It’s no secret that social media is the trendy way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Like everything good, however, social media has dangers which we consciously or subconsciously suffer from when we exceed the fair usage limits.
Social media is badly sucking up our time and life — a compiled statistics by Facebook’s company IPO filings showed that Facebook users worldwide spend 10.5 billion minutes each day on the site (mobile users not included), all in all, that’s nearly 20 years we spend on Facebook each day instead of in the real world. It’s really disturbing.
Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on their phones texting, blabbing and what not, mainly through social networks — this is basically more than a whole day lost every week per person.
Is social media really worth all that time?
That stated, below are 3 ways social media is wrecking our quality of living.
Discontent and Comparison
Social platforms link you with people from all class and races. This means, there’s always a high chance of meeting new people with seemingly better income source, better body, better career, or people that are seemingly leading a better, happier life.
As this is the case, you’ll most likely feel the urge to place yourself side-by-side with such social media users at a point in time, in one way or the other.
While doing this comparison, however, you will, in most cases, high-rank others and downgrade yourself. This is simply because we disregard our possessions/specialties once we feel accustomed to them.
This will often lead you to drool over the skills of others and make you view yourself as “uncool.”
You’re not the only one sub-consciously undergoing this stress, though. Other social media users do the same and this goes on to create a cycle of depression, and it severely hurts your self-esteem in turn — A new study funded by the National Institute of health labeled social media as one of the major causes of depression.
A 298 person case study at The University of Salford reported that 50% of the participants said that their “use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter makes their lives worse.”
The study also reported that participants said their self-esteem suffers when they compare their accomplishments to those of their online friends.
It’s easy to downgrade yourself and high-rank others based on what they display on social media. Never forget, however, everyone has things going on backstage they never share.
It’s also no secret that many celebrities today, in the likes of Justin Bieber, rose to stardom after becoming an internet sensation.
Social networks make it easy to gain rapid exposure to your target audience for your various skills, products or services. This is good as it helps people to discover their special skills and creativity in order to grow and retain an audience.
But then, most social media users take this to the extreme and make this media exposure a priority; they will go to any length to get it; even it means assaulting others — a new survey by Craig Newmark found that 22 percent of social network users were victims of bullying, harassment and threatening behavior in 2016.
A good example is that of a father of three who got fired from his workplace after a “sexual joke” he made was spread on the social media by a female counterpart who rather found the joke annoying. It didn’t end there; the lady also lost her job when social media users turned against her in sympathy for the man.
Careers destroyed in a short while — thanks to the social media.
Another way this social media exposure wreck lives is the fact that social nobodies feel less complacent with themselves. Everyone feels social media fame is the way to go. This also contributes massively to the increased depression rate as stated above.
Needless to say, people go as far as photoshopping their pictures for media attention — this only shows their level of lack of self-confidence. Though they may get the media attention, it’s possible that they will be hurting deeply for not looking exactly like the person in the photoshop. Yet another way the social media aids depression.
Difficulties in getting around in the offline world
There is no doubt that social media makes meeting new people whom we can end up having long-term relationships with quite easy. But then, what happens after we meet these new people? How well do couples who make the social media their journal last? Well, not so long.
24% of the respondents in a survey reported that they have missed real-time special moments, simply because they were trying to capture/document the moment for online sharing.
“Live for now,” and “enjoy every moment” seems to be impossible slogans these days as everyone is either busy trying to angle for the perfect capture or brainstorming for the perfect caption to seize the media attention with.
Real life relationships are suffering too. 11% of Brits in the survey confessed that their online relationships are solely about looking cool and interesting. That’s a lot of drama added to this already complex world.
Sticking by our tech devices from morning to night, day in day out, for the sake of social media can heavily be linked to the increased accidents rate — National Safety Council reported that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
That and a lot more others like how a large number of persons are choosing social media interaction over face to face relationship and business engagement meetings are what social media is doing to the human race.
To round things up
Though, it’s a fact that social media don’t have the ability to make us do any of the above without our permission — at the very least, we are yet to see a social media network that auto-updates our moods and activities or one that auto-responds to our convos — however, it’s still a fact that these platforms make unnatural things like giving the whole world access to our lives quite irresistible.
Social media has come a long way and it can not possibly be done away with at this rate. Also, if used smartly, social media can do a lot more good than harm.
But then, with the above reasons and a lot of others in place, it’s only ideal for you to set boundaries for yourself to regulate who takes a peek at your life and, what is visible to the people who actually do take a peek (Tip: Don’t let them see/know too much).
What is your thought on this? Do let us know through the comments section.