How Social Media Affects Us

Jessica Brown explains social media’s impact when she says, “Three billion people, around 40% of the world’s population, use online social media — and we’re spending an average of two hours every day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms, according to some reports.” Brown’s words suggest that social media is becoming a more common thing that people use in today’s world. It’s both good and bad for everyone.

To begin with, social media has several positive effects on us. We can use social media as a way to connect with others. You can stay in touch with friends, family, and business people. Companies use social networking sites often. It’s greatly used for advertising and promoting businesses. Students and teachers go online to get help from others and boost their knowledge.

Positively, social media can also help your mood, stress or depression. When you see happy posts it can greatly improve your mood. Seeing posts that interest you are more likely to make you happy than just seeing others’ posts that you don’t really care about. Twitter has been known to help with stress and be used as a coping mechanism. If you use online sites in a way that makes you happy, you are more likely to be in a better mood than people who don’t. Several platforms are used to diagnose depression.

Viewing your own profile could potentially give you an ego boost and can improve your well-being. For young adults, making and maintaining healthy relationships with people is important. Social media is a powerful tool for communication.

Social media also has many negative effects. It can cause depression, change your mood, cyberbullying could take place and, in general, it’s addicting. Clinical depression can start to develop or you could already have it and technology can worsen it. Seeing the highlights of others’ lives can put you down. Constantly seeing where someone is or what they are doing can change your mood instantly.

Many don’t believe that it can affect us this much but it really does. Some people suffer from the fear of missing out (FOMO). This is when you are scared of missing out on seeing other people’s experiences. It is one of the most common effects of social media. Bad moods, feelings, and worthlessness can be linked to online usage. Women reported being more stressed than men when using social media. Moods have lowered after using social media compared to just using the internet. The more platforms people use online have more symptoms of anxiety than people who use less.

In general, this is all just an addiction. The worst social media sites have been Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Some have said that it is more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. People are constantly checking their social media and it has become habitual. They check it while eating out with family or friends, or checking it when at the theater watching a movie.

If you think you are addicted to social media ask yourself some of these questions: “When was the last time you went a full day rarely checking your accounts?”, “Do you use social media to forget about your personal problems?” You can ask yourself similar questions and if you answer “yes” to multiple, then you are more than likely developing an addiction. You should do a “digital detox” to help reduce your amount of time spent on social media.

There are many different strategies you can use to detox. Turning on “do not disturb” or just muting your notifications before you go to bed can help tremendously because you are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night to check your phone. Replace social media with another activity to keep you busy. People recommend doing a detox for three months considering it takes 30 days to form a habit. Three months will allow you to actually get used to not using it as much or changing the ways you use it.

Everyone presents the best image of themselves, but never posts the negative things. Price states in his article “We may log on to feel a connection, but more often than not we log off feeling unloved.” This statement is very true because most of us think that by getting on social media, we are getting away from other things happening in real life.