The Negative Effects of Social Media

The Cons of Social Media

Social media has been linked to a number of negative effects and detriments such as addiction, depression and anxiety. This section provides insight on these detriments with the help of video features.


According to the Status of Mind report by the Royal Society for Public Health, Social Media is an addiction, with many young people being affected - this is thought to be worse than cigarette and alcohol addiction. Simon Sinek talks about this in the video below.

Impact on Work and Relationships

Social media impacts the way people present themselves and this may be completely different compared to how they do so online and in real life. Excessive social media usage is known to affect relationships whilst also halting progression in education and work too. Simon Sinek discusses this below:

Depression and Anxiety

Social media can also lead to anxiety and depression. According to research, one in six young people tend to experience some sort of anxiety disorder throughout their lives. To put that into context, five pupils in every school class may be going through an anxiety issue, while rates of anxiety and depression have also increased in the last 25 years by 70% (AnxietyUK, 2018). The fact that there is a correlation between a rise in anxiety and the introduction of social media and increase of its usage, is no coincidence. Four out of five young people have found to feel more depressed due to social media platforms. Simon Sinek has a look at this below:

Social Media and Mental Health

The Royal Society for Public Health did a study in 2017, where they asked almost 1,500 young people about five of the most commonly used social media networks. The purpose of this research was to discover how users’ mental health is affected by these platforms, taking several aspects into consideration. These aspects included anxiety, depression, sleep, bullying and awareness of people’s health, to name a few. The scale being implemented for the research to measure scores of each attribute was between -2 (much worse) and +2(much better), with 0 representing no effect.

Social media platforms ranked in order of net impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

The results showed that only YouTube was considered to have a slightly positive effect with a weighted score of around 0.25. All the other four platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram) registered a negative score, with Instagram being the most negative.