Saturday, February 6, 2021

How Social Media Is Harming Us

Social Media has definitely become "the thing" of this era or should I put it across as we have made it "the thing" of today's era. It is the gazing point of the modern age. However, it is doing less good to all of us at the moment and many of us are not even aware of it. Those who are aware of it are busy excusing themselves as some form of entertainment or stress busting activity thus not understanding how adversely it is affecting mankind of this era.

Everything created, invented, discovered or developed by man has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, it becomes a concern only when the pros are outweighed by the cons. As long as we do everything in moderation in life, we shall not fall prey to these cons. We all are aware how social media has benefited us in the last couple of decades including entertainment, ease of marketing, boosting the economy, helping small businesses grow etc but today let’s discuss how social media is having a negative impact on us on a day to day basis that needs our attention.

Steals Quality Time: This is not just one of the most popular reasons, it is one of the most obvious one as well. Social Media not only steals your quality time from others but also from yourself. The moment we access any of the social media apps, we somehow manage to get glued to our mobile gadgets without realising the amount of time that has passed by. This most often results in spending less time with family and friends. It is a hindrance in forming new meaningful relationships. The Journal of Social and Personal relationships ran a study asking 34 pairs of strangers to have a conversation with each other with half of them allowed to keep their mobile phones with them. The result was obvious. Those who were allowed to keep their mobile phones with themselves were less keen to have interactions and also concluded with not wanting to have a relationship at all at the end of the session.

Increases anxiety and depression: Have you ever had that dopamine feeling of checking your posts for the likes and comments every now and then? Have you ever felt that your friend or colleague was way more successful and having a better life than you? These are clues that denote we are facing anxiety and depression while we are on social media all the time. As per recent study, on an average we check our social media apps at least 96 times a day i.e. once every 15 minutes which is mind boggling result. This does not even include the time spent on your device post accessing your social media account. If you are one of those who faces such issues do try out tools or apps that restrict the use of social media often. If that does not help take advice from family and friends to curb this habit. You can also approach someone for professional help as well and there is no harm in doing so.

Sleep is affected adversely: We all know how blue light affects our sleep, yet the last thing that we access before going to bed is our mobile devices. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours a day is important, however having a good sound sleep is even more crucial. Using gadgets before going to bed signals your body that you are not ready to sleep yet with its side effects hitting you the next morning and the cycle continues. Try having a bedtime routine at least an hour before going to bed which does not involve screen time and monitor how it benefits your sleep patterns.  

Spending Money Unnecessarily: We all are aware how social media is helping companies to sell their products online and at a minimal cost. Today with the help of social media, it is possible for every organization to reach every corner of the world and market their products. This was never the case in the early days. Placing an order online and getting it delivered to your residence in less than 24 hours was a far-fetched idea a couple of decades ago. This convenience comes with an urge to purchase products online unnecessarily. Social Media platforms are built to understand your purchase patterns and suggest more products and better ones in the future. This results in impulsive purchases and mounting credit card debt as well.

Addictive: This point is self-explanatory. Social Media is the new drug of the modern era. It is cheaper, easily accessible and the side effects do not necessarily crop up at an early stage. Being addictive to anything is an alarming situation. Just because we do not consume it literally, does not mean it is not affecting us. Just like the physical form of drugs affect our body, social media affects our mind and our actions without us realising it. The sooner we can curb this addiction, the better it will be for our future generations.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Today it has become challenging to live in the present like we used to do in the earlier days. With so many things to distract all around us, we are constantly engaged with something or the other. We seem to be busy, however one of the ideas behind being busy is actually "The Fear Of Missing Out" on things that really are of less important to us. We are always in the process of chasing things, however for some reason we are not really able to catch up no matter how long the chase is. The bottom line is that we need to get rid of this fear from our minds. No matter what we do, we are humans and we as individuals are not here to conquer the world for ourselves. We need to understand our potential and our limits and do our best. Leave the rest to the situation and see what is the outcome. If you do your best, there is nothing to regret about as you have given your 100% and there is nothing much you can do no matter how much you would have tried.    
Difference between Real & Fake: We humans are gifted with five senses to understand the difference between real and fake i.e. sense of sight, sense of taste, sense of touch, sense of smell and sense of sound. However, these come in use only when we are in the real world. When we are in a world of imagination and technology, not everything that we come across is real. As the terms suggest "Artificial Intelligence or the Virtual World" It becomes challenging to understand what is real and what is fake in the world of social media. What we see is what we believe, what we read is what we absorb, what we like is what we consider and the list goes on. Just because your friend is posting about a hot date does not mean the date went perfect, just because your colleague posted about being at a party does not mean they had a good time. There is no possible way of validation when it comes to social media and to add to that no one publishes their bad moments on social media either. This is the most basic thing we can consider and just keep it real. Everyone has their bad days and it is okay if some of us have a few more. There is nothing to be sad about and most definitely be ashamed of it. Faking it before making it is a modern age recipe for disaster.     

Connecting with People: We are so virtually connected with people today that catching up for lunch or dinner is a big deal altogether. We feel that we know all about the person so why bother spend that extra time or money outdoors. We ping and reply to people at our own comfort. We can ignore, we can delay, we can do whatever we want with virtual conversations at the press of a button. Here is where connecting with real people becomes a challenge. It is easy to sit behind a screen and hit buttons, however when we are face to face with another individual, we do not have the convenience or the luxury to do all of that what we have been doing behind the screen. At this point nervousness and low self-esteem is obvious. Hence it is important that we have real conversations with people around us. This will help us to read a person’s face, understand their feelings better, have more meaningful conversations and live like normal human beings.

We struggle to think independently: Today advises, suggestions and opinions are available at the click of a post on social media. Anything you wish to know or get guidance with you can search it online or you can request for it online and there will be a 100 people out there to suggest you with 100 different ideas. However, we are not real all the time with our concerns online. Also, the people out there do not know us nor do they understand our past, our present condition and our dreams for the future. They are not aware of the resources that are available for us either. Hence, they are mostly just answering your question and not guiding you as per your current situation. Always remember that you are your best judge. You are aware of your own reality and there is no one out there who can make a decision on your behalf. The more we reach out to people online, the more dependent we become and we struggle to think on our own. As humans we have the tendency to react, recoil and resist. We should understand our strengths and make decision independently.
We become unhealthier: We are all aware that sitting behind those screens all day can easily give you that extra waistline that we do not wish to have at all in the first place. However, are we aware that social media can also affect our minds? There is an old saying "A Healthy Mind is a Healthy Body”. Our minds can remain healthy only if we learn to remove the unnecessary clutter from our minds that is absorbed constantly from social media. Spend time with nature, encourage yourself to have pets at home, learn gardening etc these are some of the activities you can do to connect with nature. It will not only make you feel more vibrant but also keep you healthy.

The whole idea of having access to social media is to attain some level of comfort for communication with each other, however we have taken it to another level altogether. Making the best use of social media by spreading necessary awareness and guiding people on the right path is the best way forward. There are people who will always be ready to take undue advantage of each and everything on this planet, however that does not mean we need to follow the same path. We are free to make our own choices for the good of ourselves as well as for the good of others.

If you like this article, please support us by hitting the FOLLOW button and Subscribe to this blog by entering the email id in the SUBSCRIBE TO EK NEW LIFE POSTS section (verify the email from Feedburner after you have submitted the email id). You may also follow our social media profiles:

Facebook :
Instagram :

Written by Jaison Noronha
Idea Source : Personal Experiences & Youtube