My last article explored how social media and networking sites like Facebook can affect mental health in different ways.
Experts discussed issues some people face with body image issues, depression and limited meaningful social interaction due to a more excessive use of social media.
Despite some benefits that sites like Facebook do offer, other experts point out how social media sites can even affect personal finances, productivity, and time that could be spent forming real connections.
Dawn Wiggins, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said in an email that sites like Facebook can actually be detrimental to society.
“Social media such as Facebook is driving a culture of poor boundaries and personal insecurity,” Wiggins said.
“This is created by the habitual or compulsive Facebook ‘stalking’ that provides external forms of validation and communication instead of intimacy in relationships. If not kept in check, for some it can fuel an addictive process, slow healing from a breakup, etc.”
Karen Carlson, Director of Education for InCharge Debt Solutions, said in an email that using social media sites can sometimes lead to money issues, which then can result in stress.
“One of the often overlooked effects social media sites have on people is in the area of personal finances,” Carlson said.
“Whereas consumers in previous decades often felt the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses,’ suddenly they are bombarded by input from colleagues and friends that encourage them to live to a different standard. All too often, the temptations are unaffordable and not only cause mental stress, but can lead to overspending and poor financial decisions. It's a very new phenomenon and certainly social media is something that challenges a consumer's mental toughness and financial consistency in order to stay physically and economically sound.”
Kevin Roberts, author of “Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap,” said in an email that social networking can actually directly affect the brain.
“When we talk about Facebook/social networking issues, we are dealing with the brain’s reward and pleasure centers,” Roberts said.