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Does social media ruin people’s lives?

Does social media ruin lives? Should we forget about it completely? Is it worth our time? Are we better off? 

These questions are pondering in the hearts of those who use social media, and those who don’t. A lot of parents wish it was never invented, because they feel it has negatively impacted their children. While this may not be the case, it’s safe to say that we cannot hide the fact that social media can be harmful, or better still people who use it have made it to be. 

If you’re here because you’re considering quitting, or wish to know how to use it, or want to know if your kids should be introduced to it, then keep reading. This article will shed light on many areas regarding social media that many don’t talk about. 

Key takeaway 

Social media can have both positive and negative effects on your mental health, but you need to remember that you hold the power at the end of the day. 

Does social media ruin lives?

An animated man feeling sad while watching people on social media

Yes, and no. Why? Because social media doesn’t work by itself but by those who use it. One thing people keep forgetting is, that it doesn’t perform monotonously, if every single person deleted their accounts, and social apps from their phones today, social apps would still exist, at least before the creators themselves shut them down. These social platforms were created with the aim of people connecting, regardless of their location. It was all fascinating to witness when they were first introduced, until it became a toxic environment, not by itself, but by people who were also using them. 

These social platforms have caused people to lose their lives, jobs, mental health, and confidence. Internet bullies, trolls, fake news, lifestyles, rumors, and so much more have thrived, and are still thriving. But who are those behind these events though? PEOPLE. The creators of these apps have put several measures in place to keep their users safe. However, they’re not as effective as they thought it would be. They’re forgetting that you can’t completely control what people do, no matter what settings you put in place, unless a person is completely restricted, they will still find a way to break the rules, or at least bypass them.

What matters is how you decide to protect yourself, you may not be able to control what others do on the app, but, you can – to a large extent control what they do to you. Social apps such as Instagram, have created many ways you can keep yourself and your account safe from toxicity. 

With that said, social media can be a wonderful place to spend some time in, in fact, the benefits are numerous, and we’ll get into that shortly. However, we’re going to understand the unpleasant truth about being on social networks. 

Cons of social media 

1 . Bullying 

I’m almost certain that you may have been bullied at some point on these social platforms. It’s a very unpleasant experience, no one wants to be bullied, but as long as you’re mixing with other people, some uncool things will occur. However, remember that those who bully others in person would also bully people online. These social interactions just make it easier for them, because all they need to do is sit on their phones and type nasty comments. A troll could be busy trolling someone while they’re taking a poo. It’s that simple and horrible, but it is what it is. 

2 . Fake news 

All it takes is a barely charged phone, an internet connection, and some typing to spread lies to others online. No need to stress at all. These social apps have been used to create fake news and propaganda for years. No one knows what to believe anymore. Celebrities have had their fair share of it, such as lies about their career status, relationships, sexual orientation, past experiences, and so on. Some are made by their “fans”, as well as their “ non-supporters”.  Sometimes it’s fake news about the weather, economy, politics, agriculture, and so on. Honestly, it’s quite laughable. But that is what things have come to, and there isn’t much anyone can do about it.

3 .  Beauty standards 

There is always a trending body type or shape, and one that is outdated. Over a century, several body types, facial features, or structures have been praised, and forgotten. This has been happening way before social media, so don’t get it twisted. However, it seems more prominent now, because it is easily accessible to young people, unlike before when things like that were shown in magazines or newspapers. And most kids didn’t bother with things like that. 

However, it’s a different story now. Just go on one social app, and there will be people trying to fit into a certain body type because that’s what seems to be the “it” thing. And then you see young people trying to dress in certain ways, use certain makeup or create certain makeup looks, have a certain lifestyle, and so on. When in reality they should be enjoying their childhood, and building themselves. 

4 . Increased feelings of inadequacy and comparison

You could easily find yourself wishing you had things someone else has on Instagram or TikTok. Maybe it’s how much money you think they have, how big their house seems, how cozy and well-designed their bedroom is, how amazing their relationship with their family is, their good-looking partner, and so on. And you begin to feel bad about not having these things as well, or start to feel like you’re missing out. 

The funny thing is your neighbor could be living very comfortably, or have those nice things you see online, but because you don’t spend time watching your neighbor you wouldn’t know. I mean you could catch a glimpse once in a while, but you’re not sitting to watch their every activity. Unlike scrolling or following people who create these things for others to see. 

Read How To Love Yourself This Year

5 . Distraction 

Social media can be a major source of distraction, leading to a decrease in productivity and inability to focus on tasks.  Endless scrolling notifications and the urge to check updates can disrupt one’s daily routine such as work or study hours. It can be very addictive, which can lead to excessive use and time consumption. Spending too much time on these apps can impact real-life interactions,  eat into your sleep schedule, and affect your overall well-being. 

6 . Physical health effects

Your health can also be at stake. When you’re always on your phone, it can lead to sedentary behaviors. Eye strain, poor posture, disrupted sleep patterns, and decreased physical activity, due to prolonged screen time. 

Pros of social media 

As much as social has negative impacts on people, it also has some positive things to offer. Let’s view them:

1 . Educational resources 

Social media can be a useful tool for people to learn, and share information. These days people and foreign languages teach others, school subjects, arts and crafts, and so much more. Online learning has become a major part of the education system today, now just by following certain accounts you can learn a lot. Children have found it easier to learn subjects like mathematics and English on platforms like YouTube, tech is also being taught by creators on social media. 

Furthermore, people have developed tech skills, and have gotten jobs because of it, without stepping foot in school. Also, others have been able to explore their hobbies and stay informed on current events. Social media can be a valuable source of knowledge. Other skills such as hair-making, baking, cooking, sewing, and painting, are being taught on these social platforms as well. 

