Social Media: Does the good outweigh the bad?

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at 11:16 PM

If you try to imagine a world without your smart phone and social media, it’s probably pretty hard. For most people, the use of social media has become such a regular part of our everyday routines. And although it certainly has its perks, it can also be harmful for our overall mental state and well being.  

For starters, let’s first break down why social media is so satisfying and entertaining.  From a biological standpoint, human beings rely on human connection and the feeling of being involved in the world, (the thought of feeling or being alone is, of course, not pleasant). Also, we are all probably at least a little guilty of being rather nosy. 

So, the simplicity of just being able to connect with anyone from anywhere, right at your fingertips, is ideal in satisfying that lonely feeling, or even that inkling of nosiness we all feel from time to time. And let’s not forget, it certainly takes away that needed energy of socialization, because there is no face-to-face contact or even the need to leave your couch when using any social media platform.

As for anything though, too much can lead to addiction and false perceptions.  The ability to compare ourselves to others has now become easier than ever, as people only tend to post the highlights and good parts of their lives, even if they aren’t actually genuinely happy. Social media can give the allusion that everyone but you is living their best lives and doing everything right, when in reality, we’re all human and no one’s life is perfect, even if they portray it to be.

Social media can feel as though it’s this own world, separate from the realities we actually live in. This distortion can then lead to unhealthy effects on our day-to-day lives.  Staying up way too late, scrolling through Twitter, ignoring how tired you are, or obsessing over getting the right picture at an event in hopes that it will get copious amounts of “likes” on Instagram isn’t healthy. 

Either is saying things to someone on Facebook that you normally wouldn’t have the guts to say in person. It’s so easy now to hide in our virtual realties instead of living in our actual realities without distraction.

The use of social media can be great when used for the right reasons and when it’s not taken so seriously. Memes, for example, have become a worldwide form of entertainment, as well as helping connect us with family members or friends we may not often see. It’s also a great way to remain connected, entertain, or even network for potential careers. Social media should be seen as a bonus to our everyday lives, rather than something we lose sleep over, or a second world that’s better than reality.

Abby Martinson | voices.spectator@gmail.com

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