Many people believe that social media has made our lives better and easier to live. However, Didn’t you wonder once about its negative aspects. Ladies and gentlemen, in today’s article we will list the specific impacts of social media.
1. Editing our lives :
Life is full of important moments, think of your favourite vacations, on holiday dinner with your family or on your biggest stepping-stones in your career. These are the kinds of moments that you want to remember forever, right? However, for many people just remembering is just not good enough, they look for a physical reminder of what those moments felt like, so they need to take pictures, record videos and they keep souvenirs. These reminders transport them back in time allowing them to relive the joy, beauty, or surprise of a single moment of their past. Nevertheless, when you start posting those photos on social media something strange happens. You basically stop focusing on the moment itself, you stop remembering what really happened and you start thinking about what you can change. Therefore, you start cutting photos, so you do not look your “best” even if that photo makes you laugh or cry. You start doctoring how your experiences looked or felt.
Why is that you may ask. Simply because you want others to see how perfect and powerful your life is.
Many people on social media are so focused on displaying perfection that their real life gets lost in the mix. The person on their profile may resemble an idealized version of themselves. If you ever start editing your life, you stop appreciating how imperfect it can be. If you look at a sunset, you might focus on taking the perfect picture, brightening the colours, or creating the right mood instead of actually enjoying the sunset in real time. You start paying less and less attention to the powerful moments as they happen, and you stop appreciating experiences for what they are.
2. Dependence on reinforcement :
Views, likes and comments are all different kinds of positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is when someone gives you a reward for doing something good. Imagine a parent who gives their kid ice cream for behaving at the doctor. They are reinforcing their child’s good behaviour with a positive reward. Now on social media virtual compliments are different than someone handing you an ice cream, each one makes you feel good about yourself. It tells you that someone in the world likes you, admires you or even envies you. This gives you a boost of self-worth which motivates you to keep going. You might feel special after posting a picture online, so you post another, and then another until you are posting on social media every single day. And just like that you become dependent on positive reinforcement and you start relying on these platforms to make you feel good and that can be dangerous. If you do not practice appreciating yourself it gets harder and harder to do it on your own and little by little you forget how to value yourself. Therefore, do not let social media take that away from you. The occasional boost never hurt anybody but if you are fishing for compliments online it can really mess with your brain.
3. Wasting our time :
Social media is a notorious time waster. Without even realizing it you might even spend hours every single day browsing through different platforms. Some people lay awake in bed scrolling through page after page until it is suddenly 2:00 in the morning. Others use it in small bursts, they might spend only 5 minutes at a time on their phone, but they do this every single hour of the day. It seems like they are barely ever on social media. But those 5 minutes increments really add up. By the evening time you have lost an hour or more of your time which you could have spent on work, hobbies or with your family.
Time is one area where social media becomes especially destructive. It twists the way you think. It distracts you with all those buttons, pictures and videos and your brain loses track of time.
4.The motivation killer :
Social media and motivation are natural enemies. In fact, social media is one of most common ways that people procrastinate. When you are feeling stressed or insecure social media offers you the chance to get lost in other people’s lives and leave behind the stress of your own. But there are plenty of other time wasters that do the same thing. Take watching TV or playing video games. Both of these activities distract your mind from whatever it is supposed to be doing. However, social media hurt your motivation in a way that no other bad habit does. It destroys your productivity and your self-esteem. Each time you browse through social media you see people doing amazing things. Maybe they are travelling the world or chasing their dreams. Now on the surface, these kinds of profiles seem inspiring right? But deep down they make you feel worse about yourself. These comparisons tear your motivation apart. Not just because you are procrastinating with social media. But because you do not feel as satisfied with the life you are living, and that is one of the most harmless impacts of social media.
5.Blocking our happiness :
Does social media change your mood? To most, the impacts of social media seems harmless, it is just something you do when you are waiting in line or trying to fall asleep. But social media is not just a way to pass time. It can actually stop you from being happy. A 2013 study from the journal PLOS One discovered that avid Facebook users feel less satisfied and not just with their jobs or social circles, but with their lives in general. People who frequently use Facebook were lonelier, had lower self-esteem and they felt less supported.
Now on the other hand, people who rarely used their accounts were more fulfilled and confident. And it is not just Facebook!
What do you think of these impacts of social media? What impacts of social media have terrified you the most? Can you name additional impacts of social media?