The Era we live in today, is one in which suffers from a technological based society in which everyone communicates through social media, and face to face conversations become minimal. The advent of Social Media has seen more people connected than ever before; this is done through the social media chats across the internet. Ironically, social psychologists contend that in this virtual connection people are very lonelier and even more isolated. The psychologists further explain people have opted to hide behind social media instead of interacting physically in real time. Some of the situations in which social media creates isolation includes: One social media networking is a distraction to real life; social media has effectively managed to shift the ability of people to focus on the immediate things happening on their surroundings as most often you will find people too immersed on their phones to know what is going around them (Boyd, 2015)
The very first electronic mail was sent in 1971 but in just over 40 years, social media has become a global phenomenon. Social media are websites or applications that allow people to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings through mediums like photos, music and videos. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Ask.fm are just a few examples of such platforms. Social media has made the world a smaller place with just a click of a few buttons. One could literally do anything, such as, posting photos, making videos or exchanging ideas. Furthermore, through social media, one can also readily share ideas and easily communicate with people around the globe.
Secondly, Social Media creates isolation by providing an illusion of companionship; an illusion of emotional attachment and intimacy is created through social media through sharing of texts and pictures even though the people involved could be worlds apart (Butcher, 2015). This kind of illusion has literally substituted family and friendship which may become detrimental to one’s emotional stability. While face-to-face social connectedness is strongly associated with well-being, it’s not clear what happens when those interactions happen virtually. The new generation, today have been rigged of making new face to face relationships between others and them self, without including a social media platform. Social media is incredibly powerful, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Because of its effect on the brain and body, it can lead to feelings of unhappiness over time resulting in “compare is despair” thinking and devaluing one’s self-worth.
In fact, it is so addictive that many businesses are using social media platforms as leverage to draw in more followers, leads, and customers. Companies keep their brands on top of people’s minds using inspiring and influential feeds to appear “Instaworthy” and popular. This can drive to many unhealthy coping mechanisms as these platforms allow you to be expressive, however is much easier, and with less effort. The social media platform has broadened the ability to allow room for connections both interpersonal and intrapersonal, however, these ‘skills’ taught by social media have not only opened doors for negative comments to be thrown from person to person, but this may also lead to the destruction of many small upcoming businesses and relationships that may have been saved by face to face contact.
Most people across the developed world still get most of their news via television- and traditional news brands, produced by journalists; however, a growing number of people have stopped turning on the Television, buying the newspapers or even listening to the radio. Unlike in the real world, where social etiquette and manners can sometimes seem restrictive and limiting; people feel they have a greater sense of freedom of expression and/or of speech when using online networks. Of course, content is monitored and can be removed, but with millions of users on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, even YouTube, not every single status, photo or comment can be watched, evaluated and completely controlled. This has arguably lead to a rise in expressions, feelings, and ideas from people who may otherwise find it hard to portray themselves how they would like in person and face-to-face with others.
Thirdly, social media can reduce self-esteem and create negative self-image leading to isolation. This happens when others post idealized and unrealistic images of themselves, their pets or even their locations thereby portraying a fabulous and fantasy life which could be far from the truth. On a personal aspect, social media can be used for internet bullying and victimizing. It gives people the opportunity to upset and gossip 24/7. Online bullying is a serious problem and should not be over looked or dismissed. The victims of bullying at school for example, like to go home and escape, not sign into their computer to be faced with more endless hurtful words. Social media is a gift. It can be used to make or break a business. It can also make or break a person. The truth is, the moral problems about freedom and expression in real life can now be applied to the virtual world. Whether we like it or not or even agree with it, it’s liberal enough to be good for people to express themselves and find themselves. It’s also liberal enough to provide a soap box for less appropriate beliefs.
Undoubtedly, the biggest problem associated with social media is the lack of communication. When you possess an account in social networking site, you can communicate with your friends and relatives with the help of instant messaging. However, these electronic methods cannot substitute the ‘old-fashioned’ live communication. You will not demonstrate your emotions and body language with the help of stickers or emoticons. Therefore, I suppose that social media websites separate people instead of uniting or connecting them. Social media addiction is a relevant problem that will get even worse in future due to the rapid development of technologies. People will spend more time on the Internet and social networking sites. The only way to resist social media addiction is to train your will and devote less time to your internet activity.
Social media addiction triggers negative interactions (Girths, Kuss, & Demetrovics, 2014). Most frequently, technology may bring forth zero interaction, or negative interaction between couples, siblings, or parent, and their kids. It denies families the opportunity to learn and model with one another social cues, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills, and bonding. As human beings, we are social being by nature and we yearn for bonding in relationships. We might perceive that we are linked via social media; nonetheless, it takes away our aptitude to see and hear verbal or nonverbal messages. Researchers have discovered that as guardians increase their screen time, so does the kids. Screen time includes Television, smart phones, video games and computers. Kids mimic what they are taught and see, and whenever guardians utilize electronics while in a park with their kids, the kids are more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors.
Addiction to social media has a negative impact on physical health. It can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Whenever one engage in a lot of keying, one might encounter problems which affect one’s wrists or hands. Also, there are certain problems linked with keying on smart phones, which may strain the tendons located in the figures; one can develop eye problems as one gets eyestrain as a result of staring the screen for a long period. Fatigue is another effect of overusing social networking sites. If a person stays up too late updating posts on Facebook or Instagram, he/she end up losing valuable rest or sleep. Additionally, addiction to social media causes distraction, for instance, driving whereas being distracted. Studies have alleged that one may get injured while talking and walking.
Whenever an individual post all their day to day activities on social media platforms, it becomes simple for people to start a comparison. Automatically, people start to critic their lives with those of others and frequently forget there is a difference between a person’s real life as well as their virtue life. Studies have found that if people’s computers and photos are taken away they feel totally uneasy as they are unable to view the degree of notifications on their online profile (Griths, Kuss, ; Demetrovics, 2014). When numerous pictures are being converted into funny content, it is simple to make things which have severe connotation to something which is completely ridiculous. Due to this, diverse features on the social networking sites automatically are designed towards looking, dazzling, and their negative effects are demeaned. People often engage in debates over realities as well as perceptions. If they are unable to acquire numerous likes on their pictures their probability to get depressed is high. Accordingly, the number of suicide cases has tremendously heightened ever since the utilization of social networking platforms, since it has allowed persons to hide behind while making people feel bad about themselves.
Essentially, social media has changed the way we are able to communicate and behave, not only in groups and society, but with each other.