Negative Effects of Social Media & Social Media Detox
Negative Effects of Social Media: Before beginning today’s topic I would like to ask a question to you people. The answer to it is something which you need to give to yourself.
Do you ever feel bored and don’t know what to do?
It is said that if you are feeling bored, that’s essential because you can’t sit alone or you don’t enjoy your company. You are always in a need of someone or something that will keep you occupied. Most of us resort to our mobile phones thinking of them as our saviours.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal
Social media is a thing that has become a very important part of our life. During this quarantine period sitting at home, idle, not doing anything has made us a slave and dependent on these gadgets.
Hence today my topic is about the Negative Effects of Social Media and Best Social Media Detox Tips
Social media today with its multiple features have enchanted us into its magic. Today no one is safe from the charm that it has cast on us. Whether it be entertainment or connecting with our nears and dears social media has it all.
Social media provides us with a platform to share everything. From our pictures to the most important events that were only a concern for our relatives is now an event for everyone. Whether it be heartbreaks or some happy event, we have a buffet of emotions to choose from and even we can add to the provided menu.
Whenever we skim and scroll through our news feeds a spectrum of emotions arises.
The buffet that will be presented to you will serve your emotions. They will have the power to bring you joy, new insights, and thoughtful moments. It can make you feel less alone, can cause envy, self-criticism, sadness, and even disillusionment or distrust.
As we all know that every coin has two sides, one bad and one good. It’s upon us, we should be the ones who should know that when the ride becomes bumpy we need to get down from it.
We have been using social media for very long and due to the voracious use of these sites, we are aware of the benefits. But what we are not aware of is the mess that it has created in our lives. So let’s move to the next section of our article.
That is ….
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
It is believed that one of the major reasons for depression and loneliness is social media.
According to social media, computer-generated conversations may lead to an altered impression of the physical and personality traits of the other person.
Secondly on social media people tend to show a brighter picture of their life. When we are not able to live that life we get depressed.
The ones who even put forth their negative side makes the scene so unbearable that again leads to depression.
There can be many more reasons for depression I stated a few the rest is for you to find.
As I said earlier we have become slaves to these gadgets. Even if we try our best to stay away, there will be a situation where you will need those. With the indulgence of smartphones in our lives, we have forgotten the true meaning of face to face conversation.
It is not at all hard to find a view where you will say a group of people sitting together out on a sunny day but, instead of talking to each other, you will find them busy with their phones. Instead of enjoying the food the real talk they’ll be busy checking the likes and views that they got after uploading the pictures of that day.
“Over-reliance on technology has led to an impoverishment of social skills, leaving individuals unable to engage in meaningful conversations because such skills are being sacrificed for constant connection, resulting in short-term attention and a decreased ability to retain information.” (Kuss and Griffiths 2017)
3. Distortion of reality
The rigorous use of social media can jeopardize our perception of reality. As I mentioned above people tend to put up the brighter side of their lives. Some even fake it because that’s what makes them money. While we, sitting at our places with lower self esteems let ourselves get indulged in their lies.
This creates a sense of ‘social comparison’ in us.
“Social media can trigger social comparison on several levels, creating an impression that someone else’s life is better and more meaningful than our own“.
Instead of knowing the reality and making others aware of how these apps are not only decreasing our self-esteem but also earning from it. We fell prey to them.
So, I guess it is not a surprise that these apps lower our self-esteem by design. We see content from the most popular people first, and we assume that we should be equal and that’s where everything goes wrong.
4. Addiction to social media
Addiction simply means unable to stop doing or stop using something, especially something harmful. The voracious use of social media has curated itself a place in the list of harmful things that we have clung ourselves to.
According to a study
“For a small minority of individuals, their use of social networking sites may become the single most important activity that they engage in”.
Apps are made in such a way that encourages behavioral addiction with the use of intermittent positive reinforcement and the drive for social approval. We get hooked on positive feedback and the never-ending rewards that keep us coming back for more.
Hence these apps are designed in such a way that they keep us stuck and occupied for like ever.
5. Sleep disorders
I was a person who used to believe that we can trick ourselves to sleep by scrolling through Instagram and Facebook feed. However, whenever I used to spend time with my phone before sleeping, I realized that my sleep time got way disturbed. I remained awake for longer hours than usual.
According to the scientists if we spend time with social media right before falling asleep further aggravates the situation. It “displaces sleep” by keeping you awake for longer and it also “promotes emotional, cognitive, and physiological arousal.”
The worst thing that social media can do to us is to provide us either wrong or exaggerated or half information about a topic. During these years we have developed the habit of checking the news on social media rather than from trusted sites or ways. We forget that social media is a place where most people display false, half, or wrong information.
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”
Similarly, if we react by being reliant on those we may end up in big trouble.
5 TIPS TO ACHIEVE SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX
I hope that I was able to make you understand the harms that social media can cause us. Now I would like to. suggest some ways through which you can achieve this milestone.
The first and foremost thing is that you need to believe in the necessity of doing a social media detox. Once you will understand and realize its need then the rest will be easy for you.
2. Limit your time on social media
Do this point in steps. As it will be very difficult for any person to remove an addiction within seconds.
For example, if you are spending two hours normally then decrease it to one and a half hours first and then slowly reach the no-use stage.
3. Indulge yourself in other things.
We as a person have a lot of talent hidden inside us. This talent and the qualities that we have to remain hidden because we don’t have the time to discover them. Hence, we should try to challenge ourselves daily. Find something new within us daily. Or, we can also indulge ourselves in activities like cooking, reading, gardening etc.
4. Unfollow Influencers from your social media account
If possible unfollow all the influencers. Because as I mentioned above they play with our self-esteem and earn from it. Hence, considering your mental health first does unfollow them.
5. Learn to be alone.
I know spending time alone is very difficult. It might lead us to those dark chambers which we tried to shut down. But don’t you think once we get into those and clean them up then we won’t have anything to worry about. Hence try to spend more time with yourself. Try to know yourself. Try to face your fears, insecurities so that they can’t make you weak.
I would like to conclude by telling my own experience. When this lockdown began, I promised myself that I will maintain a suitable distance from these sites. I’ll try my best to spend more time, searching for my talents and polishing the ones which I knew. As a result, not only was I happy and content but I got ample time to be with myself, my loved ones. Hence I would strongly recommend that every person should give a break to this habit and try to discover yourself.
A Movie “The Social Dilemma” explores the rise of social media and the damage it has caused to society.