Social Networks like Facebook and Instagram are being increasingly popular these days. Even WhatsApp is becoming a cross-hybrid with its sharing capabilities. With the incremental usage of smartphones and digital devices, we can see, everybody is spending a whole lot of their time online. And a huge share of our time online is dedicatedly spent on social networks. It could even surprise us if we start to write down the amount of time we spent on social media every day of a week. Truth is, it is very entertaining to the most extent, to be sharing everything of our life to the people that are connected to us. Its healthy and is a necessary way of building a healthy conscience and that helps us build the quality of our lives and lift our spirits up.
We as humans, we need attention, care, and appreciation of our own social circle. Remember those happy times we all used to have, in the backyard of our own homes, or in the birthday parties or in that scream filled joyful pillow fights? Thatʼs us. We humans enjoying the sheer joy of our social circles. And Online Social Networks have taken it all to a new different level. Not that thereʼs no joy in online social networking, there sure is. Not that we donʼt meet genuine people who care for us online, we sure do. While most of us just swiftly flow through both online social circles and real-life social circles in a balanced way, some people get victimized by the dark sides of online social networks, mostly the younger generation. It is very sad, but an undeniable truth of Social Networks like Facebook or Instagram.
Social media may do more harm than good, when it comes to personal well-being, for some majority of people. Iʼm speaking this from my own personal view about Social Networks. for those of whom may think, Iʼm having a baseless judgment, Iʼm not. I have seen few of my close friends victimized by Facebook and Instagram. it is very clear to me that, those were the people who were very vibrant and joyful, turning to an all depressed state after months of Facebook usage. And all of them had lots of so-called friends in their friend-list, mostly strangers. It made me look deeper into whats going wrong with them. I felt so sad yesterday when I realized that, someone who is so dear to me, recently turned out to be all depressed and having very much negative thoughts about himself. And all that happened to him very recently. Before all these, I knew him as a very bright and smart friend, who was focussed on lots of his interests and things like that. And his side of the story, he doesnʼt feel well. He feels all the time low, and he feels that everybody is doing better than him. He is feeling that he is unable to follow his interests and is losing all focus of his life because of all the distractions he is facing these days.
According to the recent studies conducted by The Salford University of England, 55% of people who use Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis, complained that it led to them having low self-esteem and anxiety. More than half of them, claim their lives have deteriorated and has become worse since they started using the social networking platforms, because of having to see the lifeʼs fancies of thousands of “friends” in their social networks. In particular, they all noted that their self-esteem suffers when they compare their own accomplishments to those of their online “friends”. In addition to confidence issues, two-thirds claim they find it difficult to fully relax or sleep after spending time on social networks. A quarter cited work or relationship difficulties due to online confrontations.
It is very clear that Social Networks like Facebook and Instagram are fueling so much of low self-esteem mostly in young minds. Mostly, kids who are in the stage of emotional and creative growth, they are vastly influenced by the people who are surrounding them. In real life, they are associated with real people, most people who truly care for them, and hence the extent of good is really high, as these are the people who push them forward in their personal development, and hence the bad is comparatively low. And they get their room to their own growth and progress. And when itʼs coming to online social circles, the extent is very huge. Positive effects of this help some people expose their talents to a wider audience and thus helping them to be in a very joyful and healthy state of their mind. But the same limitlessness of online social networks doesnʼt work quite well for some people. The boundaries of social circles that we create online could go so wild, and the damage becomes extremely intense henceforth.
The difficulty is that social media exposes strengths and weaknesses in a public way and many people canʼt cope with the reality of seeing the drama of lives of so many online people. This leaves them depressed and makes them feel very low self-esteemed, and eventually, it psychologically creates a negative approach to their own self. The question is, are you one of the victims of Facebook or Instagram?
If so it is high time to evaluate your online social life. There are things you can do to get past this bad situations and get back to your joyful self. It may take a day or maybe a week to work this out. I call it “solar system evaluation”. You need to consider yourself as the central point and identify the people who you should be keeping to your closer orbits. drop the others. This will help you build a very clear circle of friends and onlinefriends. That way you donʼt carry the drama of the whole world in every moment of your life. What you must know is most of them who you interact with online, are usually the ones who donʼt care for you truly and they themselves are spending their times faking their lives online, just because they donʼt have a happy life or active self. Thatʼs just the truth. They are like the sinking ships, they carry you along with them. Identify and stay away. Develop self-respect and learn to value your times and appreciate the people who truly care for you. Like I believe, its all about keeping a balance between online and offline life.
Reference: Studies conducted by Salford University UK, CBS News Archives / June 2012.