Table of Contents
- Causes depression and anxiety
- Cyberbullying can ruin your life
- Caption 1: There are multiple instances where you can face harassment or cyberbully on your favorite social media website
- Caption 2: Using social media at the workplace like opening Facebook or Instagram can take away your attention from tasks or work that need more priority.
“How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?” said author Donna Lynn Hope. She couldn’t have put it more straightforwardly. Social Media has taken over people’s lives like nothing before. At every street corner, bust stop, or shopping mall, you can see people either scrolling through their social media accounts or texting away furiously on their phones.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and many other such websites and apps have turned the common man into a social media addict. And this addiction is so bad that it can impact your life in a harmful way for eternity. Yet it may not visibly manifest for years until you realize you have a problem in the form of social media addiction.
American comedian Marc Maron says, “It amazes me that we are all on Twitter and Facebook. By “we” I mean adults. We’re adults, right? But emotionally we’re a culture of seven-year-olds. Have you ever had that moment when are you updating your status and you realize that every status update is just a variation on a single request: ‘Would someone please acknowledge me?’” It is this need for acknowledgment and acceptance that has driven people to social media addiction. And this addiction could be very taxing mentally.
Used by people to get attention or stay in the limelight, is social media beneficial for you? Is it eroding your social relationships which are increasingly getting caught in this electronic maze we call the Internet? Solved explores the invisible, positive, and negative effects of social media and how it impacts us.
Causes depression and anxiety
Internet addiction or more specifically social media addiction has been constantly debated by experts and many of them agree that it is real. According to a study published in the International Journal of computer sciences and engineering: “The unnecessary use of these sites affects the mental as well as physical health…” The excessive use of social media can cause depression and anxiety in people and affect their mental health. The study further states that “The abuse of these destinations once a day has many adverse impacts on the physical and psychological wellness…” Therefore, use the internet at your discretion but ensure you don’t go overboard with your usage levels. A study on the NCBI website says that “…Some researchers have associated online social networking with several psychiatric disorders, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low self-esteem.” A study on the ECNP website states that “A new survey of internet users suggests that people who use the internet excessively may have more mental health problems.”
Cyberbullying can ruin your life
“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside,” said YouTube sensation Phil Lester. Lester speaks the truth as there is no dearth of criminals and bullies on the Internet. There are multiple instances where you can face harassment or cyberbully on your favorite social media website. The Internet is not a safe place. “My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain,” said Charlie Chaplin. Yet seldom do people care on the internet. Instead, they resort to cyberbullying which can be fatal as we have seen in cases in the West. When it comes to children, the proposition is even scarier considering the gadgets and access to the Internet that they have. “Checking in on what our kids are doing online isn’t helicoptering, it’s parenting,” says author Galit Breen. Hence, it is vital to ensure your children are monitored when they use the Internet. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me,” says an adage. This does not hold in an age where social media is dominant.
Caption 1: There are multiple instances where you can face harassment or cyberbully on your favorite social media website
Excessive social media usage can cause sleep deprivation
Excessively and obsessively using social media can lead to sleep deprivation and anxiety. Not having enough sleep can cause various mental health issues besides poor physical health. People who text and are avid users of social media may be prone to insomnia, which could result in extreme mood swings during the day.
It can cause internet addiction
Some people may not be spending too much time on the internet, but once hooked on social media, they can get addicted to the Internet. A study on the ECNP website states, “The unstoppable rise of the internet has given rise to fears that increasing numbers of people are becoming unable to cope without regularly going online.” This clearly shows that social media usage can cause internet addiction even in people who did not use the Internet a lot, earlier.
Addiction to social media can lead to poor concentration
Using social media can reduce your concentration levels. For example, using social media at the workplace like opening Facebook or Instagram can take away your attention from tasks or work that need more priority. Social media makes us multitask and quick read or skim through reading materials. Inattentiveness and loss of concentration are bound to occur if you use social media at work.
Caption 2: Using social media at the workplace like opening Facebook or Instagram can take away your attention from tasks or work that need more priority.
Makes you avoid physical activity
Sitting for hours and skimming through social media websites is bound to make you less active. Constantly glancing at your phone on the computer can make you sit inactive for long periods which will hurt your physical health.
You can become socially isolated
Constantly using social media can make you ignore your near and dear ones which can wreak havoc on your interpersonal relationships. A strong, deep, or close friendship or acquaintance can be affected if you choose to spend time on social media instead of face-to-face interactions. It can put a strain on your interpersonal relationships. Yes, social media can have a positive effect as well because it helps you meet new people on the Internet, but the negatives outweigh the positives. It is imperative to use discretion and time yourself when on social media.
Can cause grades to drop
Excessive use of social media can result in children and young adults scoring bad grades at school or college. A study on the IISTE website which surveyed adolescents in Ghana suggested, “The study recommends among others that, students with mobile phones having internet facility should be encouraged to use it to supplement their research in the library rather than the usual chatting with friends all the time.” It further deliberates that, “the use of social media sites had affected the academic work of students negatively there is the urgent need for the introduction of students to the availability of novels and other information resources or materials that can help them academically.” Using social media excessively can cause the same problems as TV addiction and has been directly linked with poor or below-average academic performance. Multi-tasking at schools like skimming through Facebook or Snapchat can hurt young adults.
Social media makes people feel they have a negative body image
With the cult of social media increasing day on day, it is not rare to find people posting ‘photo shopped’ pictures of themselves. Not wanting to be body-shamed, people tend to post ’touched’ pictures of themselves looking dapper just to let people know they look good which may not be the case in real life. There is mounting evidence that young adolescent girls and even boys are prone to constantly post pictures of themselves so much so that it can be termed an addiction.
So, in the past few years, Social media usage has dramatically gone up over the last decade. The problems associated with social media too have magnified tenfold. Hence it is vital to ensure that your time on social media is spent with discretion. One may blame Internet addiction on bad time management, but social media addiction and its adverse effects are equally to blame.