We live in a time of great innovation: the fastest internet connection speeds alongside gadgets loaded with features that have made our lives much, much easier.
Social media is one great by product of technology. It helps families communicate even when they live oceans apart or a few continents away from each other. Finding long lost friends and renewing precious old connections are possible. Social channels, too, serve as a repository of all the moments and memories we’ve experienced—like a convenient online memory box. Social campaigns find it easier to gain access to the audience. It generally took communication to a new level of convenience.
Of course, as with all things that exist in this world, there’s always the good with the bad. Let’s take a deeper look at the bad effects and psychological dangers social media poses and examine some of the solutions we can take:
Danger#1: Social media makes us insecure, envious and jealous.
Envy is a trait many of us share. It’s considered a normal reaction to desire what other people have. But envy and jealousy are almost always never good for our soul. With friends posting their weddings, toned bodies, latest gadget buys or gold medals, some of us might experience that sense of insecurity that makes us ask ourselves: Why am I not doing that? Why don’t I have those?
Solution: Stop comparing ourselves with others.
When we compare ourselves with others, we’ll only see what makes us different. The sooner we accept there’s absolutely no one like us in the world—that we’re unique—the more we’ll become aware of our own capacities. We must understand that we’re on different paths, and whether others have the best house or the latest car, we’re on our own trail where there are also lots of different gifts we can enjoy. We just have to stop being insecure.
Danger #2: It encourages laziness.
One of the guilty pleasures that social media channels offer is the ability to entertain. While it’s not entirely bad, abuse of it can mess up with our schedules. We might find ourselves spending hours on end browsing through news feeds, clicking links to viral videos, and laughing at memes. Before we know it, we’ve whiled away the entire day on nothing.
As with all forms of pleasure, we have to learn how to enjoy it in moderation because the ravens outside the window won’t feed us and the dishes in the sink won’t wash themselves.
Set a schedule and follow it. When we’ve allotted time for several tasks, we must make sure to commit to finishing all of those tasks—within the given timeframe. The same idea applies to when we want to spend time doing whatever it is we enjoy doing on social media channels.We could even try writing a blog or researching on a new hobby, like bowling or gardening for the best use of our time.
Danger #3: Peer pressure.
We’re not kidsanymore, but—admit it—for many of us, once we’ve posted content on our social media accounts, we eagerly wait for a like, a comment or a share. We seek validation about what we do and the more likes we get, the more we feel affirmed. This kind of behavior is unhealthy, though.
Solution: Focus on things that matter.
Seeking validation on social media channels isn’t the same as striving for excellence. Getting likes and comments won’t prove we’re a better person than others. We should get over this fact immediately— instead of pacing and waiting for attention on the Internet. It’s better to use our fast internet connection for useful things or for things we love, for what makes us happy.
Danger #4: Being Anti-Social.
We see this a lot—people who’d rather stay in front of their computers than experience the outside world. While it’s fun to sit and interact with other people within the safe confines of our rooms, it might not do so much to build or improve our emotional intelligence. It may also take away most of our chances to experience life to the fullest.
Solution: Give ourselves a break.
We could start putting our smartphones down when having dinner with our friends because nothing beats actual, real conversations. Let’s unplug ourselves and see what the real world has to offer. We might just surprise ourselves.