The Custard Blog

Words of wisdom from our team of online marketing experts

The Top 5 Health Risks Of Social Media

Hi all, Tom here and I’m the new social media executive at Custard. Even though I’ve been here just a week, it’s a pretty awesome place and the work is top-notch. I’m a huge believer in the power of social and how it’s going to shape the digital marketing industry, far beyond the confines of just Facebook and Twitter.

So it’s only fitting that I write a blog about the health risks of social media…

Firstly, some Honourable Mentions: Allegedly, it gives you cancer (thanks for being consistent, Daily Mail!) and also mystery illnesses

And now, on with the real list!


5. Spending time at your computer can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Great news for office workers like us, as it turns out thatJust 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%.

You’re probably thinking that this has nothing to do with social media – it’s just a sedentary lifestyle… and yeah, you’re right. But when you consider that people are now spending approximately 8.5 hours a day looking at a screen (more if you’re me), we’re definitely becoming lazier.


4. Social Media makes you want to snack more

Go to Facebook – how many of the posts you see are completely banal and dull? Chances are it’s a high percentage, so your brain is simply going to be under-stimulated (unlike when, say, you’re reading a blog) and you’ll inevitably reach for the biscuits.

Social Media Icons as Cookies

Adding to this – Facebook can help to increase your self-esteem, but in return, it also decreases self-control, meaning that users were “more likely to eat unhealthy snacks after logging off, for example.”  And they’ll probably post a status update about what snack they’re eating…


3. It causes addiction

Yep, ‘Facebook Addiction’ is a real thing. For a large percentage of people, Facebook is the first site they check when browsing the internet, and many will spend a considerable amount of time checking pictures, statuses and updates from their friends, without even posting anything themselves. A number of countries have even accepted Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) as a true psychological diagnosis.

The addiction is based around the feeling you get from socialising online, working along the following process:


2. It can make you suspicious of the tiniest things

Who’s Joe Bloggs and why has he liked your post? Does he fancy you? Bet he does… then follows the frantic Facebook stalking, checking what he looks like and unavoidable paranoia. Facebook has actually lead to the breakup of one of my previous relationships due to this unwarranted suspicion, but she was a horrible person, so I’m not too fussed.

Add to this the passive-aggressive vagueness of a number of Facebook updates, and this paranoia can cause frayed friendships and a whole lot of arguments.

Facebook stalking is a culturally-recognised activity that we’re all probably guilty of at some point, but it’s effect on the mind and our trust in people has been irrevocably altered.


1. We forget how to be social 

Doesn’t really seem right does it? Overuse of social media making you forget how to be social? Well it’s depressingly true.

Whilst we might feel some sense of satisfaction from sharing an update with our friends, we spend far too long simply observing others – unless you’re actually using the (still annoyingly buggy) Facebook chat, the actual level of social interaction is incredibly low.


Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of ‘Alone Together’, said,

 “technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human. Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world.”

Stephen Marche, writer for the Atlantic, weighs in with

social media has made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill.”


Now, for companies, social media has massively increased customer communication, as well as ensuring that businesses are on best behaviour as their interactions will be entirely public… which, when poorly maintained, isn’t always that good of a thing.

However, despite all this, social media remains an integral part in world communication, news sharing and within digital marketing, and no more so than at Custard.

So, maybe head over to the Custard Facebook and give us a Like eh?

It won’t kill you.

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