Effects of Social Media on Our Lives

Social media is a social networking platform for creating content. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc are the most trending applications that are used by the youth today. Not only the youth, but also the elderly are now getting addicted to these apps. Gone are the days of meeting friends, meeting online is the new thing.

Pretending to have an ‘oh so awesome life’ on social media is what everyone focuses on these days. The number of likes, followers and comments on your posts determine your personality and friend circle. However shy a person you are, your presence is identified on social media. Updating every minute of your life on social media, live streaming every little moment of joy or sorrow, proves how hooked you are to social media. Constantly checking people’s updates, check-ins, tags and news feed gives personal insights into the lives of others.

Many, who spend most of their time on social media, depict symptoms of anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders. Being habituated to updating your life on social an addiction Peer and societal pressures make you want to have a glamorous social media life, but are we truly as happy as we pretend to be online? Posting professionally shot pictures or creative content about travel, food, luxury, lifestyle etc makes your life seem happening. But in doing so, are we actually happy behind the camera? In the 4 corners of our rooms are we mentally at peace?

Social media has taken over lives. We prefer chatting and texting on the phone rather than meeting people personally. Spending time on a video call is definitely more convenient than actually travelling and meeting. Maybe that’s how many long distance relationships are also working out. But we can’t forget that social media is indirectly ruling our minds. It does have positive and negative effects of its own. Positive effects include increased scope for networking, influencing, fame, information, collaborations, exchanging ideas and so on. While the negative effects would be cyber bullying and the psychological and emotional disorders it can cause, like depression, anxiety, social exclusion etc. All of these force a person to spend more time online rather than talking to someone personally.

Over the past few years, social media has grown to be a quite a phenomenon. Facebook is ranked as the number one social media site with approximately one billion users. As more and more people from different geographical locations begin to log in, its reach is increasing. We are dependent on social media for every news and event that’s happening globally or locally. Social media can be very influential, but each person should remember that they have the freedom to form opinions for themselves. Media is a just mirror which shows things the way they are, and these are to be viewed by you to form perspectives.

More and more teenagers are joining social media websites to socialize with friends, family and strangers online.It can be very important in changing a person’s life but at the same time can cause conflicts that can negatively impact one’s life. Using social media can make one vulnerable to blackmailing, cyber bullying and much more. The blue whale challenge, for example, caused several suicides among children.

Social media has changed the face of communication and social interaction. Interpersonal relations have been nullified to online relationships. However, while social media makes it quicker and easier to interact with people, the quality of interaction may not be reliable. It provides instant interactions and status updates but does not actually promote quality communication. It has bridged the gap of communication but widened the gap of interpersonal communication.

Social media does have its disadvantages, but we cannot do without it in today’s times which are why we are glued to our phones, laptops and PC’s. Yet in order to stop it from becoming an addiction, we need to go on a digital detox. This is when we’ll be able to establish better interpersonal relations and maybe avoid depression and social exclusion since everybody would come together. This could be one good way to cut down on the usage of social media and prevent people from getting addicted to it.

Contributed by Arshia Virjee

Picture Credits : thejakartapost

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