Social media has taken the world by storm. It is continuing to change our lives and the world around us. It is easy to say that most people spend at least an hour a day on social media, though usually a lot more. With people spending so much time on their socials it is clear to see how negative effects can arise.
A communication expert and professor named Leslie Shore says that “social media is a double-edged sword.” I believe that this perfectly explains how social media can be good and bad at the same time.
Social media allows you to have easy and quick communication with people but it also affects how you communicate with people face to face.
People have become so used to communicating from behind a screen. When people are behind a screen, they tend to feel like they can say whatever they want and that can lead to cyberbullying, which is a very serious issue in today’s society.
One of the worst things that social media does is cause us to compare ourselves to others. There is a famous expression that explains how people put their highlight reels on social media, not their behind-the-scenes. Therefore, people, myself included, tend to compare the negatives of our lives to the positives of others. The more we tend to compare ourselves, the more and more we tend to focus on things that don’t matter in the end.
The number of likes, comments, or followers you get on your social media shouldn’t affect how you view yourself because, at the end of the day, who you are isn’t defined by your social media. Another reason that social media can be harmful is because of how addictive it is.
A documentary that was just recently released on Netflix called “The Social Dilemma” talks about the addictiveness of social media. In the documentary, Edward Tufte, a professor of political science, statistics, and computer science says, “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”
That fact alone shows how addictive social media can be—we are considered users.
Not only is social media addictive, leading to you spending hours of your time on it, but it can also lead to fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. When you have FOMO you continuously check your social media to ensure that you are not missing out on something or being left out.
Some clear negative things come along with social media, but if used in an appropriate way you can reap the benefits, as well.
Social media allows you to stay in contact with family and friends no matter where they are around the world. You can stay up to date on what is new in their life and they can stay up to date on what is new in your life. It also can give people a community unlike any other.
Using social media can also allow you to have a great digital footprint. Almost everything is online now and if you can create a good presence online that can help potential employers see who you are as a person aside from your resume and interviews.
Social media can also give people a voice. Sometimes it is hard to find a platform to share your beliefs but social media, if used respectfully; can be a perfect place to do that.
One of my favorite things about social media is how companies and organizations can use it to bring awareness to their brand and to sell products. I have found some of my favorite companies through my social media.
Like anything there are positive and negative effects of using social media. However, I believe social media can be a great thing if it is used appropriately and in moderation.
When someone becomes addicted to social media instead of using it as a tool, that is when social media can lead to problems.