Seeing friends or family in person, getting outside and exercising or experiencing life – these are all linked to improved mental health. If one were to assess how social media makes you feel, and if you find that it is replacing the aforementioned aspects of your life, then it may be a good indication that you’re in danger.
With Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google Plus (which is like the gym membership of social media accounts people get it and then never use it) we’re just drowning in social media. Human beings are, inherently, social creatures. Instead of bringing us all together, however, these apps and sites are pulling us apart. It’s all a big game.
Social media, right at this moment, is changing the way your brain works. Instagram is hurting you. Late night chatting has you sleepwalking through your life. Facebook has you chasing validation from complete strangers. People who you haven’t seen for years; whose name you only vaguely recognize, but not their face. They add you as a friend and after you accept them, you never hear from them again.
Our generation is so lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem that the vicious cycle of social media ensues. Kids begin feeling a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem, so they turn to social media to fill the void and make them feel liked and appreciated. However, a few hours after posting something when people have stopped liking it, they are back in the same place of sadness and lack of confidence.
There are some remedies. The social-media companies should adjust their sites to make clearer if a post comes from a friend or a trusted source. They could accompany the sharing of posts with reminders of the harm from misinformation. Bots are often used to amplify political messages. Twitter could disallow the worst or mark them as such. Most powerfully, they could adapt their algorithms to put clickbait lower down the feed. Because these changes cut against a business-model designed to monopolise attention, they may well have to be imposed by law or by a regulator.
index.jpgAn Article by Mohsin Durrani