The social media revolution we faced several years ago made it easier than ever before to stay in touch with friends and family. We can easily share photos, interesting or funny links as well as communicate with our friends and loved ones. But what happens when these possibilities take us too far and start taking over our lives?
Social media websites are as helpful as much as they are harmful, so let’s take a look at some of the most predominant problems we are currently facing with social platforms.
#1. Decreased Sociability
Social media is known for its ability to connect people from different countries or even continents. What it also does is alienate people from each other when it comes to personal interaction. The more you rely on social media for your communication and conversations, the less you will be able to hold your own face to face.
This is due to the fact that you are more used to typing and planning your words as opposed to improvising a conversation. Studies have shown that people who use social media often are far more introverted and reserved than those who prefer more traditional means of communication.
Try to find a healthy balance of using Facebook or Twitter to communicate only up to a point where a meeting is set up or a school or work break is over. Relying too much on social media will have long-term effects on the way you interact with the world around you and decrease your social skills to a bare minimum.
#2. Lowered Concentration and Productivity
We often have trouble staying focused at school or during our shift. Some mundane task will always rear its head and we tend to check our social media feeds in those moments to liven things up a little. This is a bad thing to do when it comes to staying productive during your working hours.
Using Facebook or similar platforms during times that require maximum concentration will set you down a path of procrastination. There will always be just one more photo to see or just one more news article to read. Before you know it, you have lost almost an hour of your precious time to social media.
As sinister as it sounds, they are actually designed to keep us engaged for as long as possible, which is something very few people can resist. Social media have cost people countless hours and dollars of precious productivity which is truly one of the biggest problems that these platforms created.
#3. Loss of Family Time
The saddest part of introducing social media to our everyday lives is the fact that the entire family is in on it. Parents check their Facebook pages for interesting news while the children post selfies and funny content on their pages, all while sitting at the dinner table together.
The loss of family interaction is one of the worst parts of implementing social media to such a huge extent. Creating house rules that revolve around not using social media while the family is talking or eating together is an essential part of keeping a family together in today’s age.
If proper action isn’t taken early on, you could risk alienating your family members from each other just because there is interesting content on their smartphones or computers. Social media does provide a sense of connection when you are far away from each other, but staying close together and still using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a very alarming problem that needs to be addressed.
#4. Increased Stress & Anxiety
Your news feed will always be full of fresh content that just begs to be seen. You are probably familiar with the alarming noises that your phone makes anytime something interesting happens online. These noises can distract us in a matter of moments and cause stress and anxiety in the long run. While some people who work when they slack off, many working people don’t have that opportunity.
Avoiding stress while working, studying or doing housework is essential if you want to keep calm and focused on what you are doing. Long-term anxiety is not something to joke about, and social media can cause it in a matter of days if you let it control your life. Turn off any and all notifications coming from social media and limit their use to a necessary minimum.
#5. Worsened Self-Expression Skills
Typing out messages on Facebook or Instagram usually involves the use of hashtags and short slang words that are common on the internet. Twitter is the most famous example of this with their 140 character limit per message. But what does this do to our self-expression skills and writing abilities?
Young people who use Facebook are constantly facing troubles when it comes to actually writing school papers or submitting official paperwork because of this habit. Youngsters are not the only ones to blame however, since indulging in bad grammar and shortened words on social media is something we can all identify with. It’s simply “not popular” to write grammatically correct, and this proves troublesome for many who use social media on a daily basis.
#6. Exchanging Reality for the Internet
Possibly the worst problem that comes out of using social media frequently is the fact that we are slowly losing sight of reality. Social media news feeds are becoming more interesting than what is going on around us, often making us check our phones whenever we are sad or lonely.
This is a huge social issue that no one talks about because of how obvious it is. While the movie “Matrix” had an idea about where our society is heading in the late ’90, this scenario is becoming more and more real. The best thing we can do is to limit our use of social media and never let them take over our lives and spare time.
There is enough stress at work and college for us to get tired each day without staring at the screen afterwards. Live in the moment and in reality as much as you can – time flies faster than you might think.
The problems of social media can easily be avoided by not using social media at all – but what does that mean for us as individuals? All of our friends and coworkers are online, all the events and meeting we want to attend are managed through social media and people won’t know we exist if we don’t have online profiles.
This is a very delicate matter that requires a perfect balance of staying in reality but still using social media in very minimal intervals. Use your best judgment and make sure that you are satisfied with the way you live. No one can make that choice for you.