Social media has become a part of our lives, so much so that about 40% of the world’s population lives its life on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. We update our every big and small achievement, share our fears and sorrows, our likes and dislikes, argue on topics that are important or not important at all, post pictures of what we are eating, where we are going and what we are wearing. Truth be told, we as a society register our presence more in this virtual world than the real one.
How social media is a toxic mirror:
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, you name it and there are plenty of places where people have the scope to literally put their life out there and compare theirs with everyone else's. There is so much undue pressure, that it often starts affecting relationships and your health.
We are in a constant rut of getting likes and views on social media. That is all that we look forward to. We really are not bothered about anything else in life. We do not value real relationships, but it is the toxic, virtual world is what we fancy. Posting a selfie, keeping up with the streaks on Snapchat, is that all that we genuinely care about now?
Most of us end up struggling with understanding the true essence of beauty. It is not about having eyebrows on fleek or flaunting those abs. It is about feeling comfortable and confident in your skin. Social media is that toxic mirror where you are always trying to look at a version of yourself that meets the standards defined by social media, and not letting you accept who you are.
No doubt, social media has made this world a smaller place. We get to connect with people from around the world with few clicks. It has helped in bringing people together to join hands and stand together against many social evils. Social media has not only helped the business world to reach customers but has also helped people in getting exposure and reaching out to people who could inspire them to chase their dreams and shape up their future. However, like every coin that has two sides, social media, too, has its own pros and cons and sadly, it has done more harm to the society than good.
Let’s have a look at some of the negative effects of social media on society:
The World Is More Depressed Today; All Thanks To Social Media:
Studies have proved that people who spend more than two hours scrolling down social networking sites are at a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression and mood swings. In fact, the same studies suggest that if you want to maintain your emotional and mental health, you should limit your screen time to half an hour in a day. Higher And Unrealistic Expectations:
One thing that this virtual world of social media platforms totally lacks is authenticity. In this world of photoshopped images and filtered lives, you will never get to see the real picture of the world. Whether its the celebrities or the common man, we all sell lies here to get our share of fame, fan following, appreciation, and likes. These platforms have portrayed an unrealistic picture of life, relationships, and friendships. People expect a lot from everything and everyone, and these high and impractical expectations lead to dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression.
Constant Comparision And FOMO:
Facebook and other social networking platforms introduced the world to the new phenomenon called FOMO or fear of missing out. Our social media newsfeed fuels this fear where we think that we are missing out on the positive experiences of life while others are enjoying it to the fullest as they are traveling, eating out, watching movies, wearing expensive clothes or are laughing and smiling in their shared pictures. The moment we see these images, we start comparing our lives with others and feel that we also need to have that experience to feel happy.
Negative Body Image:
Social media platforms especially Instagram, have made people more and more unsure, insecure and unhappy about the body that they own. Every minute, they see a new image of a celebrity who owns a perfect body and flaunts expensive designer clothes. The followers who idolize these celebrities, can’t help but compare themselves with these celebrities without thinking that looking good is their profession. This blind celebrity following has led to negative body image, cyberbullying and body shaming that has led to severe consequences like suicides
Unhealthy Disturbed Sleep Patterns:
Other than depression and anxiety, disturbed and unhealthy sleep patterns are also a negative effect of social media. People spend too much time on these social media platforms while chatting, stalking or just scrolling down the neverending news feed. This sleep deprivation not only decreases our productivity but also increases the risk of anxiety and depression.
We all know that social media brings both good and bad to our lives, as an individual it is our responsibility to know where to draw the line.