with his own subjectivity joins and compares himself to the lives of others, he has the effect of creating a negative self-image. By choosing a fictitious image, separated from what we ourselves do not prefer in our everyday life and cut off from the imperfections that reflect us in real life contact, we allow ourselves to be rejected”.

After all, does social media make us happy?