This is my attempt to discover whether Social Media does more good or bad with its existence in my life. Here is my list of Pros and Cons.
1. It allows you to connect with family and friends who you don't see often or who don't live near you.
2. It allows you to easily promote what you do and find an audience for it.
4. It allows you instant feedback and validation. Also very useful for gauging the likability of new products and ideas.
5. It gives you a voice to a larger audience to be able to comment your opinion on all kinds of issues.
6. It allows you to correspond with a larger group of people of similar mind and ideas, or who you might never get the chance to meet in person and allows you to start or join causes you believe in.
7. It's entertaining.
8. It's a great place to receive news and current events relevant to you.
9. It allows you to have a glimpse into the lives of people you would never have known what was going on otherwise.
1. It's addicting. Studies have shown that the effect of receiving "likes" and "comments" or other online instant gratification causes a dopamine release in your brain creating an addicting feeling similar to your brain's activity on drugs causing you to seek after it more and more.
2. It replaces real relationships and creates meaningless, shallow ones. Less time is spent interacting face to face making in-person conversations more difficult.
3. It shows a false representation of who you are (only update the best exciting events in your life) which causes others to feel disappointed with their own lives.
4. You lose a sense of emotion, discretion and empathy because you are not in front of the person but staring at a screen causing you to say and act in ways you would never have in person.
5. It aides in bullying and the spread of gossip and hate speech.
6. It encourages you to reveal more and more personal, private and provocative information about yourself in the pursuit of likes.
7. Social experiments are being conducted on you every time you use it and everything you do is being tracked.
8. It reduces your ability to think original thoughts. Another study done on the brain when engaged with external devices, such as a smart phone, showed that the part of the brain that controls original thought, self reflection and reflecting on others wasn't active. It only becomes active when in a state of focused contemplation or day dreaming. The constant noise of social media deadens the part of our brains that make us creative.
9. It's become all monetized. It's no longer a place to connect you to your friends, it's a place to advertize, and sell stuff to you to make you spend more of your money while you're on it.
10. It's distracting. The studies and experiments done on you are done so as to find out what will keep you coming back to the sites and more often. Studies have shown that avid social media users got significantly lower grades in school and were much more un productive at their jobs.
11. Infidelity. A study done a few years ago said that a third of all divorces filed cited social media as one of the reasons. Finding romantic partners outside of your marriage is made exceedingly easy through social media's ambiguous and discreetness.
12. The use of social networking sites is creating more self-centered personalities. Over evaluating the importance of their opinions, being overly focused on themselves, and an outsized vision of their own influence are some of the traits found in avid social media users.
13. Escapism. Social Media allows you to create a world where you always look awesome, only do exciting things, have perfect families and relationships and are so popular with tons of friends and admirers...but your real life, might tell different story. Delving into this fantasy world might make you feel a lot better than living in the real world. The problem is that doing this solves no real problems, it doesn't heal your relationships, it doesn't make you more productive and therefore more successful at your job, or more liked by those who see you up close. Mean while, those who truly care about you are pushed aside for pixels on a screen, for your other life existing within the means of an app.
I've been an avid social media user for over 10 years now, and even before that on ancient messengers and in chat rooms. A large chunk of my life has been spent socializing online. It feels all too comfortable to me, social media doesn't feel weird or awkward to me at all. The problem is that it doesn't.
I made this list because I truly wanted to know what I thought about the time I spend on social media. Is it adding good to my life or making it worse? I couldn't really tell because honestly, it has definitely impacted my life and career in several ways that were amazing. On the other hand, I've seen it take a negative toll on my productivity, relationships, and other important aspects of my life.
Based on my list, I've concluded that there are definitely some good things about social media, no doubt about it, but I have also determined that there are more negative aspects to it. What do I do with that information? I don't think going to extremes and deleting all of my social medias is my answer, but definitely having a educated idea about what social media does and how it is affecting me, is.
Can you use social media and only get the good benefits out of it? That's like asking can I eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and only get the good. If you're going to use social media, you have to realize that it will have negative effects on your life and you should weigh them against the things that are really important to you.
Most importantly, let your real life be the place that you spend the most time in because in the end it won't matter how many people liked you on Facebook, but how many actually liked you face to face.