Social Media is a tool for communication and interaction, much like the phone and email. Like the other forms of media, this medium allows us to get our “thoughts” out to others in a quick and efficient way. Psychology is the study of human behavior and motivation. Nowadays, people often post their “thoughts” or “arguments” in an online forum, blog or other outlets. The purpose of this interaction is two-fold: first, to express oneself; second, to engage an audience.
Some say these platforms are harmless., yet others believe there is “danger” in posting in these platforms. It all depends on your opinion. Some experts are convinced that social media may even be more dangerous than the Internet. Psychologists, however, believe that spreading false stories (many of which get circulated widely) online could destroy reputations, undermine trust in the government, and more.
This can have real consequences. Just consider the terror attack in San Bernardino: a man entered a crowded shopping mall with a weapon, killing and injuring many innocent people. This event is now being investigated as an act of terror. Will we see more of these mass casualty events in the future fueled by fear and social media? There’s also a concern about privacy issues. As more people get comfortable using and sharing their online accounts, this opens up the door to abuse. Some unscrupulous individuals use social media to prey on unsuspecting victims. Terrorists, as observers affirm, use such methods to recruit spies or others who have access to sensitive information.
How does psychology play into this?
The good news is that you can do things to reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous online influences.
- First, watch what you post online, not just what you read.
- Second, understand the difference between giving advice or support and endorsing a product.
- Finally, be wary of using private or personal networks for personal or private business purposes. Only allow business contacts into your social media network.
In summary, how does psychology relate to social media? Online influence can be both beneficial and potentially dangerous. By taking the time to understand the psychology of online interaction, you can protect yourself and your family from the potential dangers lurking online. Further, understanding how the way we react to various media can lead to a greater understanding of ourselves as individuals.
Humans as naturally social creatures
Humans are by nature social creatures who enjoy interacting with one another. We require others to prosper in life, and the strength of our social ties has a significant impact on our mental health and level of happiness. People can assist you in managing stress, worry, and depression, increase your self-esteem, provide comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even extend your life by a few years if you are socially connected. On the other hand, a lack of strong social connections can have a negative impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram are popular social media sites used to communicate and locate one another.However, even though each has its own set of advantages, it’s important to remember that social media will never be a substitute for real-life human interaction. Interacting with other people face-to-face alleviates stress and increases happiness, health, and optimism by releasing hormones. Spending too much time on social media can exacerbate mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, for a technology that is supposed to bring people closer together.
How does psychology relate to social media?
Social media is becoming one of the most popular ways to interact and share information with friends and colleagues. Still, it is also becoming an increasingly vital tool for those who want to market themselves to potential clients and customers. A social network allows a business person to use one of the most effective marketing techniques: making prospective customers visit a website or follow a certain action.
The Internet has become a fantastic tool for marketing because of its relatively low cost and fast accessibility. For example, a person can post a message about a social networking site like Twitter in a little more than a few minutes. A business can then set up their company profile on that site, and a Twitter handle or link to their blog on the same page. Within minutes, they can be following everyone who is talking about their products or services.
How does psychology relate to marketing when a business person uses social networking to promote their business?
In a nutshell, it all boils down to the business person taking their psychology skills and using them to promote their business. It is a lot like marketing oneself through word of mouth – but on a much larger scale.
How does psychology relate to social media?
Marketing is just a small part of what a businessperson can do to promote themselves and their products. For example, a business person can use blogs and YouTube to promote themselves and their products. Further, they can use Twitter to talk with other people about their products. They can also use Facebook and other social networking sites to create partnerships and make their brand more recognizable and valuable.
Is this a one-way street, or can psychology be used to influence social media users as well?
In this digital age, it’s hard to escape the constant bombardment of messages and advertisements that we receive through social media. Social media has indeed influenced our personal and professional lives in a way that was unimaginable just several years ago. There is a fine line between having your say and actively supporting an argument. For example, consider this exchange between a British comedian and a New York Times columnist: “You seem like a nice guy. I wonder what you do for a day.” “Oh, nothing. I spend a lot of time on social media.”
This exchange reveals much about how people feel about themselves. The comedian suggests that he does nothing, while the columnist remarks that he is a nice guy and seems to spend his time on social media. These two observations are the beginning of a decades-long process by which people perceive their inner selves through self-observation.
How does psychology play into this process?
Although some may argue that people are perfectly rational in their self-observations, this conclusion seems illogical in light of the popularity of certain social media platforms. A simple look at the Facebook page for “MySpace” shows a profile that shows a man with a racy, sexual joke posted. A married man believes that his wife is a disgusting monster. A teenage girl created a fan page on Facebook that consists almost exclusively of her hateful commentary.
