Social media (SM) has experienced mega growth within the past five years. When it began, most people thought it was a joke. But we got carried away by its many offers that we quickly became slaves to the various platforms.
Nowadays, most people cannot do without chatting, selling stuff, uploading pictures, reading news, and engaging in other activities on social media. It has become a habit of which we are prepared to quit.
Aside from this, business brands are now leveraging on the power of SM to foster brand growth and boost revenue. This brings us to the issue of how social media affects us. Its effect has already eaten deep into our social life, and this calls for an evaluation.
Addiction to social media is real, and it can only get worse. We already used to the likes and impressions we derive from using such platforms as though they are of great value in real life.
In this article, we are going to evaluate the impact of Social Media (SM) on our lives generally. Has it affected us for good or bad? What is the future of SM with regards to its usage?
Note that there is nothing wrong with any social media platform.
So How Does Media Influence Us?
One thing is certain – if it has any negative impact, it arose from the way we use it and allowing it to play a significant role in our lives.
For instance, we all know at least one person that is always hunting for likes and approval from others on Facebook by posting several pictures of himself each day. This is not the best way to use the platform because it will eventually ignite the feeling of fear, jealousy, and the need to gain approval. We are going to focus on the positive and negative effects and how social media affects society as a whole.
How SM Affects Us Negatively
People are increasingly addicted to their phones. When you go out on the streets, it’s easy to see the eyes of many people glued to their phone screen. Aside from playing video games and watching movies, there is a social media addiction disorder and it’s going on a rampage. Sadly, experts have confirmed that it’s real.
The best way to understand this is to see SM as consisting of several platforms that contain mood modifying experiences. There is this feeling of satisfaction and happiness that overwhelms us when we see several notifications of positive comments and likes on our post. It makes us feel special and loved.
Social media serves as a medium that enables others to gain approval for their looks. It reinforces a “look thin” idea that is mostly propagated by ads, posts, and public figure on such platforms. As a result, a lot of selfieholics now link their self worth to their looks and often compare their pictures with others.
Not everyone who uses SM is vulnerable to this effect. But users, especially students that use these platforms up to five hours a day, doing ridiculously important things are mostly affected.
Thanks to photo editing applications, those who link their self worth to Facebook or Instagram can leap for joy. This is because such tools allow them to alter their bodies and apply several filters on their pictures to remove anything they hate about themselves before uploading them for approval. And the reality is that they always get it, in fact, in a hundred folds. Does social media affect your self-worth?
3. You’ll think you are missing out.
One of the adverse effects of SM is the feeling of isolation that it yields. This can be seen from the behavior of teens and young adults as they read updates on their news feed. They think they’re missing out because their peers and classmates post vacation pictures and tell stories of how they traveled to the most beautiful places in the world. Right then, they began to think they are not equal to their friends, and they aren’t getting the best out of life.
Self-comparison not a healthy habit. And many youths who engage in it have been reported to suffer eventually from psychological distress. This is because of the constant comparison and the feeling of depression that results when we think our friends are better than us.
Have you ever felt lonely and sat on your bed, thinking that people are out there having the fun of their lives, getting married, and going on vacation? While you were there, just waiting for your phone to notify you of a new message. This is the result when you build your social life around these platforms.
But they were meant to help us connect with loved ones. Sadly, in reality, it separates us.