2 . Staying connected with friends and family 

With just a single phone call, you can connect with a friend who lives miles away. Video chat and messaging have made it easier for people to communicate with each other. It has provided a convenient way to keep in touch with loved ones, no matter where they are in the world. Through messaging, video calls, and sharing updates, people can maintain relationships and cover distances effortlessly. 

What’s more, romance has also become a part of the equation. Several people have shared stories on how they met their partners on these social apps. 

4 . Connecting with similar interests and communities

Social networks allow us to find, and connect with people who share our passions and interests. Whether it’s joining groups, following pages, or participating in discussions, we can engage with like-minded people, and create a sense of belonging. Most people have been able to find their spark just because it exists. Even people who are suffering from several health conditions, also benefit from these communities, to aid their healing process. 

5 . Money

It’s not news that social media can be a source of revenue for people who have been searching for financial freedom. Anyone can make money online, as there are several things to engage in, that will eventually become profitable. Look at YouTube, for example, they have a program whereby creators can make a living just by making videos. Regardless of the niche you are in, you can make money. Dancers, artists, chefs, vloggers, and so on can earn online, so long they have a crowd. Businesses can leverage social media for marketing, advertising, and reaching potential customers. From promoting products, and services to engaging with clients and building brand awareness, social media is a powerful tool for business growth and entrepreneurship. The benefits are numerous, but this happens to be the most popular!

6 . Sharing important information and raising awareness

As much as others can share fake information, helpful information can be obtained as well. Social media serves as a powerful tool for spreading awareness about significant issues, from global crises to local community events. For example, there was a case of insecurity among drivers working in a certain transportation company. There were cases of passengers mostly female ones, being robbed, sexually assaulted, physically harassed, and injured. The information of these drivers was publicly shared such as their: 

  • Photos 
  • Phone numbers 
  • Names 
  • Skin color 
  • Location 

This was to create awareness for passengers to not allow anyone who fit the description, to pick them up. In addition, it helped the local authorities apprehend some of these criminals. While things like this may be shared on TV, social media helped boost it to a broader audience and helped save lives. 

So, therefore, by sharing information, we can educate others, advocate for causes, and help push for positive changes. 

7 . Organizing events and gatherings

Social media platforms can also enable us to create, and promote events, gatherings, and meet-ups. Whether it’s a birthday party, a charity fundraiser, or a community event, it can help us reach a wider audience and coordinate activities effectively. All you need is to run paid ads regarding the event you’re planning, and watch interested people get their tickets, sign up, and show up!

8 . Entertainment 

Comedy, music, film, and so on can be enjoyed on these social apps. Anyone can watch some of their favorite shows or movies on these apps. Also, for a good laugh, comedy awaits you there as well! Several people have taken it upon themselves to create content for your entertainment. 

Furthermore, it’s a space for promoting creativity and self-expression. From sharing art, music, writing, or photography to expressing thoughts and ideas, social networks provide a canvas for creativity. Whether it’s creating visual content, writing captions, or sharing stories, we can express ourselves authentically and showcase our unique talents. And entertain others in the process!

9 . Fostering global communication and cultural exchange

Social media transcends geographical boundaries, allowing us to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Imagine meeting someone from China in your living room. 

How amazing is that? 

Through interactions, conversations, and shared experiences, we can learn about different perspectives, traditions, and lifestyles, which helps foster a sense of unity and understanding. 

Summary

Social media can either make your life better, or worse, what matters is how you view and use it. You can either benefit from it or not. You can choose what you want to see and feel. Always remember that the power rests in your hands. 

12 Hidden tips people don’t tell you about using social media positively

  •  Don’t take things personally 
  • Pay attention to what you consume or produce there.
  • Don’t go there if you haven’t done the necessary things for the day.
  • Set a timer on how long you go there, whether you’re a creator or consumer.
  • Create at least a day, where you don’t go online unless an emergency. 
  • Call your loved ones on direct calls, or chat with them via SMS, instead of going online to call or text. 
  • Understand that you don’t know what goes on behind the camera.
  • You see what they choose to let you see.
  • If you’re a creator, don’t pay much attention to bullies, keep doing what you do.
  • Question things you see there.
  • Follow at least one health account (you can follow us on instagram! @ (medspursuk). 
  • Don’t always rely on it for entertainment. 

You should quit social media if the following things are happening.

Quit or at least temporarily deactivate your social media accounts if the following things are happening:

  • Depression 
  • Fear of missing out ( FOMO)
  • Financial crisis 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Health issues 
  • Problems in your romantic relationship
  • Family disputes or drama
  • Obsession with showing others what you are up to. 
  • Always checking what others post

This may seem like a dramatic decision, but it isn’t. People believe that seeking social media to help them during a bad time, is a good idea.  Hunny, it isn’t. When you’re unhappy due to life circumstances, it’s best to detach yourself from the online world and spend each day focusing on healing. 

It can be difficult watching someone flex their weekend by flying out or going on a shopping spree when you’re financially drained and emotionally unstable. You will unintentionally feel worse, than you already do, so why add salt to your injury? Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, take some time off and enjoy things around you. 

In addition, if you notice that you’re becoming too attached to coming online and viewing posts, scrolling, and so on, you need to leave for a little while. Remember that a world is happening around you, and you must feel and experience it. Scrolling mindlessly through the internet can affect your ability to practice mindfulness during the day. 

Take away 

Social media isn’t some evil thing humanity has created, however it can be used to harm others. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of the time spent on it and to prioritize self-care. Taking breaks, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones, can help maintain a healthy balance. Remember, your well-being is important, so take care of yourself both online and offline!

Lest we forget, always remember that IT- IS- NOT- THAT- DEEP.

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