It was estimated by studies last year that the average adult connected to the media spends about 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media, with 16-24 year old’s spending even longer, about 3 hours per day.
In a world that’s more connected than ever thanks to globalisation, social media use has become so fundamental to many that it has become somewhat of a quasi-addiction. But should you feel guilty about your social media usage? What are the pros and cons of being a social media “addict”? Here’s our take on this phenomenon.
Pro 1. You’re More In-the-Know
One pro of being a social media addict is you’re more in-the-know about current affairs. You’re more than likely always up to date with the latest bits of news, even if you don’t deliberately seek them out. You’re also always aware of the latest trends, meaning you may have the edge in topical conversations in social settings.
Pro 2. You’ve Invariably Gained Useful Experience
Frequently using social media means you may have picked up skills that are actually pretty useful. In a tech-driven world where companies need to exploit the Internet and the use of social media, being social media savvy means you probably know companies’ target audiences inside and out. Being aware of the latest viral trends also means you’re likely to know how to attract such an audience as well.
You would know how to produce and format a successful post, and probably how to achieve SEO, search engine optimisation, by knowing what keywords and trends to include on your posts to boost their viewing potential, skills that could prove valuable.
Pro 3. Nothing Escapes You
Due to having your finger constantly on the pulse, you’re probably less likely to be fooled by false information online and better at deciphering fake news from real news.
Nothing escapes you where it might escape others, with social media potentially sharpening your judgment and allowing you to formulate opinions, perhaps debating with others, whilst you’re also probably hailed as a social media guru by your friends, always a handy bonus.
Con 1. It Makes Concentrating Harder
Unfortunately, as would be expected, being a social media addict can have significant negative effects, the first being a loss of concentration. The temptation to open your phone and have another scrolling session might be all too tantalising to resist when you’re a social media guru who lives and breathes news feeds.
This means when it comes to sitting down and focusing on a piece of work, for example, you may find yourself struggling to resist the urge and using social media as a method of procrastination, damaging your concentration levels as a result.
Con 2. You’re Liable To Over-Comparison
Constantly staying up to date with posts from other people, known or unknown, means you may be liable to over-comparing yourself with others, whether its appearance, apparent life success, etc.
As a result, social media means you might all too often end up over-thinking, relying on others for self-validation or focusing too hard on resembling others. This can reduce or replace the time spent just focusing on yourself and what’s going on with you, which is arguably time better well spent.
Con 3. It Takes Up More Of Your Time
Going back to the initial stat, social media, of course, will take up more of time that could be spent doing other things that are arguably more beneficial for you.
It leaves less time for you to study or to do something more practical and productive like a form of exercise. Unfortunately, nothing burns away time faster than endless scrolling, messaging and posting on social media.