Nowadays social media is being used for people all around the world in any country that has smartphones and internet connection. Why does that happen? Because it's free and it's very attractive. You hardly resist of not making a Facebook account, a Instagram one or a twitter account to fill your free time with. It has some downsides though the use of excessive social media in my opinion.
The first thing that comes to my mind in which social media affects a person is loneliness. Although the name of it, social media, gives you the feeling that you will become more social by using it it's actually not the case and it has been proved by researchers also. Staying all day with your eyes glued on a smartphone screen you will rather isolate yourself from the normal social life rather than being social and sooner you will feel lonely although you might have 1000 friends or followers on your social media accounts.
Then there comes the sense of frustration which many of the social media users have after some good years of following people all around the world and their life. On social media everybody shares his life with the best moments that are sometimes even fake. You get to see people shopping everyday, going around the world, falling in love and buying houses and cars and you think that they're all happy but you. Which in fact is not true at all. Everybody has his ups and downs, his bad days and good days, but you don't see bad days on social media so you start thinking that your life sucks and you get frustrated that you don't have the life of others.
As weird as it might sound some of the side effects of using too much social media are mental diseases such as depression and anxiety and even physical problems. According to some studies it has been revealed that very often people who use social media a lot and especially doing that on a smartphone are prone to develop neck pain and vision problems so the excess use of social media is not healthy at all. I for example have had multiple times neck pain from too much using my smartphone. However I quit Facebook and Instagram and only have twitter now for more than a year.
One important down side of social media is that it is a total time waster. In my opinion the worst way of wasting time is browsing social media. You don't benefit from that time spent in any way. You just browse through an endless feed full of pics and stories of the pics, adds and of course news and before you know it you already spent one precious hour by doing that. Most of us don't even read through the stories, but rather scroll superficially through it and only get glimpses of what they have in front of their eyes. Definitely a time waster is for me social media.
The worst part of social media in my opinion is the fake reality that we build in our minds from being part of it. Reality that very often is totally different than what we have giving us the feeling that we are living the wrong way and that we should change our lives. There are many broken couples thanks to a couple of messages from someone that promised to a girl more than her boyfriend had to offer and many marriages ruined just because one of the partners saw the perfect life of other on Facebook and wanted that putting pressure on his/her spouse to work harder and to be better, jut like X and Y that they are following on social media that have a perfect life.
I consider social media a parasite of the modern world that is eating our time, resources, creativity, happiness, health and well being. I wouldn't go back to Facebook and Instagram ever. They're designed to be addictive and to play with our minds and health. It's sad though that even children nowadays are using social media more and more. I am totally against the excessive use of it. It can be useful to keep in touch with friends and family but it can be also very dangerous.
Hope you found my opinions interesting and wish you a great Monday!
Hello oduoye interesting question.
I believe there are many different "side effects" of social media. I will assume when speaking in these terms you are referring to negative side effects.
Something to consider, is every person is different, and how one person may be affected from a social media addiction could differ entirely on how the next person is affected.
Another aspect to consider, is the technology on which social media exists is also a new technology. We have not seen the impact of the effects over multiple generations. I would say that our children today are the first wave of people being born into this internet dependent world, and will be the first generation where we can truly see the impact into adulthood. This could be both bad and good.
I'm bothered in many ways with what I see, and it really is a double edged sword, in the sense that I am able to notice the social impact that it's had with people, both good and bad. I see what I would describe as many "unaware" or "disconnected" people in this bubble, and yet, I'm in it as well! The thing to remember here is the "awareness". We must not forget what makes us human. We have an innate responsibility to ensure our children connect with the very things that make us human, and we must teach them to pass these concepts onto their own.
Many of the concepts here are philosophical in nature, and open for many different perspectives.
I hope my answer gives some insight.
The biggest 'side effect' of social media is that it is actually making us less social! Yes it does make us feel we are more 'connected' to people because we see there status updates, but the biggest downfall is that there is now less real world social interactions because people share everything on their social media feed.
With the advent of smart phones of today, I see people all the time out for coffee and often all of them are gazing at their devices, often on 'social' media. Doesnt that seem strange? Going out for a social catch up, but having to be connected to social media and sharing with the rest of the digital world what you are doing. Listening skills are definetly taking a hit aswell - it is impossibkle to give someone your full attention when you are also looking at a screen! Whenever I gofor a coffee or a social meetup I make a conscious effort to put my phone away and be present and in the moment.
I have also read articles in the past about how social media use is breeding more and more narrcasists, as they can share and curate their world and make themselves look 'perfect'. The onflow of this is that with some people it can have the opposite effect - they see all these wonderful updates of friends and family travelling the world and living the perfect life, and they feel inadequete and can lead to feeling of depression (especially among younger people I would imagine) .
Social media is also built and engineered to be very addictive, and thus people are wasting more and more time midlessly scrolling - every time they get a 'like' or comment it releases dopamine (pleasure receptors in the brain), and encourages them to mindlessly scroll some more.
Lastly, social media is also now becoming a scoping ground for scammers, as people overshare information about all aspects of their life, which scammers can use against them.
It seems that social media has mainly negative side effects!