Although social media relationships can have a positive effect on us emotionally, numerous studies have been conducted linking social networking to depression and social isolation while also eliciting feelings of envy, insecurity and poor self-esteem. I believe that there has to be a time when we "take that needed break" from Social Media, and here is why:
Even if we don't realize it, Social Media can bring on many powerful negative emotions such as:
For young people especially, Facebook seems to have become a central part of how they communicate with the world. Not because of the free exchange of news, selfies, and whatever viral memes happen to be popular at the given moment, but also for the social interactions it allows between people who may never meet in real life but can still be regarded as friends.
Given the power that Facebook seems to have, it's probably not surprising that more and more anecdotes are emerging about the dark side of this kind of social contact. Stories of cyberbullying, mean-spirited comments, cyberstalking, and misunderstandings seem rampant, especially for young females dealing with unwanted attention. While Facebook's policies and the active policing of these policies try to curb the worst examples of this kind of abuse, the negative experiences many people describe can have a powerful impact in terms of low self-esteem, depression, and social anxiety.
There are times when even I feel so bogged down by all of the affects of the "social media storm" that I notice the OCD side of me coming out, where I constantly check for updates, etc. I get too bogged down thinking: Who likes this, who has commented on this, who posts new stuff, etc. This also leads to feelings of "the grass is always greener." Do you ever think like this: ? " I wish my house looked like their house?" or "Wow, I wish I could afford to travel like they do?" or " I want a boyfriend to take me places like that" Yes these are the feelings that the grass is always greener. Too much of it makes us dislike ourselves sometimes, and that is not good.
For younger social media viewers there are worries such as Stranger Danger and Bullying. Too many young people especially are becoming victims of bullying. You might have been bullied, or bullied someone even if not intentional, it can happen. Your words can change someone. Always try to error on the side of caution when commenting on social media. Use the golden rule: If you wouldn't want it said to you or your family, don't say it to someone else either.
That negative cycle begins when you spend long periods of time on social media, time taken away from other activities that might encourage better emotional health, like exercising, meeting up with friends, and engaging in other activities that provide pleasure. In fact, according to the 2010 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, social media users who consume the highest amounts of content report a decrease in social bonding and an increase in loneliness.
Several possible negative outcomes from a dependence on social media:
It furthers the vicious cycle of sitting at home by yourself and being remote.
You become a victim of your own thoughts as you become less attuned to the outside world around you.
You might get steered into chat rooms with people who prompt negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions instead of engaging with people who are living a more positive, healthier lifestyle.
So especially now during this holiday season, I would like to say to all of you people in GaG land.
Take a break. Give it a Rest. Enjoy human interaction. Don't miss out on what is right in front of you. We have all been guilty of it, regardless of our age, our gender, or where our geographic location has us living. Be mindful in the present and don't let a computer take over your emotions, good or bad. While we can use it for all of the positive things in life like staying connected to loved ones, finding jobs, and meeting new friends, remember this: Treat it like anything else: