It wouldn’t be a lie if we were to say that social media platforms dominate our lives. Ever since social media entered our lives, it has seen substantial growth over the period of time. Now, we can’t imagine our day-to-day activities without social media. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, we can’t begin our day without visiting these social platforms first.
However, it begs a question, why has this phenomenon become a central part of our existence? Well, there are layers to this question’s answer. To begin diving into the wormhole of social media, we first need to talk about the rapid emergence of the internet and its dependency.
Dependency on the Internet
Ever since the internet penetrated our domain of living, our everyday lives have changed dramatically. From buying groceries to looking for dissertation writers UK-based services, we can find anything and everything on the internet. There is no doubt that the internet has provided us with exceptional ease and convenience, however, as they say, excess of everything is harmful. Especially after the advent of social media, things got out of hand pretty quickly and still getting for the most part.
The Growth of Social Media and Its Impacts
Social media saw an exponential rise in 2004 when MySpace garnered a million users on its platform. Now, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are seeing growth like never before. As of now, the total number of people using social media is about 4 billion, and the projections are not humbling down.
More and more people are joining social media around the world and it has raised a range of questions among critics. At face value, social media platforms give users the chance to be connected with loved ones around the world. However, multiple studies and researches suggest and correlate the link between depression and social media use among teens.
The Link between Social Media and Mental Health
Social media has the tendency of isolating an individual which is catastrophic for anyone’s mental health. It is understandable if we just stand back and analyze our daily social media feed. We tend to appear perfect on social media. Taking 100 pictures, but uploading the best one. This practice tends to hide the flaws and portray a picture-perfect version of ourselves which can be negative on a larger scale.
Life is not perfect, and we are not creatures of perfection. So, if our scrolling is consists of watching the ‘perfect’ lives of others, it can easily make us question our choices. This isolation is said to reveal that individuals who are active on social media are more prone to self-harm, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out!
Have you ever saw a post of your friend thinking, Is that really him? We all have. Sometimes it’s surprising to see our friends who we have known for a long time do things on social media that are least expected of them. Social media is a network of individuals who are out there to feel connected and accepted. To be accepted by others, we tend to do things that we wouldn’t do otherwise.
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a popular term that is used to define the very behavior we discussed above. We want to be accepted. We don’t want to be the outcast among our ‘friends’ circle. This can be evident by just following trends on social media. We see changing trends every day on social media platforms, and ever since TikTok came into play, this has exacerbated even more.
We don’t want to be left out, and this is driving a negative environment where we are all in a competition of ‘who has the more likes and followers.’
Social Media Is Not Private
Another issue that continues to sprout up in the age of social media is that of digital footprint. What is a digital footprint you may ask? It is the easily traceable footprint one leaves on social media. What do we mean by tracing footprint? Allow us to explain. We tend to overshare things on social media, constantly updating our friends and followers with our timely activities. It doesn’t take much to draw a pattern based on location on social media posts.
Moreover, we need to realize that social media posts can land you in trouble. For instance, there are several examples of individuals whose social media posts hinder their professional growth. Employers have adopted screening prospect’s social media posts in order to have a little insight into their personality and the type of person they might have.
The way you are going to behave on social media will impact deeply on your professional life. For instance, if your social media is filled with partying, it will pose negative for your future career. In this day and age, your digital footprint is crucial since you are not the only one on social media, the employers and organizations are as well.
The Irony of Social Media
The claim of social media is that it is making our social lives better, right? Well, quite contrary. Over the years, social media has contributed significantly to different mental health issues. Especially in children, the aggressive use of social media has made them counter-social. The real face-to-face conversations have now turned to text messages. Moreover, the addictive nature of social media has promulgated anti-social behavior among its users.
On one hand, social media has opened up a range of opportunities for everyone and every sector. It’s hard to disregard the fact that social media is a great tool for many things. However, we are still miles apart from deciphering its proper use. We are still in a long debate for its ethical use. We need to be careful when dealing with social media. As they say, we need to take social media with a grain of salt.
Not everything you see on social media is believable, and not everything on social media is to be followed. It’s quite ironic and fascinating that the very thing that promised better social lives and communication is making us less and less connected.