The Double Edged Sword of Social Media

Posted on: Friday, December 15, 2017

Social Media has developed astronomically over the years since Facebook was first available to the public. The continuous debate that is often brought up nowadays attempts to determine whether spending all this time interacting ‘socially’ yet over the interest has done us more good or bad as a society. There are various studies that point towards both the benefits that have come from social media, in the form of relationships, business development and e-commerce, as well as education and learning. However, other studies show increased levels of depression, perfectionist desires, anxiety, and loneliness.

Another issue relating to social media is that some people just haven’t quite figured out how to use it, whether for personal or business use. There are many different types of people on social media, and there are definite “do’s” and “don’ts”.

How do you use social media? Is it something that you log on to to perform an action – such as uploading a photo, making a post, messaging a friend, or looking up information on a page? Or, is it merely a tool you use to scroll through pages and pages of updates and ads, look at what your friends and/or acquaintances have been up to lately? If you are using social media out of boredom, or a form of procrastination, this can be labelled as passive social media-ing. The opposite, as mentioned earlier, would be known as active use of social media, where you use it for a purpose.

Why do you use social media? Some may recall when they first signed up for a Facebook or MySpace account – what was the purpose? Maybe it was to fit in, to hop on the bandwagon and join the conversation that was everywhere, or maybe it was just out of curiosity. There is no question that we can use the technology to do an immense amount! Do you have a business that you keep updated through social media? Do you use it to keep active with old friends or family in different locations? Maybe you use it to find work or promote work! Unfortunately, there is a huge portion of the population who falls into the category where using social media has become about comparing themselves to others – lifestyle, looks, success, careers, etc. When only the best moments of one’s life are displayed to the public, it hides all other aspects of them and creates an image of perfection.

Next time you are feeling trapped by the endless scrolling possible on your preferred social media platform, take a moment to put down your smartphone and examine the relationships around you, and what you are still capable of doing without the help of social media.

 


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