Social media seems to be a major part of the youth’s lives today. If it wasn’t posted it didn’t happen. People have accounts on every social media platform and post almost everything there.
As soon as we reach an aesthetic place or go out with friends a sudden urge to take a picture and post it on our story arises and that is exactly what we do.
Social media has not been exclusive only to the youths, there is almost no adult without a Facebook account today. Facebook seems to have been dominated by adults whereas the youth cling to other apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
But just how much social media is too much? Are we free within it and why have we come up in such a state?
Let’s find out why?
Why has the use of social media extensively grown so much?
The original purpose of these apps was to connect and communicate with friends and family. This does remain one of the major uses of social media applications. So it’s safe to say that these apps have not lost their original motive or purpose.
Facebook has attracted the adult population with its ease of connecting to old college friends and distant relatives. People share old memories and upload new ones, creating a timeline on their profile. People send posts, memes, and chat on these apps. Posting pictures has been a major way of communicating on the apps.
Celebrities almost seem to be the brand ambassadors for some applications. Fans get to see exclusive pictures and goofy selfies of their idols.
Celebrities put in their story, some glimpses into their private and normal life for their fans and people love them. For example, Twitter has attracted many people due to celebrity feuds and their controversial tweets.
And Instagram has every celebrity on its platform uploading and reaching out to fans. There are several fan accounts too which update on the celebrities’ shows, upcoming movies, music, etc.
It itself is like a little virtual community.
Social media has helped create and boost the careers of thousands of people. People have gone viral with their posts showcasing their talents like singing or dancing. This has helped people boost their career.
For example, people upload tutorials of dancing or teaching their skills attracting online as well as physical students. And there are some people like the “Yodelling Kid” who have been propelled into a career itself. The yodeling kid had gone viral by a video of him yodeling in a supermarket. He has launched record-produced songs since then. And there are many like him. Many people earn money from social media with the help of ads, sponsors, number of views, followers, and likes.
Validation seems to be, unknowingly a pretty big factor for people using social media.
Posting on these apps means people receive likes and supportive comments. Knowingly or unknowingly, people need this kind of validation from their peers.
A compliment on your picture will make you feel good. People like to share pictures of events and times when they are dressed up and look fancy. Some people also use it to flaunt their style and luxury which is not a bad thing at all but slowly this validation starts to get toxic. And this is where things start to get out of control.
The other side.
Anything too much is always dangerous.
Social media as a quick time pass or for communicating with friends is a great idea. Sharing pretty pictures and motivating posts are quite harmless.
However, the appreciation and attention we crave from social media slowly start to get toxic.
The most common way that social media harms us is through negative attention. Some people comment pretty nasty stuff on other people’s posts whether it is celebrities or just normal people. With the help of an anonymous account, some people can take negative advantage or cyberbully.
Overthinking your analytics is also a very unhealthy habit of social media users. If a post gets fewer likes than before, somebody forgets to tag you, or if you have fewer followers than someone. These things should not be the priority because it creates negative space in your mind.
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When Facebook was newly launched, people used to add strangers to increase their friend list. This led to many cases of teenagers chatting to strangers and risking themselves. Similarly, people follow people on Instagram just to increase their followers and likes. These kinds of actions are completely unsafe and can lead to a bigger accident.
Another very big factor that weighs down on people by social media is societal standards. People feel they are under the pressure to look a certain way or behave a certain way. Users compare themselves to celebrities’ bodies and end up being insecure about themselves.
Knowing their posts are available to friends, people tend to overanalyze themselves. This ends up in editing their pictures. Making muscles look bigger, waist smaller, skin more clear and taller. This is one of the worst impacts of social media on its users, especially the young ones.
Because the younger audience starts to imprint at a small age that they are ugly and not loving themselves, this is a highly toxic mentality for all ages and this should be brought to an immediate stop. This affects the mental health of kids and adults alike.
How to improve?
There are a few solutions and advice to consider while using your social media account in a way that is healthy and safe for you and your kids.
Social media platforms do provide some control over your account. This can help control the negative effects of the platforms.
Negative comments can be solved by turning off the comment itself. This means people can not comment under your post, but this also means people who want to share good things can not.
You can block people who have troubled you and report their accounts. Another helpful setting is that users can make their account private which means for people to view your posts and stories they need to be accepted by the user itself and just anybody can’t come and see your pictures. This helps people filter strangers and trusted peers.
In many ways, Social Media has controlled our lives and the way we think about ourselves. It has made us follow trendy but harmful diets, edit our pictures, fall prey to online bullying and get addicted to our mobile phones.
However, there are some attempts at amendments. We need to understand that our lives are under our hands and do not need validation from social media users.