Social media sites are the common norm today. Almost nobody can live without their daily updates from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. But some people have expressed concern on the negative effects of connecting to these websites.
The serious setbacks of using social media
Like your delicious Lechon Kawali, eating it in moderation is not a problem. But, too much consumption could lead to health issues. So, same with using social media.
You might have seen a similar picture of teenagers busy with their smartphones without even talking to each other. They seemed to master the art of being together without really being with each other.
What does science tells us about connection?
There are contradicting results from different research studies. Some studies show that socializing online can decrease loneliness, increase well-being, and help the socially anxious learn how to connect with others. Other studies tell you the opposite that you will become more dependent on online conversation than face-to-face.
Studying the impact of social media is complicated as there are many factors to consider.
Passive engagement can do more harm than good
Innovation is a must to survive in these fast-changing times. However, modern technology when used as a substitute for real-life experiences can do more harm than good.
Let us say you are using social media to combat loneliness. Passively viewing someone’s Facebook posts without any form of conversation can have negative effects. There is a possibility that you become lonelier and engage in social comparison.
Comparing your life to somebody else IG perfect life can lead to envy, lowered self-esteem, and depression.
The Filipinos as the world’s top social media users
According to London, United Kingdom-based consultancy We Are Social, the Philippines is the world’s top in terms of social media usage for the years 2017 and 2018.
From 2018 data, We Are Social said, Filipinos spent an average of 3 hours and 57 minutes a day on social media sites, mainly on Facebook.
Secondary only to Thailand, Filipinos are among the world’s top users of the internet with an average of 9 hours and 29 minutes a day.
Use social media to increase your overall happiness
Cultivating close relationships and good health should be the main source of your happiness. If you use social media to isolate yourself from the world, then you risk your health more than a smoking multiple of cigarettes a day.
Instead, use social media to improve your important relationships.
The benefits of social media
It’s so easy to complain about the negative effects of Facebook and other social media sites. But how about looking at the brighter side and asking yourself, “how has social media helped me?”
Here in the Philippines, aside from playing gaming app like Mobile Legends, the online world is the most common form of entertainment.
Social media had changed the way we live our lives. Anybody can now share news, images, and opinions to everyone and anyone.
According to Michael Hyatt, there are four counter-intuitive reasons on why social media is making the world a better place:
- Social media can encourage generosity. In Facebook, Instagram and other platforms, the takers rarely get more followers. The givers are rewarded as they improved their credibility through consistent sharing.
- Selfies can create self-awareness. Taking a picture of yourself for the world to see might seem selfishness but in healthy individuals, this leads to self-awareness.
- Virtual relationships can enhance real relationships. If the only friends you have is only from Facebook, then that’s unhealthy. But regular updates from the lives of the people that matter to you will make your relationships easier to keep.
- A focus on positive experiences can contribute to a healthy outlook. Comparing yourself to others is not advisable however, looking at the promising side of life can open your eyes to new possibilities that can improve your overall health and well-being.
Social media is neither good nor evil
Social media is just a tool. And like any kind of tool, it is neither good nor evil. How you apply today’s modern technology could either be beneficiary or dangerous for your overall happiness.
Source: Behavioral scientist