Social media has become a society splicing tool
Increased use of the Internet, specifically social media, has resulted in people limiting their interaction to the real sites in the actual world. As a consequence, it has kept everyone to themselves - segregated. Read more to know how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing the role of a catalyst.
The coronavirus pandemic has locked everyone into their homes, sitting and binge-watching movies and shows and scrolling their mobile phone screens on Instagram and Twitter. It has left everyone to themselves and in a way segregated the lives of everyone. Being social creatures, human beings need someone to listen to them. The pandemic has made it hard to maintain contact with each other. That’s where people turn to social media so that they have an assurance that they are not alone and they have someone in whom they can confide in. These connections affect our mental and emotional health.
Can you survive in your own house for months without talking with your friends or acquaintances? This is the situation where social media should help. But is it actually helping – positively? I don’t think so. It is gradually becoming a place of judgment and criticism. Yes, you have the right to voice your opinion on something but in the long run, you might not know how your statements might affect the audience.
Many types of researches have been carried out on the negative aspect of social media thereby linking it with increased anxiety and depression. Social Media nowadays is all about reputation and fake statements which mean a lot to the users.
According to former US President, Barack Obama, the use of social media has resulted in the isolation of various views and opinions. He spoke about social media at the Developer Conference organized by Twilio. He claimed that increased use of Facebook and the Internet has resulted in people sticking to their narrow platforms and taking their own space in various websites limiting their interaction to the real sites in the actual world. This endangers the common culture which people earlier had.
Being a teenage girl myself, I find social media a place where only good-looking people get at the forefront of everything. It makes us insecure about our bodies and the way we look. The fear of getting judged increases. Even if you enjoy your life the way you want to, social media will somehow manipulate you into thinking that what you have is not enough. By seeing other people partying and clubbing, people get influenced even if they never had the idea in mind.
People catch a glimpse of others’ lives through the stories they put on their account. Tell me honestly, don’t you get jealous if you see the batchmate you hate the most, enjoying somewhere in the hills, that too during the pandemic when everyone’s supposed to be at home? Oof! What a life! Why am I staying at home? Let’s go and have more fun than her and portray the same on my social media handles. This destroys our self-esteem in the long run. You feel that you are missing out on things and not enjoying your life anymore which is far from the truth. For instance, many times, the reason people meet is just to click pictures and post rather than the real fun they are supposed to have. This ends the real-world interaction.
Getting more followers is also a kind of competition on Instagram as a way of showing how popular and attractive they are. It has made us believe that the more attractive you look, the more attention you get. This notion grows over time and ruins our mental health in such a way that we never find ourselves good enough. We start doubting our worth with the increasing insecurity building inside us. Social media tends to become an addiction.
According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, limiting the use of social media improves overall well-being. Physical face to face interaction can’t be compared with online interaction. Moreover, people often tend to talk with any random person online, in the wake of their loneliness which is not a healthy alternative. There are various frauds out there who can stalk you and know everything about you. Cyberbullying is very common now with people posting offensive comments about other people giving rise to a lot of hatred among the users. Spreading rumours is very common nowadays.
According to Barack Obama, belief is something that the people themselves choose. They’re entitled to their own opinions as they have the right to express, but they are not entitled to their facts because that means spreading of disinformation. He also threw light on the fact that social media can be very beneficial as a tool of keeping everyone informed about the happenings in the world if used appropriately. There is a wall between the virtual world and the real world that needs to be broken in order to translate the events of the virtual world into action, activity, and face-to-face physical interactions. Thus, it is a powerful tool to build communities across boundaries.