Published on May 13th, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Social Media Isn’t All Bad. But……….
Social media pervades every corner of society today. Even those old enough to have grown up without it often admit not being able to comprehend doing without it now. Everyone knows the good things about social networking – it lets you connect with friends and family, easily share photos and memories, find like-minded people who share your interests, makes research a breeze and offers a constant opportunity to engage in the world outside of your immediate surroundings. But if you’re honest, you have to admit knowing that there are also some negatives attached to social media usage. And those negatives are really, really bad.
It Provides a Platform for Bullies
Especially if you are a parent you are acutely aware of this downside to social media. You may have found yourself researching how to delete Twitter account or considered removing your child’s access to social media entirely. Nearly 60 percent of all teens say that they have experienced bullying online and the same percentage of their parents say they are concerned about it. A quarter of those parents say they worry about it a lot. Bullying isn’t a new issue for teens, but social media has allowed bullies to act anonymously and often without consequence. It used to be that a teen could at least count on escaping his tormentors at the end of the school day, but social media gives these bullies access to their victims 24 hours a day. For today’s teens, there is literally no escape. Removing your teen from all forms of social media is like cutting their lifeline to the social world. Instead, it can be helpful to create social media-free zones in the home, such as not allowing phones at the dinner table or during family games or movie time. Some families designate full days, often a weekend day, as tech-free zones. Give your kids the opportunity to remember that there is a whole real world outside of the virtual one they spend so much time in.
It Invites Unhealthy Comparisons
Kids are not the only ones feeling the negative effects of too much social media. Many studies are now showing that regular use of social media causes increased feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in adults too.
You go on Facebook to connect with friends and end up comparing their lives to your own. Their houses are prettier, their thighs are thinner, their children seem happier and their jobs more exciting. You come away from scrolling through your feed feeling like nothing in your life is good enough. Like you’re not good enough. For those who engage in social media several hours a day, this can lead to clinical levels of anxiety and depression. It is hard to remember that just as in the real world, people often present their lives in the best light possible on their media accounts, and these snapshots of their world don’t actually present an accurate picture. You’re comparing your real life to someone else’s handpicked, filtered and curated story. If you find yourself coming away from a scrolling session feeling worse than you did when you started, it might be time to give yourself a bit of a social media timeout. Limit the amount of time you spend observing how others are going about their business and focus your attention on the real world for a while.
It Is Addictive
Multiple studies have been done on the way social media use affects the brain. What has emerged is the understanding that using social media activates the brain in the same way as drug or alcohol use.
Like other forms of dependency, social media addiction can be observed in increasing frequency of use, feeling uneasy when you can’t use it, using it as a distraction from other issues, and using it so much that it negatively affects other areas of your life such as relationships, work, or school. If this sounds like you, you may need to seek professional guidance in dealing with your use of social media. Social media has become a big part of everyone’s lives. Use it in moderation and be mindful of the possible negative effects.