On average, Americans spend 7.6 hours a month using social media, and around 42% of online adults use multiple social networking sites. –now that’s quite a huge number!— well… don’t get me wrong; whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or any other site; there seems to be nothing wrong with sharing information with people around you.
In a matter of fact, Social media has become the best method of communication; people generally find it pretty useful and easy to use… They use social media to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
However, when social media starts affecting our lives in a bad way, that’s when the dilemma takes place.
You’ll know that social media is affecting your life in the wrong way if you’re:
1. Feeling inadequate
Inadequacy is a common thing social media users may experience; especially teenagers. In fact, social media has a wicked way in filtering reality. A lot of people post pictures of themselves having fun and looking flawless, but, nobody really knows the reality behind that perfect picture.
Well… those perfect photos are not the real story of their owners, they might have taken a hundred similar caption to pick that one you’re seeing… So, Just because their photos are cool, doesn’t mean they have a better life.
If you’re sad or lonely or just not feeling so well, so are they. Your feeling of inadequacy induces emotions like fear, anger, and sadness and it’s completely unhealthy…
2. Feeling anxious; aka FOMO “the fear of missing out”
Anxiety is a big word; I know, but trust me, it happens… Actually, a recent research conducted on two groups of teenagers/young adults has shown that the group of those whom are more plugged in experience a pretty low self-esteem, depression and an important level of anxiety.
Well, it is actually the anxiety around missing out. In other words, the more people tend to respond quickly to text messages, comments and events, the more they get the urge to stay tuned and never miss a thing which will definitely create a sort of anxious behavior.
3. Becoming addicted
More than the half of all American citizens log into Facebook daily, and around 46% log in several times a day. Photos, videos, funny GIFs, text messages, etc… These things are actually what offers to people the perfect form of distraction from boredom and repetitive or unimportant tasks they have to do on a daily basis.
Along with their use, these things start to affect on the brain function and they become more of a habit which makes it a little hard to let go on them and it’s obviously a sort of addiction.
4. Being bullied
Bullying… that same old story hah?. Bullying comes in different types and cyber bullying is one of them. Many people suffer from cyber bullying everyday; women, kids, people from different religions, races, political and sexual orientations get bullied and nobody has to do a thing about it. So if you’re being cyber-bullied, make sure to know what sites to use and who are the people you’re hanging with on social media.
5. Becoming less productive
If you’re feeling less productive than you usually are then, social media has been taking a lot of your time and distracting you from what you are capable of doing in real life. Social media can be a great entertaining tool, but make sure to learn how not to let it affect on your job, school or whatever you’re into. Don’t let it overtake your life…
6. Exposing your privacy
Well, this is yours and only your fault. If you’re sharing too much information on several social media sites then you must be doing something wrong… If you’re giving too much information to the public like your personal address, or intimate photos then, don’t you ever complain about others interfering your personal life because you already made it public!
Make sure to keep yourself safe by limiting the amount of information you’re willing to share with others.
7. Becoming a narcissist
This might the ugliest fact upon all… social media has only made people more concentrated on themselves and self-absorbed. Posting statuses about how you’re feeling and taking “selfies” all day long and will only turn you into a selfish human being who thinks everything that’s happening in the world is about him. Make sure you don’t become that person…
8. Becoming distracted
Scientifically speaking, the brain cannot fully focus on two tasks at one time. When you’re multitasking, you think you’re concentrating on the things you’re doing but, you’re not! Your brain will give you fuller yield if you focus on one thing at a time, and trust me, it will help you gain a lot of time.
9. Not thinking independently
Getting attached to social media sites will gradually start on inhibiting you from thinking independently; in other words, every thought your brain will process will be based on the perception of other people because of what they share…
In fact, your behavior, sum of thoughts and even manners will be under the approval of the social mass. Social media is what’s going to define the way you look, what to like and what not to like through the people you interact with.
10. Feeling lonely
When you rather focus on the numerous casual relationships formed through social media than on the meaningful relationships we usually foster in real life, you’ll probably start to feel lonely.
In fact, the more you focus and spare psychic energy on virtual connections, your most important connections as in family connections will start to weaken gradually, and eventually you will find yourself lonely; because, those thousands of friends you have on Facebook will never get out of that screen and give you a hug.
11. Suffering from low self-esteem
Low self-esteem can be a result of a variation of reasons; however, social media is definitely one of them. Many people are naturally shy and not so confident which makes social media a nice occasion for them to hide behind screens. It may sound helpful on the short term, but that will only enhance and encourage the low self-esteem they already have and make the case even worse.
Social media isn’t all about cyber bullying, anxiety, and low self-esteem; it can be really useful and entertaining if you know how to use it with moderation and with good intentions.