Social Media’s Effect on Our Health: 5 Cool Facts You Never Knew
Social media: the omnipresent, intangible entity has become an integral part of our lives, so much so that we can’t imagine vacations without posting the images on Facebook. We click and post photos of our pretty plates of food on Instagram and Facebook so that the world can share in our consumption whether they care to or not. Our lives are documented on these networks, for better and for worse. But can there be any detriment to our health, physical or mental?
Keep reading as we reveal the good, the bad and the ugly about your social media usage.
Several users feel constantly compelled to check and stay online their social accounts, so much so that researchers have actually devised a scale known as ‘The Berge Facebook Addiction Scale’ to measure user addiction levels. A recent study revealed that almost 63% of the US citizens check their social media accounts daily and over 40% of them do it numerous times in a single day. Statistics reveal that on an average, a user devotes 23 hours of a week indulging in online communication practices. Likes, Comments, and mentions from social networking sites act as a positive reinforcement entity, thus causing the need to keep going back and staying connected.
Networking: Good for Business and Interpersonal Connections
Social Media has some great positive aspects as well – networking and socialization. It is a great tool for business opportunities especially for small business, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. It is also a great avenue for people looking to connect with like-minded people to date or make friends.
Tools such as Facebook and Linked In are increasingly becoming avenues for job searchers to match with job offerers.
Glamorizes the use of Drugs and Alcohol
According to results of a study, teenagers who used social media on a daily basis were found to be more than four times more likely to indulge in smoking, two times more likely to use drugs and three times more likely to drink alcohol. The teenagers also admitted that they were routinely more drawn to these habits after seeing their friends post pictures on their social media profiles ‘under the influence’.
Multitasking Leads to Poor Productivity
We all claim to be efficient multi-taskers however the truth is otherwise. Research has revealed that our brains only have the mental strength to focus on one thing at the time. Hence, if a social media website is open, then it is sure to distract the user and the other productive tasks are bound to get left on the back burner. Research has also inferred that the average attention span of human beings is on a decline, due to the distractions posed by the social media sites.
Comparison and Self-criticism
Always looking at your friend’s Facebook and Twitter feeds makes one assume that they are not cool, rich, happy or even creative enough. It adds unnecessary pressure on an individual to be someone who he or she is not! Self-criticism and comparing assets, whether physical or financial leads to a vicious circle of negativity, depression and the user becomes trapped in a sea of self-criticism. They tend to forget that each person is different with different talents. Looking at other people’s lifestyle can, on the contrary, also act as a booster or a motivator for some people and they might work hard to achieve more. However, such cases are far and few in between.
That said: anything in excess is bad. Hence, a balanced use of the social media would certainly add value and benefit the user.
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