Social media affects our lives in a big way. There are undoubtedly some positive effects on those connectd to this virtual medium, at the same time social media is also blamed for adversely affecting our moods and stress levels. Its addiction has created a new social media lifestyle that demands instant validation, and endorsement of our views.
The ease of connectivity around the clock has its side effects. People develop this bad habit of checking their social media feeds almost everywhere – while eating meal, driving to work, during their office meeting, or in the classroom when the teacher is delivering a lecture, or even lying in bed. There are certain areas where this new social media lifestyle has a debilitating effect.
Previously, we used simple texting to get in touch with someone while talking through telephone was the more accepted way to reach out to someone. Now, almost every social media platform offers the messaging service, and that too free of cost. Electronic messaging obviously makes communication faster and easier, but it has its negative aspects too. It is difficult to understand the tone people normally use while texting or posting on social media. Moreover, on platforms such as whatsApp, there is flood of fake news that is often communal, derogatory, and misogynistic in nature. Usually, people without realizing the consequences, forward these messages to multiple users which is very damaging for society.
Many surveys have shown that unlimited use of social media gives rise to stress level, mood swings and poor mental health. There are lots of people who after waking up in the morning first check their feeds in Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. They look for like comments, and also visit their earlier posts to see how others reacted to it. And if they are not happy with the result, they feel obligated to edit their posts to make it more attractive, and acceptable. This creates a sense of insecurity among many who start comparing themselves to others and think, “Am I good enough?” or “Am I pretty enough?”
Social media addiction may cause sleep deprivation that can further lead to insomnia, or depression. We often see young boys, and girls glued to their devices playing video games while travelling in metro, or in the market place, or even while they are eating meal. Such activities give rise to poor concentration, and distraction that affect their studies, and overall performance. They hardly find time for sports, and extracurricular activities, and develop unhealthy eating habits resulting in obesity, and hypertension. According to a report by World Health Organization, the cases of diabetes and lifestyle diseases among youth have been alarmingly growing up.
Social media are a powerful medium. It helps us in getting connectd to people across the world, and inspire to do amazing things. However, its addiction leads to a toxic social media lifestyle that compromises our physical as well as mental wellbeing. Therefore, to make full use of social media, we need to decide how much is too much.