Social media – is it a bane?

Social Media is now an inevitable part of our lives. We all have our presence on social media websites where we connect with others, network, and also share a major chunk of life. Social media has its advantages, and when used rightly comes with its benefits. It helps us make new online friends while reconnecting with old ones. The speed of communication is faster than ever before, as with a click you can connect to someone from the other side of the globe. Social media and its popularity has given birth to a lot of opportunities for people to be creative, create content, showcase their talents and make a living out of it. 

With the innumerable opportunities social media brings, we need to understand that it isn’t all rosy. Social media has various negative effects on the youth, who invariably use it more than required. Sleep deprivation, mindless scrolling leading to time wastage, and many serious health issues including depression from the constant comparison are a few of them. Let’s discuss the issues social media brings with it, which would help us understand how it is a bane too – 

—> Social media obsession – We all know someone who is addicted to using social media with unmonitored and mindless usage of these sites. This lowers productivity and is a giant waste of time. This makes it really important to track the numbers of hours you spend on social media – practically doing nothing.

—> The constant need for approval – Social media has made us all feel inadequate about our own life or appearance at some point in time. You might also be able to recall a time when the number of likes on your post determined your happiness quotient. We view others and compare our life to them and constantly try to seek approval and ‘fit in’ into the world created on social media. You might want to be accepted and are scared to be ridiculed, which makes you put out a version of yourself on these websites which is non-existent!

—> False spread of information – Social media has time and again proven to be a catalyst in spreading negative and unreliable information which spread like wildfire. People also use it for their agendas, like spreading fake news to manipulate and influence people on religious or economic issues. Often the false information is present on these sites create panic and havoc among people and this problem is increasing day by day.

—> Issues regarding data privacy – Personal data getting leaked through social media is another common issue that comes with it. Fake accounts being created on someone’s name, private pictures and videos getting hacked and released without consent are a few of the many cases happening online. The information once made public on these sites can easily fall in the wrong hands leading to harassment and blackmailing. Compromised privacy is alarming and you should take action to ensure your data is protected on social media.

—> Cyberbullying – The bullying that happens over these social media websites can harm a person’s mental health in many ways. Some people use these platforms as a license to be hurtful and shame people on looks, preferences, and choices. Online abuse has become very common because it gives people on the other side of the screen to be able to bully people anonymously.

These are a few among the many problems that come along with social media usage. This isn’t a way to negate its benefits, social media is a boon when used correctly with the right intentions. How positively or negatively it impacts you depends on how you use it. It works best when moderated, and 30 mins or less is all the time you should be spending on these websites per day for better health outcomes. Further, be aware of which sites and with whom you are engaging on these platforms and use social media wisely!

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