So, it is a regular day at work, and you have loads of emails left to answer and a presentation to prepare for the client meeting later in the afternoon. As your assistant reminds you of the meeting the fifth time since the morning, you try to focus and get to making that presentation.
But then, a voice at the back of head says, “How about a quick glance at the notifications?” And before you know, you are thirty minutes into scrolling through your news feed, sharing a cat video here, and commenting on a queer post there.
Social media helps us stay connected and offers a world of information, but it has some really bad side effects too. Read this post to know all about the positive and negative sides of social media. And then you can make an informed decision.
Pros of using social media (H2)
- Provides instant and relevant information
Want to stay updated on your favourite football team’s matches? Done. Want to learn how to cook up the perfect Christmas dinner for two? Done. Want to know more about the ongoing #FridaysforFuture movement? Done. No matter the topic, social media can make information available to you within seconds. A simple search on Facebook groups or a question in Quora can help you get information faster than ever imagined. And we all have social media to thank for that.
- Helps to connect people from all around the world
This one is a no-brainer, really. If there is one thing that social media has done, it is to connect people from all corners of the globe. That high school band you had lost in touch with, your middle school teacher, the cute cheerleader from college – you can find them all on social media networks. Thanks to the cutting-edge features of apps like Google Duo, your loved ones are now just a video call away!
- Creates superb business opportunities
If you are a business owner in the modern age, you are in luck. Social media presents plenty of business opportunities. You can now connect with potential investors, keep in touch with customers, solve problems in real-time, and advertise your merchandise on social media. In fact, most new-age entrepreneurs and business owners spend a large quantity of their time on social media.
- Mobilises people and raises awareness
Social media helps to create awareness about social issues that need our attention. From the endangered ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef to feminist protests in Chile, social media spreads the word about injustices that take place over the world. It is a great tool to shape and mould public opinion, and can be used for mobilising people for social welfare activities.
- Enables students to get additional resources
Suppose you are a student and you require medical case study help urgently. Who do you turn to? Your classmates through social media, who, in turn, refer you to the best websites for getting medical case study help online. Students of the digital age have social media platforms to thank for providing them with the resources for education. Learning resources, webinars, and podcasts all contribute to the modern learning experience for the students of the current times.
Cons of using social media (H2)
- Privacy becomes a myth
Sharing options on social media has made data and protection of privacy quite a difficult matter. As the days go by, privacy becomes a growing concern. Whether it is the matter of your browsing history through cookies or being at the receiving end after sharing a live location, privacy is gradually becoming a myth in the era ruled by social media. Over-sharing on social media can lead to troubles, so it is best to tread cautiously.
- Gives rise to overwhelming feelings from information overload
Studies show that people spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social media and check their phones about 85 times daily on an average. From YouTube videos to your favourite celebrity’s Emmy win, social media provides a constant flurry of information. And at times, it can all get a little too much. Keeping up with the flow is overwhelming, and can lead to serious mental health issues for some.
- Makes way for cyberbullying
Body image issues, FOMO, and social anxiety – all find their roots in continued social media usage. Youngsters suffer from body image issues from cyberbullying online, and the seemingly perfect pictures of airbrushed models on Instagram do no good for their self-esteem. Cyberbullying also takes on uglier forms of name-calling, threats, identity theft, and blackmail on social media.
- Adds fuel to procrastination fire
If you have a habit of putting off things until it is too late, then social media might be adding to the bad habit. We spend hours scrolling mindlessly through our news feed when we should rather be doing something productive. Social media notifications are a constant source of distraction, making you look up from the task at hand and check your phone a hundred times a day. Studies show that people are turning to browse social media to avoid difficult tasks, be it their jobs, a confrontation or studies.
- Makes one indulge in sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle
Finally, children (and adults) in the pre-social media age used to indulge in physical activities and made efforts to catch up with their connections in real life. Thanks to social media, they are now choosing the lazier alternative. That is giving rise to a sedentary lifestyle and helping grow this unhealthy habit all around the world. The artificial light from the Smartphone screens also hamper our eyesight to a great extent, and cause sleep disturbances as well.
Parting words (H2)
Sure, social media does a lot of good in our lives. However, it has its fair share of negative sides as well. The best solution to this comes from occasional social media breaks. Digital detox periods prove to be really helpful to take your mind off the overwhelming flow of information through social media.
So, the next time you are feeling disconnected or down in the dumps, try switching your Smartphone off. Go for a walk, take up a hobby to while your time or read a book. You can also try to catch up with your friends for real, face-to-face interactions than having virtual conversations. The bottom line is to use social media in moderation, so that does not end up alienating you from the rest of the world. How’s that for a double-tap?
Robert Smith is an experienced medical case study advisor working on behalf of a leading firm in Perth, Australia. Apart from that, Robert is an in-house academic writer, associated with the digital brand MyAssignmenthelp.com. A part-time blogger, he also enjoys writing about education, technology, and social media.