In this era of hyper connectivity, our phones are becoming more and more central to our existence. This is mainly because of the every-growing number of social media apps available at hand. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even other text-based apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. Not to mention, these applications tend to adopt one another’s features and eventually end up strikingly similar in what they offer. Nonetheless, people still feel the need to engage in all of them just because everyone else is. It’s the hive mindset. Collectively communicating with your peers through Snapchat stories and Instagram posts does seem like a convenient option. However, fixating on your online persona can prove to be a draining and futile activity.
There’s no doubt that social media has provided us with some wonderful opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Especially in the socio-economic and political context, it’s proven to be of invaluable help. Grass-root organisations can easily reach out to individuals for public meetings and protests. Charities are able to readily acquire funds from massive outreach in case of emergencies. We are constantly being exposed to new points of views and ideas from people all over the world. However, this exposure isn’t always positive.
This is a conversation we can’t turn away from, and we shouldn’t turn away from. The younger generation was born when the internet had already gained consciousness, and they’ve essentially lived out their childhoods on the internet. This has proved to be uniquely damaging to the youth, since there aren’t any pre-existing situations in history that this can be compared to. There are countless studies that link the rise of mental health problems to increasing social media use. Unfortunately, these problems don’t appear as threatening from the get-go and build up little by little until they can’t be undone.
Deteriorating Self-Worth And Self-Image:
The internet is somewhat of a bubble. If you spend too much time scrolling through social media apps, you might begin to feel like life existing outside it isn’t as attractive. This is a common feeling to have towards social media because most of the stuff we see on there is filtered and not entirely authentic. Girls and boys see photoshopped and carefully altered pictures of models and actors, and begin to think of themselves as imperfect. Social media definitely doesn’t promote a healthy mindset towards self-image. It only pushes these young and impressionable individuals towards trying to modify themselves to fit into the glorified ‘perfect’ image. In fact, the beauty ideals perpetuated by these platforms are euro-centric and entirely rooted in prejudice. Many people develop eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, because of this.
Decrease In Productivity And Attention Span:
Using social media for too long eats up a lot of our time. Nonetheless, it becomes really difficult to cut down on its usage since it’s quite addictive. Especially now, when these social media companies unabashedly share our data to third-party applications. The advertisements are specifically catered to our tastes and it becomes hard to take your eyes off of the screen. Our productivity suffers, and in turn, our work suffers. Not only does this put our work’s productivity at risk, but also our creativity. It hinders us from even pursuing our hobbies and interests. The internet turns our online spaces into commodities, and this heavily influences our motives for interests. The likes, shares and retweets provide us instant gratification and this turns into a cycle of hollow interactions. It becomes increasingly hard for anything to hold our attention because we have unlimited amounts of content available at our means. Our parasocial relationships with creators are unhealthy, and can’t be a substitute for any real-life fulfilling experience. my fake id
Detachment From Reality:
Our lives tend to revolve around the internet and the latest trends or news. Since almost every aspect of our life has been shifted into online spaces, it’s nearly impossible to separate ourselves from it. The average person spends around 6-7 hours on social media. This leaves no space or time for introspection because the left time is filled up with various responsibilities. Social media moulds our perception of the world, or at the very least heavily influences it. Having social media as your sole source of entertainment can be quite harmful. There’s this phenomenon called “Vibration Syndrome” in which a person feels like their phone vibrated, signifying a notification, when it actually hasn’t at all. This is evidence of how wholly social media ingrains itself into our minds.
In conclusion, excess of everything is detrimental. Social media and it’s constant presence in our lives has undeniably shifted our priorities collectively. The responsibility to regulate our use of the internet ultimately falls upon our shoulders. To address the question, ‘Is social media consuming your mind?’ would be with an affirmative. It absolutely is, either directly or indirectly. In its pursuit of connecting us to other people, social media has disconnected us from ourselves.