It’s time to talk about social media.
While as a population we are now more connected than ever, this technological advancement has come at a price. Do we actually stop to talk about the effects of social media enough? Read on to explore this question.
1. In a Lot of Ways, Social Media is Incredibly Useful…
Social media is fantastic for keeping us all connected, to the point where distance isn’t really an issue anymore. If we have family on the other side of the world, for example, we can keep in contact easily through handy little messaging apps. It’s great.
As well as this, social media helps build valuable communities, which is incredible. Sports fans are able to access sports-related content and interact with other people with similar interests, and music lovers can keep up to date with all the latest hits.
For these reasons, among many others, social media is arguably a very positive thing.
2. But it Can Also Have a Negative Impact On Our Self-Esteem…
This is definitely something which I think should be spoken about more.
Let’s be honest, being bombarded with perfectly-edited photographs from Instagram and Snapchat on a daily basis does absolutely nothing for our self-esteem. Not only that, but photos we see on Instagram often make us evaluate our own lives, but for the wrong reasons.
We look at the picture of the girl with the big house and the shiny car and wonder why we haven’t yet achieved this level of success. We see only the best of people’s lives on these platforms and forget we are being shown only one perspective of a very big picture.
We’re all human, and we all have our struggles. The problem is, social media often fails to portray these struggles, which can be very damaging.
3. And Our Sleep Pattern…
Scrolling through social media just before bed can have a negative impact on our sleep pattern. When we get worked up about a post we’ve just been looking at, this anxiety can linger long after we’ve put down our phone and can prevent our brains from switching off fully.
Try to turn your phone off at least half an hour before you go to bed, and pick up a book instead. For a great night’s sleep, it’s important to relax your mind.
4. Not to Mention Our Attention Span…
With the amount of information available at our fingertips these days, it’s no wonder our attention span is lowering as a result of social media. Watching a quick video on our phones when we should be getting on with an important piece of work is a great form of procrastination, but it also points towards a poor ability to focus properly. This really isn’t good news.
5. We Need to Talk About the Effects of Social Media More!
I think it’s important to remember that social media should never be the central focus of your life. While it’s all good and well to scroll through Instagram or Facebook and check-in with friends a few times a day, you should also know when to come away from your phone and focus on what’s going on around you instead. Meet up with your friend for a coffee, go for a walk in the countryside, and switch off your phone for a few hours.
And although it’s easier said than done, try not to compare your life with those of the people you interact with on Instagram. You’re wonderful just as you are, honestly!