Psychological Effects of Social Media on Students

By Alecia Carroll

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

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Social media has paved the way for connecting students across different platforms. One prominent example is Covid-19, where social media played a significant role in bringing students together. Previously, social media’s function was limited to communication; however, this has changed, and social media has brought challenges and harmful impacts to student life.

As a coin has two sides, social media has equally brought opportunities and challenges. But if you compare opportunities with challenges, you will find a more serious threat that can ruin your student’s life. The more you understand the psychological effect of social media, the more you can help your student overcome such negative aspects.

Psychological Effect of Social Media

Social media attacks the human brain’s mental state, triggering mood swings, the failure to think and act rationally, a loss of confidence, and a decline in overall quality of life. If you compare your parent’s life to those of today’s generation, it’s clear that they had a less emotional and psychological effects. Why? You already know the answer, i.e., social media.

According to the survey, 27 percent of teenagers who used social media extensively showed high psychological tension. While teens who used social media less often showed only 17 percent of psychological stress.

Most students start using social media to communicate. But the more time they spend on social media, the more possibility of they getting addicted. Instead of opening books, they are likely to use social media, leading to psychological effects such as depression and anxiety, isolation, lack of confidence, self-harm, and failure to recognize their worth.

Why Does Social Media Cause Negative Impacts

The inability of a student to differentiate between real life and social media is one of the root causes of the negative impact of social media. When students scroll through social media and find their friends enjoying life, they feel different emotions, such as sadness and jealousy, and believe their friend’s life is perfect while their own life sucks.

One of the underlying causes of social media’s negative effects is students’ failure to distinguish between real life and social media. When they start to think everything that happens on social media is accurate, they are almost swept out by the negative impacts of social media.

Some of your students might also believe models and actors to be perfect and even compare them with themselves. Overall causes a lack of confidence and self-esteem and even causes depression and anxiety. The more students use social media, the more time they find to compare others with them, forcing them to have more sadness and emptiness in their lives.

Some of the negative aspects of social media are:

1. Depression, Anxiety, and Social Media

Students face lots of hurdles and constant pressure to keep up with academics. In addition, social media can make the situation devastating. In the research, more than half the number of students with severe depressive symptoms rose by 33% over two years.

Surveys indicate that 30% of students seek treatment at school and college rehabilitation facilities, primarily for depression and anxiety, which increased dramatically. But you may be curious. Why did depression and anxiety rise so dramatically in the same year?

The answer is the rise of smartphones and social media that causes such a commotion. The more your students use social media, the more likely they think negatively, creating depression and anxiety.

2. Loneliness

Social media increases dependency on the online world rather than on physical interaction and communication. Some of your students may have made online friends but what is concerning is they ignore physical interaction and trust their online friends completely.

All online friendships are not real. Some of them might turn out to be fake. The fake companionship doesn’t last long, resulting in loneliness and causing more physiological damage to your students.

3. Cyberbullying

A new friendship is fun, but this isn’t always the case. Usually, bullying occurs in schools, but bullying has spread to various outlets due to social media. According to research cyberbullying is linked to your student’s social media activities. Cyberbullying is when people send offensive messages on social media, harass them, or even blackmail them.

Cyberbullying also results in emotional and social stress that a student cannot handle. Many students cannot cope, putting them at risk for psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, isolation, and even suicide.

4. Low Self Esteem

Students compare themselves with everyone, from a friend to a celebrity. They cannot resist their behavior of judging people based on color, appearance, height, weight, and many more. But the main problem arises when they start comparing others with themselves.

For example, my sister enjoys imitating models and celebrities. But copying isn’t the issue; she and her friends have lately begun dieting due to the world of makeup and photoshop. She believes she is not attractive and works tirelessly to improve her appearance by dieting and other methods, which has lowered her self-esteem.

5. Lack of concentration

Younger people enjoy entertaining activities, but the more you use social media, the more addicted you become. When students become hooked on social media, they cannot think about other things except social media.

Addiction to social media makes students unable to resist scrolling on Facebook and Instagram once in a while. This results in using a mobile while going to the restroom, eating, or even before sleeping. Using too much social media makes a mind dull and inactive, resulting in a lack of concentration in academics, poor performance in study and classroom, and loss of thought.

6. Low motivation

Social media gives rise to low motivation in a student. Excessive cell phones and gadgets create exhaustion in the body and eyes, further stimulating low motivation in other extra activities and studies. When the mind is not fresh and the mood is not happy, you can not be motivated.

Lack of enthusiasm leads to poor academic performance, a lack of desire to engage in extracurricular sports, a lack of confidence, and insufficient physical activity.

