Let’s pause for a moment and think around whether social media cluttered the minds of an entire generation. It is undeniably evident that social media has revolutionized the way we interact with one another. It has done wonders for society as a whole and has given individuals an unprecedented amount of power and influence.
But, unfortunately, the cost of this power comes in ignorance, loneliness, sadness, and addiction. Many people believe that social media is changing how we see and interact with the world around us but what’s as important is how it changes how we see ourselves. Humans are extremely susceptible to social pressures especially when they’re young. Social media has provided our generation with an outlet; a place where they’re free from judgement or guilt simply because all eyes are not on them in real-life situations that may cause embarrassment or lack of approval from their peers.
Some downsides of social media are.
1) A feeling of loneliness
With the number of people who are obsessed with social media, many people feel as if they’re being left behind and not being a part of this new culture. A survey has shown that about half of all teenagers have quit Facebook within a year and many have deleted their Facebook accounts altogether. Every time Facebook changes its format or Twitter updates its features, these teens feel as if they’re not getting the full experience of what it has to offer. They feel left out and lonely because they know less than everyone else.
2) Creates an illusion of popularity
When someone is on social media, the only thing that matters is how many “Likes” their posts get or how many followers they have. They do not see the people who don’t follow them as friends, just as “observers” or “fans”. Because of this, people who don’t have a large number of followers are easily left out. Many teens have felt rejected because they’ve only gained a small number of followers and nothing in return. It’s like being in high school all over again, only this time the peer pressure is simply from your screen name on Facebook or Twitter and not some stupid dare.
3) Excessive use of technology
More teens are becoming addicted to their phones and computers, resulting in an increase in the risk of depression, sleep disorders and forgetfulness. Many children feel trapped indoors because their parents constantly and continually monitor the time their children spend on Facebook or Twitter. Some have reported that they have been grounded or have received warnings from parents if they go overtime limits, which may lead to insomnia. This can disrupt sleep patterns and cause teens to feel less rested than before they began using social media, which can lead to being more tired during school or a more sluggish mind.
4) It makes us feel bad about ourselves
All I’ve been looking forward to is this moment where everyone will be talking about me, what I wore, how much fun I’m having. The thing is though, I didn’t know everyone else was having fun too. Turns out that everyone doesn’t care as much as they think they do. All of my little silly jokes and posts were really just seen by a bunch of people who only pay attention to what their friends are doing. Even stories or videos that I post may only be seen by a few people and it’s sad because you have no one to share them with, no one who knows it was actually you.
5) It makes us feel isolated
Take an example of a couple arguing about isolation. Quote.
“I’m not sure if this is the right time to bring this up, but I think we should talk about what’s going on between us. It seems like you’ve been avoiding me lately and it hurts because we’ve always been so close.”
All of our inside jokes and long conversations, they’ve all died out. And I know it’s my fault but I don’t know how to fix it because you never seem to have enough time for me anymore.
Many people have said that social media is isolating and that is true.
There are a lot of things that only happen online because it’s much easier to hide behind a screen than it is to talk to someone face to face. When you’re on social media all the time, there’s a whole world out there that you’re not experiencing but when you go outside, your friends are right there waiting for your presence and attention.
More people are feeling out of control of their lives and getting sucked into their phones, resulting in an increase in depression and other mental disorders. When you receive too much information through social media, your brain is influenced by it. It becomes very easy to become distracted and ignore the things you need to focus on, such as your studies or the people you love. It has also been shown that it can lead to forgetfulness, which makes it even harder to differentiate between what’s real life and what’s not.
By making small changes we can control our lives a bit more as well as our interactions with others.
You might be interested in what are the pros and cons of social media.