Impact of social media on mental health and performance

Editor’s Note (May 18, 2023): This article was submitted by Onrise, which we have partnered with this May for Mental Health Awareness Month. 

“Did you see that video of Ronaldo juggling his gum in warm-ups?” “Did you hear Giannis’ response when asked if the season was a failure after playoffs?”  

Social media has become an unavoidable part of modern society and has had a significant impact on athletes’ mental health. There are many benefits of social media and there are also many pit falls, especially for athletes.

Social media platforms can connect athletes with fans and provide a platform for self-promotion. Athletes are able to express their opinions; think Sam on Ted Lasso sharing his beliefs on Twitter. Through NIL deals, athletes can create personalized videos for fans, making them feel connected to their favorite athletes. Or an athlete might even like your direct message you sent them.

However, the impact of social media on athletes’ mental health is the pressure to maintain a certain image or persona. Social media can also create a culture of comparison where athletes compare achievements and lifestyles. Consider turning your notifications off, so you do not see “likes” coming through to your phone. This can often lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, especially if your post surrounds your performance in a sport.

In extreme cases, the impact of social media on athletes’ mental health can lead to addiction. Through overuse of social media, the user might feel like they are more connected with others, but sometimes this leaves the user feeling disconnected in the real world.

The outcomes of social media use are multifaceted, but it is always important to be mindful of usage and prioritize mental health over online image.


Onrise is a compassionate mental health and player care company on a mission to provide care and support to athletes across the nation. Athletes face extreme physical and psychological demands, as well as the typical pressures of managing their lives off the field, which can lead to extraordinary complexity and suffering that cannot be effectively addressed with standard approaches to wellness.

The Onrise Player Care Program provides a complete, whole-person wellness program that considers each athlete’s unique life experiences and biopsychosocial status to secure progress in all areas of their lives – not just on the pitch.

Contact us to set up a screening to support and protect the athlete in your life.


A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

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