There is no denying that social media has completely changed the way we go about our lives. Connecting with friends all over the world is now easier, it allows people to stay in the loop about what’s going on, it helps people share their creative content, opinions and even makes marketing a bliss for many companies. However, as with everything else, social media has its share of cons, some of which tend to be overlooked and others that can be very detrimental to a person’s health.
Fake news is also a huge problem for social media companies. The speed fake news travels at makes it extremely hard for these businesses to be vigilant and as human beings naturally love sensationalism, it’s very hard to prevent it. As Winston Churchill once said, “a lie is half way around the world before a truth has it’s pants on”.
The Doe has worked on creating a space where honest, verifiable news can be shared without fear of retribution. They see social media and fake news sites as an evil among many on social media and discuss the issues below.
In this post, we are going to take a deeper delve into the downsides of social media:
Before the internet, most notably social media, bullying was something that could only be done physically, face to face. Nowadays, however, people can bully others online, whether or not they are anonymous. Almost everyone is familiar with cyberbullying and has seen its repercussions.
While social media platforms are excellent for meeting new people, catching up with friends who are overseas, and even making new friends, it is ideally a platform where cruel people can terrorize others’ lives. Some even create fake profiles and act like classmates with the aim of betraying and embarrassing others online.
Unfortunately, these acts can have a toll on the mental state of the victims, with some even leading to suicide. Also, cyberbullying does not just affect kids. As it turns out, adults can be victims as well.
Anxiety & Depression
Do you find yourself spending hours on end browsing through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? Well, according to research, spending too much time on social media can take a toll on your mood. In fact, chronic social media users are more likely to show poor mental health symptoms, including anxiety and depression.
Well, it is pretty easy to see why. Social media platforms like Instagram are designed to let you see the best parts of other people’s lives. This usually ends up making you compare your life with theirs, and if you are unable to keep up, you end up feeling disappointed in yourself. This is a certain path to depression and anxiety, and these platforms continue to make it easier.
As you browse through, remember that everyone goes through a tough time, and very few will share those moments online. Also, try and reduce the time you spend on these sites to about an hour or half an hour per day.
As we have already discussed above, social media tends to form fake perceptions and unrealistic expectations from friends and life. Most of these platforms fail at showing authenticity. People use Facebook to post how much they love their significant other, post heavily staged photos on Instagram, and stories full of filters on Snapchat. However, there’s barely a way of telling whether or not the impression they are giving is authentic or not. That person might look great on social media, but they could be fighting with their lover, heavily in debt, desperate for validation and fame, etc.
The only way out of this is to stop lying and at the same time, stop believing or want to emulate what others are doing. However, we are in an age where YouTubers and Instagram influencers are making a good living in these platforms, making it a habit that’s probably never going to stop.
Negative Body Image
Speaking of Instagram influencers and models, simply look at popular Instagram accounts. You will be greeted with numerous high-quality photos of people in expensive clothes, cars, locations, and perfectly shaped bodies.
Nowadays, body image is a huge issue and seeing almost everyone posting seemingly perfect photos every day will make you conscious about your own body. You might not have an issue with your body, but there are some who would do anything to achieve such bodies and are often signing up for disappointments if Instagram is the inspiration.
It is important to keep in mind that we are all human. Nobody wakes up looking perfect, and while there are those who have gone to the extremes to achieve that, it is not the case for everyone who looks fit online. Many people are on the hunt for validation and fame and have likely taken unhealthy routes in order to look more attractive. So, as you browse and double tap on those interesting pictures, keep that in mind and also surround yourself with individuals who love and appreciate you just the way you are.
This post is not comprehensive, and we have just scratched the surface about the negative effects of social media. There’s a lot to point out, but I think the points above are enough to help you evaluate your social media use.