Those involved in the study of social media have discovered that how certain types of content affect us is not simply a matter of emotion or choice – it’s a matter of psychology. Social interaction, particularly those involving gender, has been studied for years. However, until recently, there was little that could be done to investigate the psychological underpinnings of this phenomenon.
Fortunately, new technology, like neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), has provided researchers with a powerful toolbox to study how psychology relates to social media. The study of how psychology relates to social media begins with the premise that there are four main factors that all individuals consider when forming their opinion of another person or group.
Two of these factors are appearance and behavior. Many people quickly judge others based on their physical appearance, whether overweight, fat or handsome. More importantly, many people will be quicker to form an opinion of a person based on their behavior – whether socially outgoing, shy, or fearful. In both cases, the opinions formed are usually based solely on outward appearance rather than internal states of mind.
With the power of psychology behind us, we are at a great advantage in learning how psychology relates to social media. The key factor is that we are all unique, and our psychological makeup can often dictate the information that we process differently. Certain information may be more easily absorbed by one group of individuals than another. We all share the same necessities, such as the need for food and shelter, which are elemental in shaping our basic needs. However, these things do not have to be hard-wired into our neurological makeup. By learning more about how psychology relates to social media, you will better understand your psyche.
The Link Between Social Media And Psychology
How does social media affect mental health?
Positive Mental Health Benefits of Social Media
Even though many studies have focused on the negative aspects of social media use, numerous potential mental health benefits can be gained from using social media. People of all ages can take advantage of the benefits, which come in various unexpected forms. Millennials, who tend to dominate some aspects of social media consumption, can benefit from the digital world of social sharing in various ways, including improved mental health and improved interpersonal relationships.
Researchers Adriana M. Manago and Lanen Vaughn discovered that as young people mature, they have many opportunities for friendship and happiness. They asserted that, due to having easy access to their friends’ information and interests, younger social media users may now form stronger bonds with their friends. Researchers discovered that users’ independence and autonomy are increased due to these linkages, which improves their ability to think critically and make decisions.
These positive feelings of belonging and self-worth will have a noticeable positive impact on the mental health of those who use them. A non-profit organization that fights mental illness through advocacy, artistic expression, and business described how social media can positively affect user’s mental health.
Among the many positive effects of social media on mental health that were discovered from a psychological standpoint were the following:
- Social integration with people who have similar interests to yours is important
- Motives for leading a healthy and body-positive lifestyle are discussed.
- It is possible to find support groups.
- Keeping existing relationships and establishing new ones.
- An examination of various modes of thinking.
Consequences of social media use on mental health
However, while there are many benefits to using and participating in social media, it has been widely criticized for having a negative impact on the mental health of those who use it.
Having an inadequacy about your appearance or life
Despite the fact that you know the photographs you see on social media have been edited, they can still cause you to feel insecure about your appearance or the events in your life. Similarly, we are all aware that others only talk about the positive aspects of their lives and rarely about the negative aspects that everyone experiences. Although this is true, it does not make you feel any less envious or dissatisfied when you look at your friend’s retouched photos of their sunny beach vacation or hear about their fantastic new job promotion.
Fear of missing out (FOMO)
While FOMO has existed for a long time before the advent of social media, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram seem to amplify the perception that others are having more fun or living better lives than you. Being under the impression that you’re not getting enough can lower your self-esteem, cause you to worry, and encourage you to use social media even more. The fear of missing out on something might cause you to check your phone every few minutes for updates or respond compulsively to each and every alert—even if it means putting your life in danger while driving or sacrificing sleep at night or prioritizing social media involvement over real-world connections.
According to a University of Pennsylvania study, frequent use of social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increases rather than decreases feelings of loneliness. The study found that reducing your social media usage can reduce loneliness and improve your sense of well-being.
The feeling of depression and anxiety
Humans require face-to-face contact to maintain mental health. Face-to-face contact with someone you care about helps relieve stress and improve mood quicker and more effectively than any other method. People who prioritize social media activity over interpersonal interactions have a higher risk of developing or worsening mood disorders.
Teenagers report being bullied on social media according to their age, and many others have received derogatory remarks. Social media platforms such as Twitter and others can be hotbeds for the spread of harmful rumours, lies, and abuse, all of which can leave emotional scars in their wake. Teenagers are more prone to experiencing this type of anxiety than other age groups.
A licensed clinical social worker, Katie Hurley, says that teens who use the internet must deal with “cyberbullying, trolls, poisonous comparisons, sleep deprivation, and less frequent face-to-face interactions.” In a culture that emphasizes the importance of being connected at all times, these seemingly unrelated issues can overwhelm users and cause them to experience extreme anxiety.
