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Dope-Amen!

Is too much social media bad for mental health? Yes.  How about real life? Can’t it have an equal effect on our mental health? So why has social media been blamed for years now?


We could agree that social media has hugely influenced our real lives. Our lives revolve around it so close now that some recently launched products and professions exist solely because of social media. If I were to ask you, ‘Do you hate social media platforms?’ you might as well say yes. If yes, then would you quit social media? Very few said yes, and even fewer left the apps. Those apps are just chilling in there; with other apps on our phones, we are the ones who open and close them like it’s our innate duty. 


Now, as for real life, it is equally good/ bad for mental health.  Without social media, these basic human feelings— like the need to socialize— don’t disappear.  We could very well connect with people in person. That's the og (originial gangster) of socializing method.


The only difference that social media has made is, I think, the frequency of experiences. What my grandma experienced in her lifetime is one part of my life, and I’m only in my 20s. Assuming that my brain and her brain have the same biological build, I’m making myself go through much more than that brain can handle. Why wouldn’t it be exhausting? If I were to have three significant happy moments and one sad incident because of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, I would have seventeen

happy moments, ten painful incidents, and three existential crises. That’s a lot for anyone and everyone. 



The culprit would be ‘easy dopamine.’ The dopamine hits are more accessible than ever, and it could only be more straightforward in the future. ‘Someone liked your photo,’ ‘new message,’ ‘we’re giving 50% discount’, ‘There’s a new event in your area’ — do you get these notifications? These are reminders by someone else for you to get you to use the apps, get addicted to cheap dopamine, and ultimately spend money on their products/services. Overdose of this dopamine hit leaves us with an ‘empty feeling’ when not getting it. 


So when we say social media is terrible, we’re saying that overstimulation of our brain is impaired. I recently read (ironically on social media) a quote from Naval Ravikant, which was - “the modern mind is overstimulated, and the modern body understimulated.” 


After sitting with that quote for a few minutes, I could see how undeniably true it is. Once the basic needs— food, water, shelter, clothes, etc.— are fulfilled, my mind automatically goes, “Alright, now what?”. Then I get this urge to test my mental capacity through social media. It is beneficial if it's productive, like building true relations and doing business. Then, when the productive activities are done, once again, there’s that “now what?”. Here comes the actual lousy part of social media. Consuming too much content, thinking about things that I haven’t seen, romanticizing the glorious lifestyle of someone famous, express my thoughts on someone else’s matter, comparing myself to a person’s half-true reality, and so on. These mindless activities rarely leave me in a feel-good state. I hope I do less of this irrational use of social media, and if you read this blog thinking, “Us bro us,” then I hope you will too.


While you spend a moment over the relatability of the previous statement, I’d like to conclude by reminding you to take care of your mental health. Oh, and physical health, too, there’s no ‘either-or’ in it.

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