Social Media is one of the greatest and most popular and not to mention most useful inventions of our time. It is a tool where we can see and be seen by others. It is a simple and inexpensive way to connect to others even if they live miles and miles away. It is something you can use to kill time. But as you kill time with it, is it also killing you?
Don’t get me wrong I love social media. I was able to contact my elementary school friends after so many years of not being able to see or speak to them. It has allowed me to reach my friends abroad and it has also helped me fight boredom. I have learned many things from newsites and blogs that I follow on Facebook. I rarely use Twitter but it does give me updates on news and stuff. I’m not really into Instagram because I felt that having too many was too much. But I realized that social media contributes to stress not only to mine but to many other out there.
Social Media and Stress
Stress is something you feel when you are out of your comfort zone or if you are forced to do something or there is a stimulus that you don’t like. Social media has become one of the means to while away time and thus relieves stress for some. On the other hand, there are many cases that social media has brought about stress and anxiety.
1. The Need to Post Something Cool
Social media is an avenue of self advertisement. Before, we wrote in diaries we did not want others to read, but now we wanted the whole world to know about us, to notice us. We want our peers to see us as cool, confident and competent people living fun and fabulous lives. We want to appear to be always happy.
The pressure of needing to post something about yourself can cause you to feel anxiety. Feeling insignificant and less than other people can lower your self esteem. On the other hand, people who post too much may either be depressed, narcissistic or is a cry for attention and love.
When we visit our social media accounts and see our friends traveling abroad and having fun we feel like our lives are just blah. Even though we may not admit it, we feel a constant feeling of needing to compete with others. We feel envious that they are having such a great time while our live are just plain and boring.
Envy causes anxiety and anger. We tend to want things we do not have and force ourselves to work hard or do things we don’t really want or need to appear cool to others.
3. Social Media Eats Our Time
Years ago TV was considered the number one time waster. We sat there letting it tell us things and we just stared at it. But now social media is more interactive. And because it is so, we spend so much time on it. Instead of having hobbies like people once have, we became spectators. We scrolled and scrolled and we forgot the time as we did so. We just killed time. Time that was so precious we just use it to stare at other’s people’ lives instead of living ours.
And the worst part of wasting time on social media is that we don’t even notice we are wasting time on it. It seems so much fun that we feel it is OK to use it on and on.
4. It is Addictive
One of the biggest factors why social media can be harmful is that it is addictive. We love the way it allows us to interact, like, post, share and tweet. It is a way to express yourself. We feel that the more we use it, the more we can’t get away from it. The likes, comments, shares of our posts serve as positive reinforcement for us to use this tool more. We tend to find conversations on the web more fun than the ones in real live and that is why it is harmful.
5. It Affects Our Relationships
Many marriages and families have drifted apart because of social media. Cheating has been known to be done through social media accounts. On the lighter side, people tend to spend more time online rather than spending time with their families and loved ones. Teens tend to ignore their parents because they would rather be on Facebook. Spouses tend to statuses and tweets more than to listen to their partners.
Another issue that social media brings is that it pressures people to have a relationship that they often see online. They get pressured to have the fairy tale sort of relationship. They get frustrated and aggravated that their life is not the one which is perfect. Posting rants about a partner is also a common problem. When you post something bad about your partner it is something written that you can never take back anymore.
How to Live Life with Social Media
Social Media is neither bad nor good. It is up to us on how we make it to be. If we over use it, then it will be bad. If we use it to spread awareness or we use it to communicate but a lot only a specific time to it then it is good.
1. Allot Time to It
Addictions go bad when we deny we are addicted to them and when we don’t know when to stop. Like anything in your life, social media consumes time. If you are a busy person then you should set a limit to how much time you should use it. It really depends on you. But you should know that learning to control your urge to use it all the time can help you balance your priorities
2. Don’t Over Post
You need to know your limits on the things that you post. You should also know how many posts is over posting. I mean you are not a news writer to write everything in there. Don’t share everything you like, that is what the Like button is there for
3. Never Argue Online
If have issues and fights with people, never post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Period.
4. Try to Turn It Off Once in a While
You don’t need to be online all the time. You need to learn to live life and eat your food without taking pictures of it before eating. You need to learn to live and enjoy the moment without thinking if that moment is post worthy. Once in a while go for a day or two without social media. It can really help you.
Less Social Media, Less Stress
So the lesson here, learn to lessen being glued to your phone. You need to go out there and create memories. LIVE (and lessen social media).