Social media was created to adhere people make connections, network and retrieve information. In recent times, almost everybody has at least one account on a social networking website. Even people that have little to no interest to see the thoughts and impressions of hundreds of “friends”, find themselves creating accounts. This is due to nobody wants to be left behind in our fast-paced, advancing world of technology. More likely than not, when one’s friends and acquaintances are on a social media platform, they are bound to create one as well. Supporters of social media claim that it enhances the social connections among people.
Social media allows you to interact with your community no matter where you are or who you are with. According to social media supporters, connecting with your community via the internet makes you less lonely. In actual fact, social media has made people feel lonely. Frequently, new relationships are sparked because of networking and mutual friends through social media. Unfortunately, these relationships are often not up to par with real life connections. Communication through virtual is much less sincere in comparison with face-to-face conversations. Communicating with strangers over the internet can be risky and could leave users with a severe lack of social skills. Facebook and Twitter can be an amazing platform if used correctly, but more often than not, people exploit and abuse it. Not only is social media abused and misused regularly, but it has gained a mass following from people who blindly jump on bandwagons wanting to fit in with the crowd.
In this era, it is common that we are comparing ourselves with other individuals. The comparison ranges from physical appearances to personal details about one’s self. This paired with social media addiction could push many people over the edge and into depression especially amongst younger users who are more impressionable. When they see people living what they might naively think is the ideal lifestyle, they start lusting over it and would feel inferior about their current situation. With nowhere to turn or no good outlets to speak about their feelings, these young minds often fall prey to stress and depression. These mental problems are extremely harmful. If it isn’t nipped in the bud, it could lead to serious self harm or even suicide. From Text A, the studies show that Facebook affects the mental health of the user. The text states “the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year.” This shows how much of a negative impact Facebook has caused to their users with regards to their mental health.
Too much exposure to social media such as staying up late and scrolling through a myriad of content or chatting with friends could result in dire health issues. Staying up late is really harmful for one’s health, especially the brain. It could even result in an unhealthy case of weight loss and/or lethargy.
Social media is, and will continue to be, harmful, unless the user exercises control. The power it has over people is dangerous and often goes unnoticed. Everyone should take note of the harmful effects because if not addressed, or taken care of, social media could cause national and international problems. Social media stunts interpersonal growth and increases narcissism in many users. Even if the user is not psychologically affected by social media, they are still in danger. Nobody is immune to the harmful side effects social media possess such as identity theft, stalkers, or hackers. Social networking allows hoaxes and false information to cause a widespread chaos. If there are no regulations or limitations on social media, the repercussions will accumulate and eventually blow up. The fast, easy access to information that is supposed to be beneficial to society is actually detrimental. We may not need to quit it completely, but limiting our time on social media considerably, and reconnecting with friends and family in real life, is definitely the way to go.