Various studies show that the average person now spends moretime on their phone and computer than they do sleeping. Shocking right? As muchas we may hate to admit it, social media has become a very vital part of ourlives and we become even more dependent on it as the days go by. Before we delve any deeper, what is social media? Social media is a term usedto describe the interaction between groups or individuals in which theyproduce, share, and sometimes exchange ideas over the internet and in virtual communities.These include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Social media is veryquickly transforming the manner in which individuals, most especially theyouth, interact with the people around them, their environment, as well as howthey make use of technology.Justlike a coin, the effects of social networking are twofold.
On the positive side, social media serves as an incredibly powerfulinstrument for broadening one’s social horizons. Gettingto know new people, starting useful acquaintances with people you would nevermeet otherwise, learning new skills through online reading materials all makethe modern youth much more flexible than their predecessors. In addition, socialnetworks can act as indispensable tools for professionals. They provide youngprofessionals with a platform to market their skills and can open up a wholeworld of new business opportunities for them.On the negative side, socialmedia is laden with a number risks such as cyberbullying. This can be definedas the use of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites toharass, threaten or intimidate someone.
The anonymous nature of the internet has made it easierfor bullies to hide behind this mask and carry out these despicable acts.Cyberbullying can lead to severe psychological problems and has become a majorcause of depression and suicide cases among young people. Social media also leads todistorted body image among several of our youth. The world is full of perfectpeople today: with perfect skin, body and hair or as it may appear to the youngtoday. With cutting edge image-editing software such as Photoshop, the standardof beauty has become impossible to achieve. This has led to distorted bodyimage which in turn leads to anorexia and bulimia.
This is not limited just tothe girls but boys are also made to feel less “manly” if unable to achieve theperfect body image. Social media has also led tosocial isolation where young people spend too much time on these sites ratherthan making meaningful relationships through face to face interactions. Theirvirtual life on social media sites becomes more important than their real life.Social isolation has been known to lead to a host of emotional, psychologicaland physical complications in individuals.It is very clear that socialmedia has become a very big part of our day to day lives but looking at bothsides of the coin raises the question, just how much is too much?