If you can’t imagine living without social media, then you could be a victim to the power social media sites have. You’ve probably also experienced the negative side effects of social media.
The bad effects of social media are all too real for a lot of people. Let’s talk about the negative impacts social media can have on us.
How Is Social Media Bad?
You might be surprised to learn that social media can affect you negatively. They can change your point of view of life. While social media may have positive, and there are definitely positive social media stories.
Don’t believe me? Continue reading for a list of the negative effects of social media. If you recognize any of them as issues in your own life, it may be time to reduce or even discontinue your use of social media.
Do you spend a significant amount of time per day on social media? Spending too much time on social networking sites may have a negative impact on your mood. Indeed, chronic social users are more likely to report poor mental health, including anxiety and depression symptoms.
It doesn’t take much thought to recognize why. Social media allows you to see the carefully selected best parts of other people’s lives, which you can then contrast with the negatives in your own. Comparing yourself to others is a sure way to cause anxiety and unhappiness, and social media has made it much easier to do so.
So, how do you use social media without causing yourself mental distress? According to the same study, the recommended amount of time you should spend on social media is about half an hour per day. As with many other potential ills in life, moderation is key.
If you’re upset after a social media session, think about the networks you use and the people you follow. Reading political arguments and doomsday news is much more likely to make you feel anxious than seeing fun updates from your favorite musicians or photos of your friends’ pets.
Bullying was only possible in person before the rise of social media. People can now bully others online, whether anonymously or not. Everyone nowadays understands what cyberbullying is, and most of us have witnessed what it can do to a person.
Since social media makes it easier to meet new people and make friends, it also allows cruel people to easily tear into others. Bullying perpetrators can use the anonymity provided by (a few) social networks to gain people’s trust before terrorizing them in front of their peers. For example, they may create a fake profile and appear friendly to a classmate, only to betray and embarrass them online later.
These online attacks frequently leave deep psychological scars and, in some cases, drive people to harm themselves or take their own lives. And, as it turns out, online abuse isn’t limited to children. Adults can also become victims of online abuse. Because screens conceal our faces, you may unintentionally become a jerk on social media and other websites.
3. Fear Of Missing Out
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a concept that emerged concurrently with the rise of social media. It’s not surprising that it’s one of the most common negative effects of social media on society.
FOMO is exactly what it sounds like: a type of anxiety caused by the fear of missing out on a positive experience that someone else is having. For example, you might constantly check your messages to see if anyone has invited you out, or you might spend all day scrolling through your Instagram feed to ensure that no one is doing anything cool without you.
You might also see pictures of something fun that your friends were able to do and feel left out because you couldn’t go because of another commitment.
What you see on social media constantly feeds this fear. With increased social network use, you’re more likely to notice that someone is having more fun than you are right now. That is precisely what causes FOMO.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
As most individuals are probably aware, social media instills in us unrealistic expectations of life and friendship.
Most social media platforms suffer from a severe lack of online authenticity. People use Snapchat to share their exciting adventures, Facebook is used to post about how much they love their significant other, and Instagram is used to load up with heavily staged photos.
In reality, you have no way of knowing if this is all a ruse. While it appears to be positive on the surface, that person could be deeply in debt, estranged from their significant other, or simply desperate for Instagram likes as a form of validation.
One simple solution is for everyone to stop lying on social media. But, in the age of Instagram influencers and YouTubers who make millions by being fake, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Remember a crucial adage: you should not compare the highlights of your life to those of others.