The Negative Effects of Social Media

While social networks help to keep you in contact with those who live far away, they can also have some negative effects.
The Negative Effects of Social Media
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Technology seeks to bring us closer to those people who are miles away from us. However, it’s not always so positive. In fact, in some cases, these same social networks can affect you greatly. In this article, we’re going to find out what the different problems are that can arise from excessive use of social media.

Feelings of inferiority

We all tend to compare ourselves with those around us. Furthermore, we tend to only talk about what we’re proud of. Nevertheless, this can equate to huge problems. Because every time you visit Facebook or Twitter, you see that around 70 percent of your posts involve your friends talking about their recent successes. Or, you look at their images on Instagram, where they’re celebrating a new promotion, or see on Foursquare the places they’ve visited with their partner and friends.

A man checking out his social media platforms on his smartphone.

This causes you to immediately start comparing your own possessions, relationships, successes, or economic level with what you assume they have. It’s a feeling that isn’t necessarily negative if you remain aware that we all have our own different realities and successes. As a matter of fact, it can even act as an incentive for you to improve and set new goals for yourself.

On the other hand, if you concentrate on minimizing what you have, thinking that you’ll never have the same as them, you’ll find yourself in a vicious circle of unhappiness that you’ll find difficult to escape from.

Social media addiction

You might think that there’s nothing wrong with constantly checking your Facebook to see new posts from your friends or visiting Pinterest to ‘pin’ a thousand images in a minute. However, if you’re constantly carrying out these activities, you may well find yourself falling prey to social media addiction. This is just as dangerous as any other addiction. 

Therefore, if you realize that you’re spending more time on social media than doing your daily activities, it’d be a good idea to impose a schedule on yourself and stop going overboard.


Ironically, social media is creating lonely people when one of its original objectives was to be a form of link between those who are separated by great distances. This is because there’s a tendency for you to stop interacting with those physically around you so you can update your status online and tell others in the virtual world what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, your interpersonal relationships can be affected to the point that you end up totally alienated from those closest to you. Nevertheless, you can avoid the loneliness created by social media if, instead of spending so much time sharing your status on Facebook, you meet up in person with your family and friends and have a good time.

Bored woman because her partner looks at their mobile more than her.

How to prevent social media from affecting you

Social media is there to help you contact your loved ones who are far away, to make your work life easier, and as a form of relaxation. To prevent it from negatively affecting you, just remember its real purpose and don’t give it more importance in your life than it should have.

Finally, when you see that someone’s more successful than you, think about everything they’ve had to do to get there. In fact, use their success as inspiration for setting your own goals.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.