Social media-the world’s greatest and newest tool for communication. While this is all well and good, there are certain aspects of social media that can be harmful. It can give us a sense of competition, depression, and jealousy, many times subconsciously. Let’s face it, seeing the “flawless” posted pictures of your one of your “friends,” or hearing them rant about how much “fun” they’re having sipping a pumpkin spice latte with their girlfriends can undermine our own sense of satisfaction and peace, whether realistic or not. Here are 8 ways that social media may be harming you; it would be advisable to think if any of these are affecting your lives.
1. Productivity drain.
Social media is largely about entertainment and diversion, but when we have work to do, social media can be hampering drain on your potential to get things done, as well as the quality and accuracy of your work.
2. Distraction from real life.
Life is beautiful, but oftentimes, we’re too buried in our phones and laptops to even see the world around us in all of its perfections and imperfections. Social media focuses on trivial things that aren’t that important, and besides, there are few truly momentous events that are shared among your “friends.” You will find out about them if they’re that important. Social media can distract you from being present in your own life, and that can be a dangerous funnel to swirl into.
3. Creation of social phobias.
Clicking around, liking your friend’s status or pictures is not the same as picking up the phone and calling her, or going out to coffee and catching up with her in person. Besides that, the inflation of connecting with your “friends” online can exhaust you and make you more hesitant to participate in real-life interactions.
4. Feelings of inadequacy.
Logging onto facebook, twitter, or the rest of social media sites and seeing the countless engagements, promotions, engagements, and other happenings in your “friends” life can make you unhealthily measure yourself against others. Most likely, these announcements are also exaggerated and unrealistic, which makes comparison even more pointless and harmful.
5. FOMO.(Fear of Missing Out.)
This phenomenon, FOMO, is the fear of missing out on something important, and social media can largely foster just that.
Besides distracting and pushing too many things at us, social media promotes inactivity as well, which can harm our physical health as well as our mental health. It’s important to take time away from your social networks to get some exercise and increase your endorphins and blood flow that will help you both mentally and physically.
7. Inability to be content alone.
The constant presence of “companionship” online can make it so that it is harder to be truly alone without them. Those who are addicted to social networking find oftentimes that they’re simply unable to be alone or to enjoy their own company and times of solitude.
8. Exacerbation of Unhappiness
Social media can agitate many feelings and emotions, and it can create a dangerous detachment from real life. An article from activebeat.com says, “Whether those prone to depression are drawn to social media or vice versa, numerous medical studies indicate that social media may exacerbate your major emotions-including unhappiness, depression, and sadness.”
So, why don’t we close that laptop, turn off that phone, and look at the world around you. Social media can be a helpful tool for connection in both our work and social lives, but we should keep in mind that there is a great amount of life, and a great many things to do and experience that no amount of time on Facebook, twitter, or the rest of the internet could hope to provide.