"You're always on your phone", "Stop living a virtual life", "Why are you so distracted all the time". Okay! These lines definitely sound familiar to the ear. You yourself must've been the recipient of such rants and are no stranger to the debates defining the disadvantages of social media. We have our own conflicting feelings about social media. In just a few years social media has changed the horizons of communication, landscape of education, ways of business and even the way we live. While one lot praises the virtue of instantaneous communication and accessibility of knowledge, others defame it for the reported negative impact it has on our lives. Indeed, the use of social media is on a boom encroaching all spheres of life with just a tap.
How is social media affecting life?
With all the advancement made, it is a tool initially designed to ease up the communication process. Rise in the number of people who use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, the time spent on them has increased the concerns about it's impact on a person's life and their psychological well-being. Jeffrey Hall at the University of Kansas in a research had stated that no matter what the technological advances are, there will always be a cultural belief that social media is replacing the face to face interactions and is spreading like a wildfire.
While some may be addicted to their networks, there is no denying that it is one of the best ways to stay informed. It helps in connecting people, rekindling relationships by elevating your mood and emotions. Major news outlets, and persons of interest use social media as a platform to deliver messages of value to the masses. A few issues may lead to a controversy, but apparently, social media does more good than harm in retrospect. With a hope to change your perspective on social media and decide for yourself, enumerated below are a few pointers stating how social media has changed our lives for good.
Go ahead, showcase your talents
Social media is not just great to leverage professionally but can also be used to showcase one's talents. We all have diverse requirements and our own quirks we feel proud of. It gives you a platform to showcase your talent, vocation or passion and attract the right audience to understand and support your craft. It allows you to get the feedback you need in order to improve as well as the much-needed support giving you the boost to thrive and improve.
Keeps you connected, always
Social media is a great way to maintain and form new connections. Around two third of social media users establish that staying in touch with their friends and family members is a major reason they use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, MySpace or LinkedIn and about half of the users say they use these sites to reconnect with their old friends. Researches carried on by University of London stated that staying connected through social media has had a positive and uplifting impact on people’s mental health during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Communication now made hassle free
Social media has changed the way of living (Alexa, please tell me what's the time or okay google play Hello by Adele), way of work and job (That's telecommuting for us) and, most importantly, the way of communication (Hey! Let me Skype you). Networking websites enable you to communicate faster and at ease. They help you reach out to those who are asking for help and you are free to share your thoughts and opinions in discussions in just a matter of a few seconds. Isn't it so perfect. Being able to talk to somebody sitting miles away from the comfort of your own home.
You'll never be lonely
All the one's diagnosed with depression have been in the holds of extreme loneliness, anxiety and the feeling of uncertainty. Social media can help you to keep in touch with your families and friends, as well as meet new people with whom you can share common interests to make yourself feel whole. Social media is a boon for all, especially introverts. The slight sense of anonymity allows you to make friends and form deeper connections without being too vulnerable and socially awkward.
It's a tool for social change
People of all ages, be it the elderly or the younger population are realizing the power of social media for promoting change or starting a revolution. Numerous campaigns have been launched by the youth to sensitise governments and for businesses to become fair, such as exposing corruption, improving educational facilities, and fighting against gender stereotypes. All of this is done by starting initiating a movement online on various social platforms, which with all the force reaches the concerned authorities.
Accelerates your personal growth
Social media can be a loud place with a lot of opinions and disagreements. But when you choose to sort out the unnecessary, you can get your hands on some hidden treasures. These online treasures can help you build worthwhile connections, feed you inspiration, elevate your mood, help you get a hold on your emotions and help you exude confidence both online and offline. One of the many ways to develop your character is to look for a like-minded community that can boost your personal development. You can be a part of social interactive groups, monthly reading groups, news groups, hobby sessions which help you connect with the individuals who share your interests.
Helps you in the time of crisis
Many people have turned to social media friends and acquaintances for support during unsettling times. There is a sense of relief that follows when you share your thoughts while undergoing a personal crisis and see that there are people like you who are in a similar fix and are trying to respond to their concerns. The support you get through friends on social networks can prevent you from taking drastic actions at the lowest point of your lives.
Get inspired or be an inspiration yourself
Now tell me this, what happens when you see someone maybe a friend or even a celebrity posting their own pictures while pursuing their fitness goals? Most likely, you’ll be inspired to make healthy alterations to your own life as well. Similarly, by posting about your experiences on the journey to self-discovery and good health, you can be a source of inspiration to others who are in a similar situation, looking for motivation.
I can certainly not emphasize this more, the emotions, whether positive or negative, that we share on social platforms are contagious. Be someone's sunshine when their skies are grey! Post content that promotes positivity and has a powerful effect on your mood as well as on the one who's seeing it. You can make a conscious choice to spread positivity all the time which can help you get hold of your emotions. Follow pages and use apps that are designed for the same purpose, read quotes online and try to track how you feel. Chiku - Journal /Diary & Mood Tracker can be of great use here, it acts as your personal mood tracker and even comes up with motivational quotes every morning!
Use it to learn
Social media is a platform that you can use to promote self-directed learning, which requires you to look for answers and be able to make decisions independently. It plays a key role in shaping and influencing how we learn and interact today.
Just have fun!
Social media, when used in moderation, can be of great fun and enjoyment to its users. Various platforms and apps allow you to keep in touch with friends, elevate your mood, and keep you up to date with what’s happening around you and in your social network, work from the comfort of your home, be a part of revolutionary movements, increase your welfare index by laughing at memes, preserve memories and what not.
These were a few of many pros of social media that remind us to be constantly mindful of how to utilize it. Just remember, moderation is the key.
Social media's growing impact on our lives: https://www.apa.org/members/content/social-media-research