By Christopher Simon

The Dangers of Social Media

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone.”  ~ 2 Timothy 2: 22-24 NIV

A recent survey by the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that social media can be bad for our mental health. Anyone who has ever spent time on Facebook or Instagram probably knows that the images and messages there can make you feel insecure, envious and inferior. 

Cases of cyber-bullying and other forms of online shaming or intimidation are too well-known for anyone to doubt this possible hazard. The survey of approximately 1500 people aged 14-24 found that social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram increased feelings of anxiety in over half of the respondents. Seven out of ten of the respondents said that Instagram made them feel worse about their body image and 2/3 of them said that Facebook made cyber-bullying worse. Those who spent more than two hours per day using social media were most at risk, and the researchers are calling for measures aimed at educating users on how to use social media in a positive way. 

We all desire to connect with others in a positive way, and while social media can facilitate this, it can also make it very easy to harm others. So use social media, but use it wisely, and always only for good.