Social media can revolutionise a business and connect people together. It can also lead to reduced productivity at work and cyber-bullying. There are both good and bad implications of this monumental online platform and this blog post will explain how it’s affected my life for better and for worse.
#1 Connect With People All Over The World
Thanks to social media, global communication has excelled. People can connect with others all over the world regardless of time or place and that’s something I don’t want to live without. We’re only human and hence can’t be in 2 places at once. Even still, social media enables this through features like Facebook Live and by allowing users to upload pictures and videos of their daily life. This means special moments with friends, family or the world in general, are accessible whether you are present at the time or not.
#2 Do New Things
People complain at others being “glued to their phones”. Though I love that we all, quite literally, have the world at our fingertips. For me, I live a basic life and social media has allowed me to make it interesting and meaningful. I now attend events I didn’t know existed and can explore new places. Making the most of life and the things around me has been easier and meant my weekends, more enjoyable.
#3 Voice Your Opinions
By creating an account on networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can post your opinion on pretty much anything for the whole world to see. Besides offensive posts being removed, social media allows people to vent their emotions and discuss everything happening in the world. I love using Twitter as a place to share my opinions. May they be regarding TV shows, news headlines, music and just people in my life in general.
#4 Enabled Me A Career I Love
My working life revolves around everything digital so technically, I’m able to make a living partly from social media. Of course, that’s a great bonus, however, it’s not like without social media I wouldn’t have a job. I’d still be able to find work even if it involved working in a completely different field. (My second career choice would’ve been a teacher). What I’m getting at, is that the online world isn’t my only way of being employed, though it is definitely a job that I love doing. That doesn’t mean I have bad days because I do at least once every 2 weeks.
If only I was born a millionaire…
As well as the positive effects of social media, there are also those that can negatively impact users. Unfortunately, with being subjected to social networks every day both in and outside of work, I’ve experienced quite a few of these.
The main reason I didn’t want to start a blog was that I was afraid of what people would think. I was scared of finding out people were making fun of me “behind my back”. Let’s be honest, there’ll be people out there doing just that and though I’ve come to understand that’s inevitable, I still find it really sad. Thankfully, I’ve grown up a lot since leaving college and have learnt to put myself first. I do what I want to do and refuse to listen to other people being negative to me.
Whether I allow negative comments to affect me or not, it’s true that social media can facilitate cyberbullying and have very serious consequences for users. Disagreements are no longer between a few people. Social media has enabled people anywhere in the world to come together and “hate” on others. I’ve never been cyber-bullied myself but can see how easy it is for users to get involved with it – and how wrong it is.
“People seem to feel bolder and more apt to attack others when hiding behind their screens.” – Social Media Times
Without social media and the internet in general, I wouldn’t have been able to start my blog (downside). Equally, I wouldn’t have to worry that people would judge what I’ve written or what I’m doing (upside). However, that doesn’t mean it’s social media that’s the problem but instead the way in which we use it. Despite authorities attempting to control the negativity on the channel, cyberbullying is real and an ongoing issue we must tackle.
#2 Social Media Is Addictive
“27% of consumers admit they check social networks as soon as they wake up, and 51% continue to log in periodically throughout the day.” – Social Media Today
Constantly checking up on social media can be problematic as this sort of behaviour is academically researched to increase instances of depression. It’s weird that constantly scrolling through Instagram and obsessing over creating “a good feed” can lead to mental health issues. Nonetheless, it’s true.
“One possible mechanism is that people who use many different platforms end up multitasking, such as […] engaging in social media on multiple devices. Studies have found that multitasking is related to poorer attention, cognition and mood.” – Nick Zagorski, Psychiatric News
Even though this is a proven factor, different people can be more or less susceptible to these effects. Social media hasn’t fully affected me in this way, yet with the nature of my job being on this platform, it has some impact. Spending 9 hours swapping between social channels, websites and generally multi-tasking like fuck, takes its toll. I often come home feeling stressed or moody after being at work all day.
Or Is It A Way To Deal With Mental Health?
Whether social media negatively affects your mental health or not, on the contrary, it can be a place for those suffering with it to talk with others in a similar situation. Research shows that by using social media in the right way, it can support people with chronic illnesses and show them they’re not alone. With suffering from anxiety, when I see people tweet about their mental health it helps support me with mine.
#3 A Trigger for Self-Confidence Issues?
This is probably the main reason I dislike social media. I wouldn’t say I’m jealous of the people on Instagram, though Tammy Hembrow does have my dream life. Instead, it’s because there are things I want to change about myself and social media constantly reminds me of that. In some ways that’s great for motivating me to keep exercising, eating healthy, working hard and earning money. However, I feel so down whenever I eat something unhealthy or “waste” money on clothes. It’s my fault for letting it affect me so easily but it’s extremely hard to not be influenced by it.
Furthermore, because a lot of the things I want to change about myself revolve around how I look, with Instagram focusing heavily on people’s physical appearance I agree with surveys showing that Instagram is “contributing to a generation of young people with body image and body confidence issues.” – Royal Society for Public Health
Of course, everyone will have their own opinion on whether social media is good or bad for you. It all depends on how you use social media and what you make of it. With that, make sure to be kind and use social media for the good of yourself and everyone else.