Is Social Media Toxic For Me? (or pros and cons of Social Media)
People love interacting with one another, but could it ever turn toxic? As the internet as advanced, our communication skills have as well. Social media grew out of the need to stay connected to our loved ones. Now, it’s used for personal and business use. There are good things that can come out of it, but there’s a delicate balance that you need to maintain. If you find yourself too far over in the con list, it may be time to cut down on the social media.
- Networking: Whether you want to use it to grow your business or to stay in touch with old friends, social media is excellent for allowing you to stay up-to-date on everyone in your life. You can watch your nephew grow up before your eyes even though you live across the country. It’s powerful tool to share photos and ideas, as well as send your love. You can write small messages to loved ones that will reach the other side of the world instantaneously.
- Spread ideas faster: If you are trying to start a fundraiser, you can easily and cheaply share your fundraising idea with hundreds of people all at once. Invite all of your friends to a birthday party by setting up an event and sharing it. Social media takes the leg work out of invitations and informing others of events going on around you. You can reach more people at the click of a button that at any other point in time. It gives everyone a unique form of power and voice. This is one reason why reviews and word of mouth has become such a strong marketing component for businesses.
- Sense of global community: Going viral is a real thing. As people share videos, memes, and tweets, we all share a similar experience with one another. We can relate to each other on new common ground because we are all familiar with the same images. It’s uniquely become a new form of communication. Even if we don’t speak the same language, we all can share and see the same images.
- Source of entertainment: Social media can provide hours and hours worth of entertainment. From watching hilarious cat videos, to seeing the latest news posts, we are all plugged in to what is happening as it’s happening. There is no lag time with social media. As it happens, we all become informed.
- Feeling of depression: Studies have found that those who spend more time on social media are known to struggle with depression. We start to compare our lives to those that we see on social media. We see the beautiful baby pictures and the happy couples, and wonder why we aren’t as happy as they are. People push their best face forward online, when in reality, it’s not perfect. No one’s life is perfect, but we can get stuck in a mental trap of depression by only seeing the filter selfies of our friends.
- Isolation: We have have more interactions throughout the day, but they are different in nature. Your interactions become strictly online and less face-to-face leaving you feeling isolated and lonely. We are social beings, which is why social media exists in the first place, but this shouldn’t replace the genuine face-to-face interactions that we all need.
- The internet is forever: Maybe you have a bad day, and spout off about how much you hate your boss. That bad choice of words may come back to haunt you. Whatever you post today will live on virtually forever. Future employers, schools, and relationships can easily look back through your history to see what you’ve posted.
- Distraction: For those of us who struggle to concentrate, social media is an excellent distractor. Procrastinators around the world are all sucked in to social media scrolling through their newsfeeds. We love the positive feedback that Facebook gives us, which makes checking it addicting. We have to see our likes, retweets, and notifications as fast as they come in. This can lead to a serious decline in productivity.
Assess whether you are using social media appropriately. If you get stuck in depression or have a hard time accomplishing your goals because you’re always on your phone, then it may be time to delete one or two accounts. You may miss out on one of two jokes, but overall, you’ll have more to show for your day.