Top 5 health risks of social media

We keep hearing how social media is good for business, but have you ever considered the negative effects it could have – especially on your health? Read on to find out more in this interesting guest blog post …


It’s hard to deny the growing presence of social media in our lives and brands have been quick to recognise the benefits. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are keen to jump on the bandwagon as a social media marketing campaign is key for lead generation in all sectors.

Given the huge affect social media is having on our lives, it’s unsurprising that evidence indicates it could be affecting our health. But are these claims fact or fiction?

health risks of social mediaSocial media can contribute to the development of heart disease and diabetes

Technically the real problem is the amount of time you spend sitting at your computer, but given that social media is one of the most popular activities on the web, you’ve got good cause to be worried.

Just two hours a day sitting in front of the computer increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 20%, and your risk of getting heart disease by 15%.

Social media can be addictive

While it’s unlikely you’ll resort to selling your body to fund your tweeting habit anytime soon – there is evidence that social media can be addictive, and it can have a significant effect on your brain chemistry.

Responding to a notification can prompt the release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that drives reward-driven learning. A dopamine hit, when combined with the vast amounts of time spent on social channels, can spell serious trouble.

Social media can (ironically) make you anti-social

It has been revealed that 24% of people have missed important moments in real life because they were too busy trying to share them on social channels.

On the other hand, there are positive aspects too as many use social platforms to keep in touch with friends living far away, share good news; and it can help shy/lonely people forge new bonds.

Facebook makes you fat

A recent study found that whilst social media can have beneficial effects on self-esteem, it can lead to a loss impulsive unhealthy snacking. Similar effects were recorded in terms of health, mental persistence and spending.

Social media can make you paranoid

With geo-location, big data and social media usage, companies are able to target their marketing to an unprecedented degree. In the eyes of some, this ever-growing accuracy can make people paranoid.

Social media also makes your online activities increasingly indelible. More and more employers are doing social background checks.

Whatever your views on social media and technology in general – the fact is it’s here to stay and will only become more ubiquitous as time goes on. If you feel your relationship with social media is getting out of hand, for now at least, you can always opt to disconnect.

This article was brought to you by Gerald Heneghan of Custard, an innovative marketing agency offering a range of tailored on and offline services. Visit our site today to learn more about our social media marketing services. 

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