Welcome to Kinks, Curls and Swirls, a blog series for girls by girls.
Contributors: Members of the Healthy Girls Alliance
Editors: Dr. Ja’Wanda S. Grant & Dr. Ja’Larna J. Grant
BLOG ENTRY 1
December 12, 2020
Mental Health Misery and Social Media Influences, by Khalia McCray
In today’s society, many people battle with mental, physical, and emotional health issues. Life has its battles in general, but because of the pandemic and the divide in our country, our health is under attack. We have to ask ourselves what can keep our mind, body, and spirit in the right place. I feel that social media can have a major influence on our health .
Approximately 3.81 billion people use social media in 2020. Social media gives us the chance to not only connect with people, but can also help us know what those people like and do. It also helps keep us in tune with everything that is going on in the world, but is that a good or bad thing? In my opinion, it’s both good and bad because not only can it bring us joy and excitement but it can also bring us sadness and grief.
There are a lot of things going on in the world and some things we cannot handle to see constantly on social media. For example, police brutality has become a bigger problem than ever before. It feels like there is a black life taken every month due to police brutality. I know for me, that is not something I can handle hearing about so I try to stay away from it. Even though that may be a negative part of it, the positive part is seeing people of different races come together to fight for what’s right. There is nothing wrong with staying in tune with what is going on in the world; it is just important to know what you handle and what you cannot handle.
Not only does social media affect our mental health, it also affects our physical health. I know 99% of people can agree with me when I say that social media is very addictive. Clicking on a social media app when you have something important to do can be the biggest mistake you make. Not only does it trap your mind into what’s going on but it also causes you to lose focus on the more important things. For example, sleeping, eating, exercising, and just practicing good hygiene are all important things to do. Although, sometimes we get so distracted on social media to the point that we either don’t do these things or we lack in these areas.
Staying up until 4:00 am in the morning is not good for your physical health because we need at least seven hours of sleep a day. Social media also promotes false beauty standards and expectations. The edited photos can make someone feel like they are not pretty enough compared to other women they may see. These feelings can make someone start bad eating habits so they can look “better” when in reality there is no such thing as a perfect body. Disregarding our physical being for a late-night scroll can come back to bite us in the butt. If your emotional health is not in the best state then social media may not be for you.
Depression, anxiety, and addiction seem to be a “trending” issue these days. These are serious matters affecting the lives of many people in the world today. Instead of dealing with it in therapy or talking about it, we often use social media as a coping mechanism. Avoiding the problem instead of facing it has become a very common thing. Running from our problems or our fears of facing those problems will not solve anything. In my opinion, social media has caused us to see these things as a ”joke”. We have taken a serious matter and turned it into a laughing matter which is not ok. It has become a toxic outlet for those who suffer from emotional dysfunction. I also feel like it mocks those who genuinely are struggling with an emotional issue and it has to stop. Taking time out of your day to meditate or exercise is very important for your emotional health. Sometimes, just sitting or laying outside in the grass, soaking up the sun, can help you emotionally.
In conclusion, social media is an exciting part of our lives to help us connect and stay connected to people. It is also a place for us to learn new things, but we still need balance in our life. We cannot let it consume us and change who we are. Making sure your mental, physical, and emotional health is more important than scrolling on social media. There is a whole world beyond the screen on your phone.