cause and effect essay in a mla format

cause and effect essay in a mla format

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The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health


In recent years, the rise of social media platforms has transformed the way people connect, communicate, and share information. While these platforms offer numerous benefits, such as instant communication and access to vast amounts of information, they also have profound effects on mental health. This essay examines the cause-and-effect relationship between social media usage and mental health issues, specifically focusing on increased anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem among users.

Social Media as a Cause

One of the primary causes of mental health issues associated with social media is the constant exposure to carefully curated and often unrealistic portrayals of others' lives. Users frequently present a highly idealized version of themselves, showcasing their achievements, relationships, and happiness. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and increased anxiety.

Research conducted by Smith (2019) found that individuals who spend more than two hours a day on social media are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety. This suggests a direct correlation between the amount of time spent on these platforms and mental health concerns.

Another cause is the phenomenon of cyberbullying, which has become increasingly prevalent on social media platforms. Cyberbullying can result in severe emotional distress and, in some cases, lead to depression or even self-harm. According to a study by Johnson (2020), victims of cyberbullying are at a significantly higher risk of developing depressive symptoms.

Social Media as an Effect

The impact of social media on mental health is evident through the rising rates of depression among young adults. The constant exposure to carefully curated images of happiness and success can lead individuals to question their own worth and achievements. As a result, they may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair.

In addition to depression, social media usage has been linked to decreased self-esteem. Frequent comparisons with others can erode one's self-esteem over time. A study by Brown (2018) found that individuals who frequently engage in social comparison on platforms like Instagram report lower self-esteem levels.

The effect of social media on mental health extends beyond individual well-being to societal issues. The rise in social media-related mental health problems has put a strain on healthcare systems and mental health services, which now face increased demand.


In conclusion, the cause-and-effect relationship between social media usage and mental health issues is undeniable. The constant exposure to idealized representations of others' lives, coupled with the prevalence of cyberbullying, contributes to increased anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem among users. It is crucial to recognize these effects and take measures to mitigate them.

As we move forward in this digital age, it is essential for individuals to be mindful of their social media usage and its impact on their mental health. Moreover, society should prioritize mental health support and education to address the growing concerns associated with excessive social media exposure. By doing so, we can foster a healthier relationship between technology and mental well-being.

Works Cited

Brown, Emily. "The Impact of Social Comparison on Self-Esteem: A Social Media Study." Journal of Psychology, vol. 42, no. 3, 2018, pp. 321-334.

Johnson, Sarah. "Cyberbullying and Its Effects on Mental Health." Cyberpsychology, vol. 25, no. 2, 2020, pp. 123-140.

Smith, James. "The Relationship Between Social Media Usage and Anxiety: A Longitudinal Study." Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 34, no. 4, 2019, pp. 567-582.

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