Because of these negative consequences on adolescent mental health, parents, educators, and other role models must engage in the more social media interaction with their children and adolescents. A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that social media sites such as Facebook are associated with higher depressive symptoms. According to the study findings, those who spent more time on Facebook had poorer mental health, which made them feel less confident when they compared their profiles to those of others.
Igor Pantic, a medical practitioner and cyberpsychologist, confirmed his findings in a second article published the same day. According to him, long-term use of social networking sites, such as Facebook, “could be associated with the onset and progression of depressive symptoms.” Since they are comparing their lives to the lives of so many others, people’s mental health will suffer.
Social media posts: Why we do them
People upload many types of content on various social media platforms. When people want to share photos, they usually go to Instagram. They use Twitter to post brief snippets of text, such as jokes. A lot goes into determining what to publish where before you consider the psychological aspects that influence what gets uploaded and what doesn’t. It was recently articulated in an essay published on Medium titled “The Psychology of Social Sharing” about the different tiers of posting incentives.
Although the authors of this article took a marketing-oriented approach to the psychology of social media posting, they were able to identify and tap into a number of distinct psychological motivations for sharing content. They go so far as to cleverly adapt Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs to explain why people share and consume new information and updates. The names of these are as follows:
- Physiological needs: People sometimes post to help their friends and family’s health or well-being.
- Safety: Physical, mental, and financial security are important considerations when deciding whether or not to post certain materials on social media platforms.
- Love/belongingness: Users generally want to post to feel social acceptance from a group or a specific individual, which is why they use social media.
- Esteem: People post “me-centric” content on social media platforms largely to quell their reward-oriented brain mechanisms.
- Self-actualization: As the most important facet of the hierarchy of human needs, this aspect of social media posting manifests itself when people share their accomplishments – such as landing a new job, completing a difficult project, or graduating from college, to name a few examples – on social media.
The psychological community has only recently begun to grapple with the motivations behind posting material on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. According to an article titled “Why We Share: A Study of Motivations for Mobile Media Sharing,” respondents were asked to record their posting habits and feelings in a diary and then participate in post-study interviews, which were conducted after the study was completed.
Researchers discovered that “social and EMOTIONAL INFLUENCES played an important role in media sharing behaviour” after closely monitoring the behaviour of those who shared media. How social media has influenced the psychological development of children has been the focus of some researchers’ investigations.
People share for a variety of reasons, according to the article “Growing Up Wired: Social Networking Sites and Adolescent Psychosocial Development,” which states that some people share because they have been reared since childhood to post. In general, adolescents’ and young adults’ stated motivations for using (social networking sites) are quite similar to those for using more traditional forms of communication. To stay in touch with friends, make plans, get to know people better, and present oneself to others, to name a few examples.
Furthermore, according to the researchers who conducted the study, children and adolescents are beginning to shape their identities by what they post on social media and how they interact with others. According to a recent article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people post on social media because social media sharing can be associated with positive social media feedback and self-esteem.
More directly, the desire for likes or follows on social media significantly impacts what people post and how they post it. Many users are encouraged to share more socially due to the good attention they receive for posting. In general, people publish from an emotional place in which they are looking for a reaction. Because social media is based on communication, it’s only natural that the major incentive for posting stems from a desire to connect with others. However, this relentless search for acceptance and exposure on social media can lead to serious psychological issues for some.
When Social Media Habits Become Addictions
The use of social media has received a great deal of attention over the last five years. The proliferation of social networking applications has prompted numerous researchers to investigate why people share their content and why some users have addictive tendencies. Social networking sites and addiction were the subject of the article “Social Networking Sites and Addiction,” which discussed some of the reasons why people become addicted to social networking sites (SNS).
Lower self-esteem and a general fear of being left out are just a couple of the reasons for this phenomenon. On the other hand, the authors were quick to distinguish social networking and social media, stating that “social networking is a way of life,” whereas “individuals can become addicted to using social media sites.” Additionally, they suggest that levels of addiction may be influenced by factors such as sociodemographics and family income levels.
Furthermore, according to the researchers, FOMO (fear of missing out) “could be a component of social media addiction.” Because of an underlying problem with addictive behaviour, these are all important characteristics of people becoming increasingly prone to post on or consume social media content.
The term “social media addiction” is becoming more popular among academics as an increasing number of people express concerns about becoming reliant on social media.
“The Relationships Among Social Media Addiction, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction in University Students,” a study published in Psychological Science, examined the consequences of excessive social media use. According to the study’s findings, those who admitted to using social media on a limited basis had a significantly more optimistic outlook on their social situations. Among the other participants, the vast majority agreed that “addictive use of social media has a negative relationship with self-esteem.”
