How is Social Media Influencing Our Lives?
Social media has become an integral part of our lives, where about 232 million people in the U.S. are active social media users. This makes about 70% of the entire U.S. population. Whether it’s Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram, people can be found scrolling through social media almost all the time.
As a result of this extensive use of social media, various facets of our lives have been impacted. Our habits, our mental well being and the way we communicate with each other are only a few of the aspects that social media influences. This blog will tell you how social media has, positively as well as negatively, impacted our lives.
Which age group is most influenced by social media?
While every age group has access to social media, the rate of social media usage among the younger generation is higher than in other age groups. The majority of the social media users belong to the age group of 18 to 30, which are then followed by higher age groups. Because of using social media the most, people belonging to this age group are the ones whose lives are highly influenced by social media.
Significant differences can be observed in the way that the younger generation is living their lives today, as people are now spending a lot of time enhancing their social media presence. Social media has now become a gateway to know about people’s lives.
How have things changed?
Because of investing so much of our time on social media, the way we interact with the world has changed to a large extent. Let’s have a look at some of the changes that have taken place.
Online connections and communication
We can easily say that today, most people are more comfortable with building relationships and connections online rather than putting in the effort to build connections in the real world. How many of you actually talk to all the friends and followers that you have on your social accounts? Almost none of us do that. That’s because social media has given us the opportunity to stay in touch with each other, without actually having to have real conversations.
In addition to building online connections, social media has also made communication easier for us. No matter in which part of the world you’re in, you can talk to your friends and family through chatting, voice calling, and even video calling. Social media has definitely reduced the distance between us!
Online shopping has become a widely popular concept today, and even brands that previously had brick-and-mortar stores have introduced the option to shop online. This is one of the biggest advantages of social media, where people have access to view and buy products directly from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
With time, people are getting more and more comfortable with online shopping, which is why brands are moving towards developing their social media marketing strategies to direct traffic to their social media accounts.
Although social media has made our lives easier in many cases, there are some concerns regarding the negative effects of social media on physical health. While we might not admit it, a lot of us are addicted to social media. Think about how much you use social media, we scroll through our social media accounts in our classes, while we’re out with friends, in the office, even before going to bed. We’re online almost all the time!
This can lead to eyestrain, short attention spans and in some cases, even difficulty in focusing, increased stress levels, and lack of sleep. Especially since the pandemic began, our screen-time has increased significantly, where we’re taking our classes or attending office meetings online, and we’re spending our leisure time using social media. Therefore, it’s essential to keep a healthy balance to avoid these harmful effects on our health.
With people posting so much content on social media, the younger generation tends to look up to their ideals. This leads to people comparing their lives with others, which can cause depression. When people, especially teenagers and young adults, feel like they’re unable to achieve the lifestyle that they’ve been seeing on social media, they get depressed and often think of giving up on their goals.
Another factor contributing to depression can be cyberbullying. A lot of people have public accounts, and even those with private accounts may have followers who post mean comments, leading to the deteriorating mental health of such individuals. Because of these harmful effects of social media, we need to be careful about how we spend our time on it.
What should be our approach?
Social media is undoubtedly a very useful invention that has introduced convenience and ease of access to people. However, maintaining a healthy balance to eradicate the harmful effects while also benefiting from the opportunities that social media offers is very important.
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