Social Media is Important, we must learn to not let it take charge of our feelings
English 102; Section 23467
2 June, 2016
English 102: Section 23467
Humans should not be Controlled by Social Media
Social media has become an important part of the world lived in today. Site dedicated to linking communities, even other countries together. Allow people of all ages to connect, share and create a voice for a world willing to listen. At one point social media sites were gears to teens and young adults but are now being used by people of all ages. This growth has led to more and more social media sites popping up. High uses of social media and their effects are starting to become more talked about conversation amongst health professionals. Professionals debate what social sites are doing to mental happiness and over health and how it is carrying over into everyday lives. Although these sites are being a common part of society, the need to understand if these our affecting the user in a negative light and can it be controlled. Can a website control our emotional health?
Most commonly used sites in social media are websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However that is not the only options users have, Youtube.com is a great site for users to creatively express themselves. LinkedIn.com is a great source for networking and job searching which is an important tool for the working class. Even Readit.com is a great option to show others personal interests and debates. Facebook as the widely used popular site has on average 1.2 billion users globally in a single month and continuing to grow daily.
The use of social media has several advantages and disadvantages for the average users. The obvious advantage is connecting in a much more convenient way. Not only connecting to others but finding a common ground for interests and hobbies where it otherwise would be difficult. In a working environment it is important to network in order to stay relevant, job related sites has made the extremely easy to do. But what is sites such as Facebook doing for our overall wellbeing. The most agued point is that distractions of such sites is taking away from basic activities such as exercise that help a person's state. Many researchers have dissected how social media sites hurt users in ways the average person does not see.
Although social media has allowed users to connect and share, many researchers are questioning what toll is it taking mentally. Theories such as depression, cyber bullying, lowered self-esteem and self-comparisons have concerned many with the use of these popular social based sites. Depression has been a hot topic when users find themselves constantly turning to social media to escape reality, yet this escape is actually worsening depressive tendency in people. Negative cycles tend to take place with using sites to stay connected, many do not know when to walk away. Personal comparison to what is put out on the internet is major example of how some sites can cause depressive feelings and thoughts and will be further discussed. According to Natalie M. Santos as Psychologist based out of NYU states that;
"An element of depression can lead you to process information with a negative bias and have dysfunctional beliefs". ("Is Social Media Causing Depression?" Santos)
A user can solely depend on what is posted on a site rather than thinking of the bigger picture. Not everyone posts every angle of their personal lives and many even leave out negative aspects or post they are too embarrassed to show. Or on the other hand many only state negative thoughts and feelings allowing others to feel sorry and sympathize merely to get attention. Depressive tendency are definitely apparent with the use of sites and questions still remain unanswered about the connection between the two or is it already a problem just being showing in a different light. Depression is just one of many theories how social sites can affect its users.
Much like depression, cyberbullying is also a common issue relating to social media site. With bullying an already large issue amongst youth, the internet allows another outlet for many to become a victim of bullying. Luckily, it is easier to prove that cyberbullying is effecting users mentally as comments are documented. It is easy for users to remain anonymous while judging and criticizing others with the protection of a computer screen. The internet and social sites tend to be a volunteer invasion of privacy and allows others to see and comment on everything put on internet. Cyberbullying is another aspect of negative use of social media and is growing problem. These actions can make a user feel worthless and insecure proving social media has some control over a healthy mental state of mind.
As stated before self-comparison is issue that many face in everyday life, and now with the online world only magnifies others accomplishments and status. Many find themselves comparing themselves to neighbors, coworkers and friends in social settings but have the option to turn it off at the end of the day. Applications on cell phones and home computers now allow a person to turn connection on to the outside world in the safety of our own homes. Sites allow many to show off new purchases, social statuses and money related topics opening doors for others to compare too. It is hard to link blame social media sites for one comparing themselves as this has happened for centuries with or without the use of the internet. It is merely just another way for someone to compare their lives to other.
The results of depression, cyberbullying and self-comparison effect having a real substantial relationship with others. The loss of face to face relationships effect a personals happiness effect our overall mood. According to Dr. Farrokh Sohrabi states;
"Your brains stress response decreases when you're able to talk about other things rather than focus on your problems." (Depression and Social Media")
Tone of voices and expressions also help in face to face interactions, such things are missed in communication via the internet.
In addition to feelings caused by social media sites many psychologist are claiming "Facebook addiction" is actually a diagnosable condition. The term "Facebook Addiction" is described as the urge to continually check in with social media sites. The constant checking in on sites distract from everyday lives. Many can look around in local restaurants and watch many checking in on sites while enjoying meals with others. This addictive behavior can put mental stress on someone, even the feeling of loss happens when one does not have the option of checking these sites when feeling the urge.
It is debated amongst many medical professionals whether social media is really affecting a person's mood and over all well-being or is it simply already depressions people are signing on furthering an already negative mood. A person may already have a depressed nature and fellow users making negative or passive aggressive comments are only going to continue to negatively affect a mood. Often a person uses sites such as Facebook to escape a world that is making them feel depressed yet these sites are only furthering these negative feelings.
A world existed before such sites and as important as these sites can be there are ways to control the effects the have on users. Limiting time used on sites is an important tool to control a sort of addiction to sites that have been formed. Additionally if a person knows they have addictive tendencies it would be crucial to limit the time and use of such sites. For sites such Facebook it would be beneficial to limit who is allowed to be added an account and pay attention to what is being posted. Keeping in mind that information put on the internet opens a lot of door for the world to see. Even though it is linked that these sites cause depression it does not mean they have to be eliminated completely. As the sites can be helpful in many ways be sure to understand the hold it can have on a person and create boundaries. Simply using social sites to nurture outside relationships would be a great way to combat the negative affects they can have.
Much evidence has been proven that there in fact, is a link between mental stability and the use of social media sites. It has become a world where eliminating these sites only limits your connections with friends and family in attention to professional networking. The thought that websites strongly control our connection to other is frightening but it is the world that has been created. Not all bad comes from these sites as they have allowed up to stay connected to ones that may otherwise be difficult to stay in touch with. The objective would be to step back and evaluate the amount of time used on sites. Asking one's self why are these sites important and are they being used appropriately. Researchers will continue to debate the obvious connection and whether is it the person or sources that are causing turmoil for themselves.