Participants in this survey also expressed dissatisfaction with their lives, which they attributed to a lack of self-esteem. Further, in a world where social media addiction has not received nearly as much attention as it should, the chapter “Social Networking Addiction” from Behavioral Addictions helped put social media addiction in its proper historical context. This section further explores how mental health professionals can carry out effective screening and treatment processes when dealing with people suspected of having addictive tendencies.
Signs your mental health is being affected by social media
Spending more time online than with friends in person.
Many social interactions you used to have offline have been replaced by social media. You feel the urge to constantly check social media, even when you’re out with friends, primarily because you think others may be having more fun than you are.
Social media comparisons that are unfavorable to you.
You have low self-esteem or a negative image of yourself. There may even be patterns of disordered eating in your life.
Being the victim of cyberbullying.
It worries you that people can post things about you without your permission.
Distractions at work or school.
Your social media presence is under pressure to post content about yourself frequently, gain comments or likes on your posts, or respond to friends’ messages quickly and enthusiastically.
Lack of time for self-reflection.
Engaging with social media consumes every spare moment of your day, leaving you with little time for self-reflection, thinking about why you act the way you do and reflecting on who you are as a person.
Using risky tactics to increase likes, shares, or reactions on social media.
Playing dangerous pranks, posting embarrassing material, cyberbullying, or accessing your phone while driving or in other unsafe situations is detrimental to your safety.
Having trouble sleeping.
Whenever you wake up at night, or even when you sleep, do you check social media? You’re much more likely to suffer from mental health problems if exposed to the light from phones and other devices.
Anxiety or depression symptoms that worsen.
When you use social media, you feel more anxious, depressed, or lonely instead of alleviating negative feelings and boosting your mood.
In the early part of the 21st century, social media has been widely used by people worldwide. Some people thought that it was a waste of time because there was nothing to do. However, as its popularity grew, more businesses began to use it as a tool for marketing their products and services.
People use social media to reconnect and share. It is also used to obtain information and to connect with others. With the use of this technology, people can share and communicate. It has been described as the new media and has many similarities with other forms of media such as television and radio.
Social networking sites have become very popular. Millions of people are visiting them on an everyday basis. Millions of these people are in their teens and younger years, and they are creating and building strong relationships through these websites. They are connecting with and learning from each other through these websites.
The teenagers of today are forming strong bonds with others that they meet on these social media websites. They are building friendships and romantic relationships. These relationships can be very strong and meaningful , as these young individuals find out who they are, discovering their identity. This can be a very positive influence on their overall growth and development.
However, there is a negative side to this form of media. Studies have shown that the influence of social media can cause some people to develop depression and feel lonely. Loneliness can be so powerful that sometimes people take their own lives. There have even been people that have committed suicide after developing serious problems with their social media profiles and loneliness.
There have been studies that have shown a decline in the number of marriages and domestic partnerships. Further, there is also a decline in the number of children born to couples heavily involved in social media. The main reason behind this decline in marriage and domestic partnership is that people are not spending as much time as they should with their families.
With the lack of time spent, the children are not provided with love and support. This can lead to problems within the marriage, and in many cases, the couple will separate or divorce. Social media has influenced human behaviour in many ways. Many people have become addicted to these sites. It has led to some individuals turning into zombies when they do not log off their social media sites. This is because they spend so much time on them that they become depressed and anxious.
The way that social media affects human behavior cannot be ignored. It can cause people to become overly attached to their phones or become too involved with their friends. However, it can also be used positively, such as connecting two people that may have never previously spoken. The power of social media is changing the way that relationships are formed and sustained. There is no doubt that the influence of social media has had a significant impact on some relationships.
However, one must also remember that many couples have suffered from broken relationships because of the influence of social media. It can cause one to be over-dependent on the cell phone or neglect their partner. One of the negative impacts social media can have on human relationships is that people blame others for their negativity. They will say something like, “Why am I constantly angry?” This type of thinking is bad because it distracts them from real problems and causes them to feel guilty.
If someone finds themselves saying this, it is important to remind them that everyone has a dark side and that it is best to take a break from time to time. This will help them realize that the use of social media should not become a replacement for real relationships.
Another effect that social media can have on relationships is that it causes people to become more paranoid. In other words, people will see everything as a potential threat and will become extremely anxious about potential misunderstandings. In essence, they will be overly sensitive about even the littlest details. Human beings tend to want to protect their relationships because they know that even the littlest mistakes could end them up in a relationship breakup.
Lastly, another effect of social media on human relationships is that it can make people more superficial than the real person they are. When people use social media, they will be more likely to give up their true feelings to fit in with the crowd. Although this may seem to be good for their image, it can have devastating consequences in the long run.