Social media has a lot of advantages. It keeps us connected with our friends and families, and tells us what’s going on in each other’s lives. It helps us get our ideas across to people living in any corner of the world. It has connected the world like never before.
But, but, but, there’s also a downside to it. And if you want to be a smart social media user, you must understand what’s at stake, how social media can impact you negatively. Especially, because it has become an inseparable part of our lives and will most likely continue to remain so in the years to come.
Here are the disadvantages of social media?
Once you enter the world of Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, there’s no easy way out. It’s a way to escape your surroundings and enter into the virtual world which can capture our attention for hours. You can spend hours scrolling through your feed, without the slightest realization of the lost time. Sometimes, we don’t mind even sacrificing our sleep or socializing with friends and family, and spend some extra time online.
Finding effective ways to discipline yourself such as setting time trackers to notify you when you’ve crossed your daily usage limit can restrict the time you spend online. Take charge before you become a social media addict. And if you’re already one, be aware of the problem and take necessary actions.
It leads to comparison and jealousy
The fact is that people only share the best part of their lives online, which leads to comparisons and feelings of envy and jealousy. The extravagant wedding and holiday pictures or the lifestyle that people tend to portray on social media makes others feel that their life is not happening enough or that they’re not doing enough with their life.
Remind yourself time and again that social media can never be the true indicator of anybody’s life. What you see online is what people choose to show you. It’s created deliberately to invoke that feeling of awe in others and has little resemblance with reality.
It can set usually high standard of living
Continuing on the above point, when you see people posting pictures of their exotic vacations or parties, you feel like they’re having a great time and you should have similar experiences yourself too. So, despite not really wanting to or not having the means, we end up spending a lot of money on such things only to attract lots of views and likes and comments on social media. This is especially true in case of children of impressionable age who are growing up watching the “beautiful” world that people create online, and wanting to mimic it. Beware of getting caught up in this never-ending game of competition and comparison.
It creates an illusion of bonding
You can have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media who will comment on your pictures and like your posts. However, you cannot be calling them your real friends because you don’t really share a bond with them. Understand that the connection you experience online can never be compared with the connection you have with your real friends and family. Never believe in the illusion of bonding often seen online. When you need a shoulder to cry on, you’ll have to go to your friends from real life!
It affects your ability to concentrate
Phone notifications are one of the biggest sources of distractions. This is especially true in case of social media notifications. After we post something online, how often do we check our notifications to see the reactions of our followers? That’s anxiety at play, not allowing you to fully concentrate on the task at hand. Not just your own posts, the instant you get the notification for others’ posts, you feel the urge to abandon what you’re doing and check it out almost instantly. Watch out for this impulsive behavior. Keep your notifications off when working.
Social media is important. No doubt about it. It’s the fastest way to spread important news and messages. It comes to our rescue during times of crises such as floods or earthquakes where strangers could reach out to people in need and offer help and support to one another. Therefore, living without social media is not a solution to avoid the problems that come with it. But, knowing the potential effects and being wise about your choices will go a long way.
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.