Very few will refute the claim that social media is, indeed, one of the most influential phenomena of the 21st century. We say this with so much confidence knowing that approximately half of the global population, roundabout four billion people, are users of the phenomenon. Something even more striking is the amount of time the average user spends on the platform – two hours. In the case that we take out a couple of hours for commuting and getting ready, eight hours each for work and sleep, and an hour for preparing and eating food, we immediately find that we spend almost half of our lives on social media.
Upon a phenomenon influencing our lives to such a huge extent, opinions are bound to be floated upon the phenomenon. The same is the case with social media. On one hand, people like to discuss if social platforms will remain free for generations to come; on the flip side, others try to decipher how effective social media marketing is in boosting one’s business. Another section of social media users likes to debate the impact social media has made on the human race. If you belong to the group that we mentioned third, you are lucky to have landed on this page! We express this with this much certainty as we have the knowledge that this article will be detailing all the negative effects of social platforms on our species.
Before we delve into the list itself, there is something we believe we have to clarify. We are not arguing for you to stop engaging with the world and stop subscribing to Comcast internet or whichever connection you pay for; all we are trying to establish is that it is a good idea for you to exercise caution against using social media too much.
Dearth Of In-Person Interactions
If we are spending half of our free time on social media, something has to be taken out of our schedule to make way for our social media usage. Turns out that most of us start to deprioritize in-person interactions for virtual interactions on social platforms. This is detrimental as we are social animals who need those kinds of in-person meet-ups. In fact, there is research showing that a single hug can drastically reduce the chances of you having depressive or anxious thoughts. After all, these kinds of interactions give us the sense of security that comes from the feeling of belonging to a certain group.
Lack Of Sports
Although social media was formed for adults, it is widely being used by kids as well. In fact, kids may very well constitute the section of the population that uses social media the most. This means that the time they should be spending on sports, they spend it looking at newsfeeds. The lack of sports in their lives does not only impact the kids’ physical fitness; it also takes a toll on their mental health as the health of the body is related to the health of the brain.
Playing sports also teaches our young ones a valuable lesson on healthy competition. It has taught us how to get back after facing a setback and how to gracefully accept defeat. It comes as no surprise that lack of sports due to excessive use of social media has also resulted in school-going kids not feeling motivated enough to excel in classes.
Loss Of Sleep
Research says that teenagers who use social media more are more likely to be sleeping for lesser hours. And that makes all the sense in the world. The light our phones emit gives our minds the false impression that it is not time to sleep yet. Thus, even if you go to bed at eleven, if you are scrolling through Facebook, you will not be able to go to sleep for hours. Sleep deprivation has disastrous effects on a child’s development, academic prowess, and mood.
Privacy is another thing social media has taken away from us. Not only do we voluntarily, without thinking, let others know what we are up to all the time through social media stories and About Me profile pages but our data is also used without our permission. A case in point would be the Cambridge Analytica scandal of last year. Sensitive data related to polling was leaked from the largest social platform in the world – Facebook.
The lesson to be learned here is to be very vigilant in making sure that social media is benefitting us and not hurting us.
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