7. Suicide

What’s more concerning is that students who are overly affected by psychological issues may attempt self-harm. The more they are involved, the greater the chance of them attempting suicide.

A major problem for teachers and schools is how to reduce students’ dependency on social media. As a teacher or school, you should adopt strategies to improve their behavior and attitudes, ultimately inspiring them to spend less time on devices and social media.

Tips to Reduce Negative Psychological Effects of Social Media

A major problem for teachers and schools is reducing students’ dependency on social media. As a teacher or school, you should adopt strategies to improve their behavior and attitudes, ultimately inspiring them to spend less time on devices and social media.

The beginning always starts with school. A school is one of the places which inspires and creates good behavior and habits in students. It is right to say that school has a 50% impact on students. So, don’t feel pressured. You can encourage and support them on the right path.

8. Organize an effective awareness program

A school can implement various awareness programs to teach students about the internet and social media. An effective awareness curriculum can influence a student’s brain, causing them to recognize the negative impact of social media. Your efforts will be in vain until your students are motivated by themselves.

Make awareness campaigns entertaining; for example, use video, drama, and documentary to show the real world of social media. You may also bring several motivational speakers or counselors to talk about the adverse effects of social media. Make the participation of your students compulsory.

And ask them to give a speech, poem, or write essays by research, which will help them be aware. Awareness campaigns should emphasize critical points such as fake online friends, reality vs. the social media world, and no one is flawless or perfect in social media.

Make students clear about human emotions such as jealousy, envy, and loneliness that they will experience through social media.

9. Extra Activities, A Must For Psychological Health

Extra activities are always the best way to focus and remove distractions from the mind. A school can create different additional activities for a student. Encourage every student to participate. Keep a list of activities that your students prefer. And make sure to do your research to ask your students what type of activities they want to participate in.

Keep these activities twice or thrice a week. You can keep activities such as theater, dance, taekwondo, music, yoga, and many other activities they prefer. Entertaining activities will keep them busy, and they will not get any time to think about social media.

10. Add a course to make students self-aware

You can add a course regarding social media and the internet to give them a detailed understanding of social media. Offer them clear reasons and explanations about fake social media, online friends, and the psychological effects of social media on students.

The more detailed the course is, the easier it becomes for your student to know about social media and its harmful effects. They may even explain it to other friends and family, automatically creating awareness.

11. Use monitoring software

Monitoring software is an easier way to restrict and block social media from your student device. You can also monitor their activities online and make sure that they are physically and psychologically happy. Many schools have used this software to control their student online activities.

Although you might be invading their privacy, before keeping monitoring software, make sure to take permission from parents. Monitoring software is a more straightforward program for schools to limit their online behaviors and protect them from online worlds.

12. Take your student on a trip to build friendship

Encourage the students to interact and form friendships with each other. And the best way is to take them on a trip or picnic. Genuine interaction is way more exciting and exciting than online interaction. Please help them to create a bond with each other. This will assist a student in avoiding the use of online platforms to communicate and build relationships.


FAQ Section

1. How does Social Media Affects Student Mental health?

Much research, however, has linked heavy social media use to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, isolation, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Negative emotions such as inadequacy about your life or appearance may be exacerbated through social networking. Your student might confuse social media with reality and develop low self-esteem and low confidence.

2. What are the health effects of social media on students?

Students who regularly use smartphones or social media come up with a risk of straining their neck muscles and developing back pain. Lack of physical activity may result in heart problems and muscle pain. Similar students may experience blurry vision, eye irritation, headaches, or migraines.

3. How does Social Media affect behavior positively?

Despite its adverse effects, social media has a positive impact. Some students are talented, but they cannot step outside of their comfort zone. Social media can assist introverts in establishing contact, showcasing skills, and motivating them to feel secure in displaying their abilities to the public.

You can also use social media to build social connections, self-control, and mental strength. Some students seem to learn different techniques and skills through social media. You may use social media to promote healthy actions if you give them a time limit.


Your student may seem healthy and fine, but who knows what is happening in their heads? Social media has brought positive and negative psychological effects on a student. If your students use social media responsibly, they will grow positive connections, communication, and creativity.

But if a student uses social media frequently, it adversely affects the student’s mind. But as a school, you can counter this with the above suggestions to assist you in dealing with your student’s social media activities.

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Alecia Carroll
Alecia Carroll
Alecia Carroll is a student-focused writer who strives to help each child advance in all aspects of their development, academic, social, linguistic, and an enabler of fostering a community of learners that promotes the growth of all participants in an enjoyable, productive environment.
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