How Social Media Affects Society – In today’s age, it is clear that people have become extremely dependent on technology and more specifically social media. It is estimated that 77% of the US population is the owner of at least one social media account (UMI). While social media has its benefits, it also has many negative effects on users. People have become completely disconnected from society and social media can easily be blamed for this. These sites continue to become more and more relevant to people of all ages, which has a direct correlation to an increase in self-esteem issues and a disconnect between people and their peers.
Without a doubt, we’re all guilty of jumping at the chance to post our favorite memories and happiest experiences while aimlessly scrolling through other people’s videos and photos. We are bound to want to reveal the happiest parts of our lives, as it sets up a positive image of ourselves that we have the power to create in our own hands. We can infer that this obsession often comes from comparing other social media personalities to our own. The Child Mind Institute describes through the eyes of a teenager how looking at your friends’ feeds can sometimes make you feel like everyone’s got it together but you (Social Media And Self Doubt; Rae Jacobson). However, this raises the question of whether our social media accounts are truly an accurate representation of our daily lives. Ultimately, this new power we possess can easily be seen as a positive feature of social media, when in fact it has many negative consequences.
How Social Media Affects Society
When we gain the power to change the way we look at our lives from a realistic standpoint to an ideological one, it creates a sense of competition. With thousands of photo filters and hundreds of editing apps, we have the ability to erase our flaws almost instantly and create a better image of ourselves that conforms to society’s standards. Scrolling through posts by highly edited Instagram models and celebrities can take a huge toll on a person’s confidence and insecurities. The Child Mind Institute states: “Teenagers who have created idealized online personas may feel frustrated and depressed by the gap between who
Solution: The Effects Of Social Media On Society
Pretend to be online and who they really are” (Social Media and Self Doubt; Rae Jacobson). Whether we choose to ignore it or not, social media has managed to develop even more unrealistic beauty standards into the minds of its users.
Recently, many popular brands and celebrities have created campaigns to advocate natural beauty with unedited and unfiltered images. While this is a strongly supported attempt to reduce these standards, it does not take away from the main idea that people will always have the ability to change their
Life as long as social media is relevant. The real problem with this ability is the idea that people create a false image of themselves that they can live by online, but not realistically.
When you have the ability to completely separate yourself from your real life, it is inevitable that you may develop some type of social problems. 65% of individuals have already admitted to feeling uncomfortable or uneasy without access to their social media profiles (UMI), which has proven to be a major problem. In this age, in any public place, you will eventually find one thing in common with the whole crowd, which is the overwhelming obsession people have with their cell phones. This obsession with checking how many likes you got on your latest post or how many favorites you received on your latest tweet has completely disconnected individuals from real life human interaction. Larissa May, founder of social media platform #halfthestory, which encourages people to exist outside of their social media site, explains: “”Research has found that technology addiction is similar to any other type of addiction. The rush and excitement you feel after posting a photo is a neurochemical known as dopamine” (Forbes: Eldor). Because social sites are now a major source of dopamine, using social media technically has the potential to become an actual addiction in people’s lives thereby creating a sense of belonging through likes, shares and notifications.As a result of this addiction, we have developed the mindset of questioning why social interaction is important if we can have our own separate online lives through the presence of social Media.
Effects Of Social Media On A Student’s Life
While you can argue that through technology, conversational and social skills are less relevant and not as necessary, this thinking has caused major backlash for people all over the world. Social anxiety disorder or SAD has proven to be extremely important in today’s society. SAD affects fifteen million adults or 6.8% of the US population (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), but the symptoms of this disorder usually begin at the age of thirteen. While we cannot entirely blame social media as the source of this problem, it is important that we recognize that it can easily contribute to the rapid decline in social skills among the population. As we continue to post, snap and tweet every moment, we are slowly isolating ourselves from every conversation and interaction in real life. If we continue to ignore these facts, we allow future generations to completely remove themselves from human interaction.
Our addiction to social media has become unhealthy for our mental health; whether it increases our insecurities or decreases our social skills, which is altogether another problem in itself. It is easy to conclude that self-confidence is a quality that many individuals in this society lack.
Although self-confidence is not the easiest quality to achieve, the negative consequences of social media make it much more challenging. When we spend hours a day comparing ourselves to the online profiles of our peers and ignoring our real-life companions, our ability to achieve this quality diminishes while we remain distracted. Without confidence, teenagers and adults alike lack the skills needed for any professional face-to-face interview. Whatever path a person chooses to take in life, somewhere along the way it is inevitable that you will have to introduce yourself in a social situation. Whether it’s a college interview, job interview, etc. without confidence you will never stand out from other candidates.
When we spend most of the day with our eyes glued to our social media accounts, we deny ourselves the opportunity to practice holding conversations and the skills needed to do so. For example, when we are young, one of the first norms we learn about conversation is to maintain eye contact when talking to someone. Because we’re so used to checking our phones every second, in an actual conversation it’s hard for many to maintain eye contact as they look down at their phones and fight to avoid the urge to be distracted. Although this is only one small aspect of communication skills, it is undeniable that it has a huge effect on those directly involved in the conversation. Those who cannot maintain eye contact without being distracted by their phones can give off the message that they are not interested in the conversation, which can be extremely negative in a professional situation. All of this is linked to the lack of confidence we suffer with the help of social media, as we deny ourselves the opportunity to be seen in a professional manner.
Influence Of Social Media On Modern Society
The easiest way to prevent yourself from falling into the category of those negatively affected by social media is to take breaks from social media as often as possible. Deleting the apps, turning off the phone and putting it away is so simple, yet so influential to our mental health. Jacob Barkley, a psychology professor at Kent State University, explains that “taking a break from technology can help some people reduce their anxiety” (Self: Lanquist). Without the ability to immediately communicate with others, we lower our stress levels and improve our overall mentality.
To summarize, we live in a society where people prefer to send a text or post a picture to catch up with their friends instead of having an actual conversation, and it’s time to realize that this is not okay. If we continue to allow these habits to develop and grow as generations go by, we’re going to see an even bigger impact than we already have. There is complete loss of human connection in real life. While social media has its benefits and can be an entertaining way to keep in touch with friends far away, we need to take time to enjoy the world and people around us, as real relationships should be valued much more than our online followers and friends.
Williams, Brett. “There are now over 3 billion social media users in the world – about 40 percent of the global population.”
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