Social networking sites were meant to bring the world closer. But the way we are using it right now, it’s just a matter of time, it is going to ruin us more than bringing us together. Every morning we have to check Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter to see what’s happening, how many likes or views we have got. From waking up to having a breakfast to going for work to lunch break to dinner, we are addicted to post every little detail about ourselves on the social media. Disconnect of internet for couple of minutes can bring a lot of anger in us. We cannot live without our smartphones even for a minute now. Apart from this addiction, social media is ruining us mentally.
1. False sense of connection
Though social networking sites were made to connect everyone in the world, we are falling apart. We are chatting with friends on Whatsapp while seating at home not talking to family. We are chatting with our long distance lover while we are seating with friends or colleagues. In stead of talking to each other, we have started talking to smartphones.
Imagine couple of years ago, when we used to share our day with best friend or family members. How often we do that now? Not that often.
2. Less productivity
Majority of the time we are on social media. Either posting updates or commenting/ liking stuff or clicking selfies and posting on Instagram/ Snapchat. We spend half of our daytime doing things that don’t really matter. Urge to use social media has made us all less productive.
3. Makes us unhappy
University of Michigan collected data about Facebook users and carried out a study to see how Facebook correlated with their moods. The study found Facebook users more unhappy than those who don’t use Facebook.
Imagine an hour without your smartphone. How will it go? Majority of social media users have difficulty relaxing when they are unable to access social media. Social media has made all of us restless.
5. Lost individuality
Social media sites also kill our ability to think independently. We are what we hear or see on social media. From taking up photography as a passion to doing standup comedy to leaving job to start a startup, everything we do is a result of social media influence. Opinions of celebrities, influencers and blogs influence our opinions; which results into inability to come up with our own thoughts. Most of us are losing our individuality.
6. Fear of missing out
FOMO is real. Social media users, especially teenagers are suffering from this internet disorder called fear of missing out. In this constant happening world, we often feel left out or missing out things which our friends are posting on social media.
No matter how good we are doing in life, social media will not let us be happy. Every minute we will find something better happening at somewhere in the world on social media which according to us we are missing out.
7. Drug and alcohol use
Websites like ScoopWhoop and BuzzFeed are often seen glamorizing drug and alcohol use. They make drug intake a cool affair. It does not affect all of us; but college goers and teenagers are often influenced by this.
This is the worst of all. I recently came across a quote which perfectly summarize this point.
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
– Steve Furtick
We often get envious or jealous of the success of our colleagues or acquaintances. What we fail to understand is that everyone has a different timezone. Would like to incorporate two more examples I came across on the internet recently.
(A) Someone became CEO at the age of 25 and died at the age of 50 while another became a CEO at the age of 50 and lived for 90 years.
(B) Kenya is two hours ahead of Nigeria that doesn’t mean Nigeria is slow or Kenya is faster than Nigeria. Both countries are working based on their own time zone.
We will achieve things we are meant to achieve; sooner or later. In stead of being envious or jealous of someone, we should congratulate them, celebrate with them. It will not only break our insecurities; but will also give us peace.
9. Low self esteem
Phychologists warn that social networking websites can affect people who are suffering from low self esteem or confidence. They may judge themselves based on the success or achievements of their social media friends. This may lead to further fall of their confidence.
10. Lost peace of mind
We often find ourselves involved in ugly social media spats. Taking from political posts to religious posts, we try to defend our beliefs, which will ultimately result into loss of our peace of mind. We often get into fight with our friends on social media which at the end won’t result into anything fruitful but will affect our relations.
More than connecting the world, social media is disconnecting us from our loved ones. Social media constantly makes us feel depressed. No matter how good we are doing, we always find ourselves restless, unhappy.
If we won’t understand these side effects of the social media sooner, it will definitely ruin us.
(Featured photo courtesy)