Role of Media in Psychological Health

Everyone uses media for various purposes, but how does it impact us? Do we feel motivated by seeing others or demotivated by seeing them? Are we bullied online, or do we have our privacy? Such things on a vast platform like the media cannot be determined, as people can do anything and everything they wish to. Is the media a bane or a boon? How does its impact differ from one person to another?

Psychological Effects of Media

Aside from online communication, social media significantly impacts various facets of modern digital life, including marketing, politics, education, health, and human contact. Although the social media phenomenon is still relatively young, numerous empirical studies have assessed the impact of frequent social media usage on an individual's physical and mental health. In many of these areas, social media offers advantages.

Media’s Role in Body Image Issues and Eating Behaviour

Body image is your opinion of your body and how it makes you feel. It is the totality of your ideas, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about your body. Moreover, that perception may only sometimes be correct. Body image also refers to how happy you are with your weight, shape, features, complexion, and so on. If a person is unhappy with their appearance, it may lead to undesirable behaviors. Body image is impacted by individual internal variables such as personality and social environmental external influences such as peer pressure and media.

Humans are social creatures that want camaraderie and to belong to a group that makes them feel safe. As a result, when a specific model is presented to the public as the desired self, individuals attempt to copy it. They do so to get acceptance from others since they are comparable to the desired criteria. The same is true for body pictures. Individuals are bombarded with photographs, blogs, and news stories discussing how to get the "ideal" figure. The truth, however, is rather different. Professionals alter the pictures people see to make them seem specific. Many of the images that many people, particularly women, look at are, in fact, unreal.

Many models and actresses have spoken up about their struggles with body image. To summarise, most of us are uncomfortable with our natural bodies, even though the actual majority has nothing in common with what is depicted in the media. If you attempt to recollect even five overweight actors who portrayed lead characters in a film or television series, you will not be able to. The media has a very particular and restrictive image of a person's appearance if they want to feel desired, loved, and attractive. TV shows, movies, news anchors, and ads portray people with comparable physical characteristics. For example, thin women and those with a fairer complexion are significantly more prevalent in the media than those of medium or above-average weight.

Similarly, as time passed, guys who were strong and taller got more starring parts than others. As a result, the underlying message of what constitutes beauty and attractiveness is broadcast to a bigger audience. There is minimal variation in how the media depicts beauty, attractiveness, and likeability. Moreover, what is shown in the media cannot be regarded as an accurate representation of reality. It does, however, have an impact.

Social media and Anxiety

According to numerous studies, there is evidence that social media use and obsessive behavior are linked. It is said that members of the "virtual generation" frequently check their social networking applications for messages. Additionally, it has been discovered that younger generations experience restlessness when they cannot read messages on social networking programs, giving rise to Phantom Vibration Syndrome (PVS). This is nothing more than an addict's perception of the vibration on his cell phone. Any PVS victim preoccupied with checking social media frequently demonstrates anxiety brought on by cell phones.

Social media and Stress

One of the main issues with mental health is anxiety. People worry about the views and remarks on the photos and videos they share. Hardly anyone is immune from social media in the modern world. Socialization, improved communication, educational opportunities, and health information availability are good benefits. Negative effects include sexting, depression, cyberbullying, harassment online, exhaustion, stress, emotional suppression, and reduced intellectual ability. Facebook and other social media platforms have a favorable correlation with college students' acculturative stress. Students' mental health can suffer from stress. Therefore, we might conclude that excessive social media use may impact youth's mental health.

Social Media and Depression

A person's excessive use of social media can have terrible consequences, starting with anxiety and ending with depression. It has been discovered that there is a link between adolescent Facebook use and depression. People who spend most of their time online and manage their images on social networking sites have been found to have symptoms of serious depression. Additionally, research shows that using social media worsens psycho-social issues like self-esteem and adjustment. Younger generations with severe depression also show signs of fewer positive and more negative social connections.

Social Media and Self-Image

Thus, social comparisons have an impact on our behavior as well as our psychological health. However, comparing oneself to others at a restaurant supper may have a different impact than doing it online, such as on Facebook. On social media, it is simpler than in real life to create an interesting existence or inflate specific aspects of things. Many experts have speculated that the emergence of social media, which enables us to share information where we always present ourselves in our best light, may have amplified inaccurate comparisons. Research demonstrates that people socially compare themselves more when they spend more time on Facebook and Instagram. This social comparison is connected to lower self-esteem and social anxiety, among other factors.

Social media and Bullying (Social Relationships)

A crucial aspect of maintaining our mental health is friendship. Social ties impact mortality risk, physical and mental health, and health behavior. According to several empirical investigations, social support can prevent hopelessness, demoralize avoidant coping, decrease loneliness, and improve good states of mind. On the other hand, depression is linked to suicidal thoughts, bad social interactions, and social isolation. Improved mental health is correlated with social support, and a social connection is essential for improving mental wellness.


The topic's importance is determined by how social media use and poor mental health are related. Social media use has risky repercussions for the younger generation since issues with mental health that arise in childhood can spread like an epidemic to all people throughout their lives. Everyone uses media, but it impacts everyone differently, which can lead to positive and negative effects.

Updated on: 02-May-2023


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