[6 min read ]
Author: Shahin Alam
A 2017 study says the over half a million 8th through 12th graders found that the number exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms increased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015.
Social Medias are kind of websites or applications by interactive computer-mediated technologies that are designed to allow people to share information, ideas, expressions, opinions, events etc via virtual communities and networks. It can no longer be ignored that social media is such a huge part of our daily life. What we’re seeing is that the next generation will enter adulthood wired by life online. Yes, no doubt that social media has changed the way we communicate with each other. With lots of advantages it has also helped us to connect people in a very easy way. However, along with some advantages it has many negative effects. The chances are that you may have also experienced some of the negative effects of social media. Let’s look at some of the negative effects of social media on real people that happen everyday.
Social media leads the brain to run with a subconscious mind that perhaps sometimes impacts on you negatively. You know why I am saying that? Because, you may have witnessed yourself or other people who check social media all the time without even thinking of it. The biggest example of it can be checking notifications just barely you open your eyes from sleeping.
It can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. You can check it yourself whether you are addicted to it or not. Just try remembering the last time you went a full day without checking any social media accounts. Too much addiction on social media just not only ruins your time but may affect the brain in unexpected negative ways. The phenomena if it’s addiction can largely be exploited to dopamine-inducing. People are using social media for hours on end without any important reason. A large part of it is immersed in bad activities.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety
There is a strong link between social media and depression. Study reports the users who spend most of the time on social media were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the less time. A 2017 study says the over half a million 8th through 12th graders found that the number exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms increased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015. Now think of it yourself. Have you ever experienced yourself spending too long on social networking sites affecting your mood? Maybe you felt better right before diving into it and then within just a few moments your mood got changed. In fact, persisting for a long time users are more likely to report poor mental health including symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even it leads you to compare yourself to other people as you can easily see the carefully selected best parts of everyone else’s lives. And it causes anxiety and depression as well.
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Cyber Bullying and Cyber Crime
Like I said, social media makes it easier to meet new people and it also enables cruelty to tear into others with little effort. Now people can bully others online as anonymously. There are types of bullying including aggressive and unpleasant emails, private messages and public comments, putting unflattering or manipulated photos of the bullying target online. Also some social networks provide to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers. Today crime has become much easier through social media. For instance, users unknowingly are losing all their information and data.
People are creating fake profiles to act friendly and then later betray and embarrass them online. Many are making a lot of money through this in a bad way. Terrorists are able to carry out their plans easily using it. Some bad people are always used to create malware and spam, then attract people to dive in. That’s how they are able to hack many things at a glance. According to ( Social Media Platforms and The Cybercrime Economy) reports, nearly 1 in 5 organizations worldwide are infected by malware that was distributed by social media. Can you imagine that one in five? Even in the U.S, social media cyber crime has increased nearly 300-fold in the period of 2015 to 2017. This is just for an example. Every second by second, Cyberbullying and Cyber Crime are increasing like speed of a bullet.
Having the incidents of anxiety and depression, spending too long on social media can lead you to poor sleep. A study is done in UK saying, one in three - with one in five spending five hours or more on social media. And they are more likely to go to bed after 23:00. They also added how long do teenagers spend on social media. Look at the below picture to see that.
How long do teenagers spend on social media?
The study literally shows the teenagers on social media is reducing the time they spend sleeping and lack of sleep can have an impact on mental health, weight and performance at school. You know, Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep. At night, social media scrolling can disrupt your circadian rhythms. So, being awake or using social media can reduce melatonin that your body makes. Blue light which is emitted from the screen of your display can impact on melatonin more. However, not all are bad. If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular, then you can try to cut down the amount of time you spend on social media.
People feel like a hamster when they're addicted to social media. Distracted is one of the most common effects that happen to people. While doing something
productive, a little sound of message can distract you from important working promptly. I remember the exam time, when I’ve faced it many times. I bet most of you, it happens to you also in the same way. You end up watching videos on social media that have no meaning to you. It distracts you from focusing on important things.
There’s a saying “The brain wires the way it fires”. It means that the more the brain does specific activity, the more it makes this easier to perform that task next time. But the problem is here if we are literally wiring our brains for distraction? That will impact your brain badly. Even, I have some funny stories about this. One of them is writing down one sentence and the check up Facebook messenger. Then again write another one line and check the notification. The same thing happened repeatedly. What happens is a few moments later, I lose all my attention on doing particular things. Right now, I am aware of it much. So there may be a lot of examples you have regarding distraction. Please put your story on this down in the comment box.
Note: Remember, it’s all the problem of your self discipline. You don’t need to wipe them all out. Rather, you can check what’s affecting you badly. Do some changes there. Use social media for a certain time, not so much longer. Go sleep quickly. There are many advantages of using social media. We’ll talk about it later. Till then, be careful.