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  • Writer's pictureNadi Bangi

You Might Be A Potential Victim of The Virtual Killer.

Oleh: Siti Masyitah Shabri

Penyunting: Amiera Hanis Hussin

Source: SlideShare by Lucky Ali

Have you ever thought of something like, “ Oh my god, my classmate posted on her Instagram story that her father bought her the latest iPhone 11 that was released a week ago, I need one too!”, or maybe “This influencer is so beautiful, she has the smoothest skin, I must buy and follow her skincare routine,” or any kind of posts that you saw on social media that makes you feel this way, the urge to have something like someone else just because you saw it all over the social media?

If you ever experience this kind of feeling, you might be in a high potential of being pressured over social media, to live the best life mostly experienced among teenagers and young adults, but that does not mean adults are excluded. Social media may sound harmless, but Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital Psychiatrist, Dr Maruzairi Husain said that negative reactions or comments from social media users became the reason of increasingly critical emotional and mental stress among peers in Malaysia. Bear in mind, mental illness could lead to self-harm, death or suicide, for this reason it is really crucial to take serious precautions before this harmless social media posts turn into an awful event that might happen in the future, therefore this justifies why social media is a virtual killer.

Social Media as Status Benchmark?

Social media - likes, comments and shares are believed to be a new form of life benchmark or social currency, where if you have a great life on social media, that means your real life is great. This started with the endless question that is circulating, “If you did not post about it, did it really happen?” which has becoming one of the causes of social media pressure among peers. This has set the mind to believe that social media updates are important to prove that they have done something. It gives people a lot of pressure in all sorts of aspects in life, including making you wanting to eat everything that others are eating, temptations to shop online, desire to travel, keeping up with the latest trends and the other aspects that slowly making their life more difficult to spend so much money, even though they don’t have much of it, just for the sake of social media recognition. It becomes a danger when not controlled because users are too dependent on social media to an extent when they were not given access to the virtual world it will cause users to become restless, said the assistant medical officer from the department of Anesthesia and Intensive Unit Care in Hospital Alor Gajah, Muhammad Faizol Zulkifli published by MelakaKini.

Sharing vs Bragging on Social Media

A wide range of topics are being posted by the social media users but it was found that the main topic that was posted in social media among the teenagers are about their accomplishments, be it in studies, relationships, lifestyle, sports and others. Some people did it for sharing purposes, but some did it to brag to other people. What is actually bragging? It happens when the sharing was made not for sharing happiness purposes, but to arouse jealousy, envy or lead a negative impact to the audiences. Experts suggest that users should be careful about the potential mental health impact of bragging on social media. A study by Graham Scott and Kristy Ravenscroft on the effects of positive posts on Facebook profiles suggested that we should think twice before we post something that could be seen as bragging.

How to Prevent?

It is almost impossible to prevent someone from posting contents that they want to, but there are the ways for audience to avoid being negatively affected. As medically reviewed by Isaac Alexis, a board-certified Alternative Medicine Physician, the first good start is to choose who to follow. This will determine what you will see on your social feeds, which gives impact to you. Follow people around your age, who have the same values and interests with you and avoid those who participate in unhealthy activities. If you feel uneasy or they give you a negative feeling, just hit the unfollow button. Also remember that what you see on social media is not entirely true. There is always a cherry on top, so you don’t have to cut your expenses to save up to buy a luxury car in your early 20s when you see your friend posted a Benz steering because that is actually her dad’s.

Winding-up, you have a prominent role in taking a good care of your mental health. Keep away from taking so much on social media postings, as many studies have suggested that social media is always associated with anxiety and depression in your life, such as the National Mental Health 2017 reported that 2 out of five teenagers will be anxious and suffer from depression caused by the media. Not everything on social media is bad and it can be helpful if you use a bit of your self-control.

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