There's a famous saying, "We used to live in the jungle, then we moved to cities and now on the Internet (which primarily comprises of social media)". We destroyed the jungles, cities and now we are degrading the quality of the Internet.
Today, let’s explore the darker side of social media and exactly how is social media affecting youth?
What is the effect of social media on human psychology?
1. Social Media is making you more UNHAPPIER
Experts suggest that one must be aware of the aftermath before signing up for social media. One should be aware of the working of it, that it's a platform where people choose to share whatever they want, and it is no way an accurate representation of a person's life.
The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them. Or the classic, Comparison is the thief of joy.
But since, social media provides such an open platform to express about the things people have and things they believe. So it becomes hard for many to not ignore but rather become a victim of comparison.
Many "Influencers" not just show how good their lives are but involuntarily show how bad others' lives are, which conveys a wrong message to the audience watching them.
Life-saving tip: Nobody has a perfect life as they show on Social Media
2. Social Media is making you more SELF-OBSESSED
Unfortunately, Social Media is no more a way to express but it is also about the 'likes', 'comments' and 'engagement rates'. The situation is so bad and has come down to a level where 'number of likes' does matter to some people. Too many youths, it is a serious matter of concern if they don't have enough followers.
Teenage girls sort through hundreds of photos, agonizing over which ones to post online. Boys compete for attention by trying to out-gross one other, pushing the envelope as much as they can in the already disinhibited atmosphere online.
But, we can't consider them to fool rather victims of social media.
3. Social Media is making you more JUDGEMENTAL
The like button at the end of every post wants us to judge posts, whether it should be liked or not.
We judge people and make some random perception about a person we never met before just by scrolling through their feed. You don't know the truth. Moreover, judging someone should never be your thing.
4. Social Media is teaching us how to NOT be real?
Social Media is not transparent. Behind the scenes are never streamed. Nobody shares their insecurities or talk about their inferiority complexes on social media. People don't do that because they know it's not appealing to others.
Everybody is full of hearts and flowers and so much filled with positivity. #positivevibesonly, Nobody is talking about their failure but achievements only. Nobody posts when they lose a job. Do they?
Tip: It's not so sunshine. Social Media is a delusion in 2020.
5. Social Media take hold of your ability to THINK independently
Peer pressure is alive and well on social media, with adults as well as with teens, and the strange part is that you might not even realize it’s happening. “Social media encourages groups of people connected online to share similar ideas and beliefs”.
It is basic human psychology that suggests people tend to conform to their ‘group’ so that they can fit in and be well-liked. Over time, the values and beliefs shared by a group become more similar and far more important.
This not only disturbs the original and individual's thought but sometimes even results in exaggerated and irrational decision-making because of 'group-thinking'.
This phenomenon can be found in political posts when people end up coming with the idea of 'Leftist and Rightist'.
6. Social Media makes you spend more money
According to Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealthy survey, 49 percent of millennials reported that social media influenced them to overspend on experiences.
You see ads on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok, about various products and then you tend to buy them because everything that's shown in the ads is so appealing and fascinating. You spend more money there.
How is Social Media addictive?
If you can’t imagine your life without social media, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen a victim to the evil power and impact of social networking.
Social media is often described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, with the worst social media apps being Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok when it comes to addiction.
Don’t know if you’re addicted to your social networks? Think when was the last time you went a full day without checking your social media accounts? Do you feel rejected if someone unfollows you? What if your favorite social networks completely disappeared tomorrow; would it make you feel empty and depressed?
Even the founders of social media understand its negative impacts on one’s life. Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, described that these platforms provide users with a dose of dopamine – a naturally occurring and addictive hormone found in the human body.
Mark Zuckerberg, does not have a standard Facebook account instead of handling his account, he has a team of twelve to do that for him.
Steve Jobs never let his kids use the iPad.
How to wisely use Social Media?
All you can do is reduce the usage time. That's all!
But, to be honest. if you are on social media just for fun and entertainment, then leave it. Because there is a massive amount of content already available and there is a lot to come. You will always receive the content.
Until you have some monetary benefits from social media it's time to leave.
But again, it's a personal choice.
Social Media came with the concept of connecting people living apart and make new friends. But, it has been a journey from Instagram being a 'photo-sharing' app to 'posting break-up statuses as the stories'.
Every coin has two faces, but today, in 2020 it is more shifted towards the other side. It has certainly given rise to trolls and haters in every comment box, in the last decade, developing anxiety, depression and lowering of self-esteem in kids.
If you still think it has two faces, think again!
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