In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, social media has become integral to our daily lives. Whether we're scrolling through Instagram, sharing updates on Facebook, engaging in conversations on Twitter, or dancing to TikTok, the digital landscape has transformed how we communicate, connect, and consume information. However, amidst the glittering allure of likes and shares, there is a growing concern about the impact of social media on mental health.

The rise of social media platforms has revolutionised connectivity, allowing us to stay connected with loved ones, explore new interests, and instantly access a wealth of information. Yet, as we immerse ourselves in this digital world, research indicates a complex relationship between excessive social media use and its negative effects on well-being.

Mental health consequences of social media

A recent study estimates that almost 10% of people will meet the psychological criteria for social media addiction of some kind. In 2021, the PEW Research Center survey found that around 69% of adults in America use social media daily. Among those who use it, it is reported that 3 out of 10 use it constantly, and 43% reported using it multiple times.

One of the key issues is how social media can amplify feelings of inadequacy, comparison, and anxiety. The curated nature of social media feeds, filled with carefully selected posts and filtered images, can create a distorted reality that fuels unrealistic expectations and self-comparison. This phenomenon, known as "social media envy," can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and a constant need for validation through likes and comments.

This phenomenon, known as "social media envy," can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and a constant need for validation through likes and comments.

On top of that, the continuous stream of information and notifications on social media can contribute to overwhelm and information overload, resulting in increased stress and anxiety. The addictive nature of scrolling through feeds and the fear of missing out can disrupt sleep patterns, decrease productivity, and hinder real-life social interactions, further impacting mental well-being.

Beyond individual effects, social media is also associated with broader societal issues such as cyberbullying, online harassment, and the spread of misinformation. The anonymity of the digital world can encourage individuals to engage in harmful behaviours, with negative consequences for both victims and perpetrators.

How to tackle the digital dilemma

To navigate the digital age effectively, it's essential to prioritise digital well-being and adopt healthy habits to mitigate the potential negative impact of social media on mental health. Setting boundaries around social media use, practising mindfulness, and engaging in offline activities are important (some might even say non-negotiable) to maintaining a healthy balance between the digital and physical worlds.

READ MORE: Get Moving For Mental Health

Furthermore, promoting open conversations about mental health, enhancing digital literacy, and advocating for responsible online behaviour can create a safer and more supportive online environment for all users. By raising awareness about the impact of social media on mental health and taking proactive steps to address these challenges, we can leverage technology for positive change and well-being.

In conclusion, the digital dilemma social media presents is a multifaceted challenge requiring a nuanced approach to navigate effectively. By understanding the risks and benefits of social media, prioritising digital well-being, and fostering a culture of empathy and support online, we can harness the transformative potential of social media while safeguarding our mental health in the digital age.

Get support for mental health in the workplace

Social media in the workplace can be a double-edged sword. The benefit of social media for businesses and teams is the ability to enhance communication, collaboration, and engagement, leading to improved morale, productivity, and overall connection. However, it can also drive isolation, feelings of inadequacy and reduce connection. PepTalk has a range of experts who are all well-versed in supporting businesses with the negative impact of social media on a team's mental wellbeing. Explore our curated selection of keynote mental health speakers who can both inspire and educate.

🧠 Email us at or start a chat — we'll be happy to help you find the right expert.

Need mental health support now?

If you're in crisis and need to talk right now, there are many helplines staffed by trained people ready to listen. They won't judge you, and could help you make sense of what you're feeling. 

If you're outside the United Kingdom or the Untied States, the Befrienders Worldwide website has a tool to search by country for emotional and mental health support helplines around the world.

For UK residents:

  • Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).
  • SANEline. If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
  • The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email or text 07786 209 697.
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) or use their webchat service.
  • Nightline. If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
  • Switchboard. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day) or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
  • C.A.L.L. If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.) on 0800 132 737 (open 24/7) or you can text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.
  • Helplines Partnership. For more options, visit the Helplines Partnership website for a directory of UK helplines. Mind's Infoline can also help you find services that can support you.

For US residents:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: You can reach this lifeline 24/7 at 988 or visit They provide free and confidential support for distressed people, prevention and crisis resources.
  • Crisis Text Line: By texting "HELLO" to 741741, you can communicate with a trained crisis counselor anytime, free of charge.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is a confidential, free, 24/7, 365-day-a-year service offering information and treatment referral for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or, in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: For veterans, dial 988, press 1, or text 838255 to connect with a VA responder. This service is available 24/7 for veterans and their loved ones.
    Mental Health America offers resources for mental health treatment services, including support groups and community services. Its website provides tools for understanding your condition and planning.
  • The Trevor Project offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people under 25. Here are the ways you can contact The Trevor Project: TrevorLifeline, tou can call their 24/7 lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 for immediate help. There is also TrevorText: Text "START" to 678-678 to text with a trained counselor, available 24/7, and TrevorChat — access their online chat support through their website, which is also available 24/7.

No matter the situation, remember there is always someone out there ready to listen 💙

Culture Calendar

Success favours the prepared. That’s why we’ve compiled a free calendar of awareness days and weeks to support your business.

From health and wellbeing to culture and DEI, adding the calendar will keep you on the pulse of what’s happening and ahead of the game. Plus, it works across all platforms.