social media good or bad: Every day, more than a billion people communicate with each other using social media. People post pictures on websites like Facebook. They like and share the videos they watch on YouTube. And they send messages to friends using programs like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp messenger, etc. In just the last 1 decade, social media has completely changed the way we communicate. And it has allowed us to communicate with people all over the world. But how does the use of social media affect us?
Scientists from many different countries have studied this same question. They have especially seen its effects on human emotions and relationships. Some studies show that the use of social media can lead to depression. And other studies show that it can negatively affect our relationships.
The real positive effect of social media is also its purpose for communication. Modern life can be very busy. Many people work long hours. Other people live far away from home, family, and friends in different cities or countries. Today, a lot of things separate people. And it can be difficult for us to stay connected to important people. Zeynep Tufekci is a scientist who studies social media and human behavior. In Atlantic Magazine, he wrote,
“The rapid rise of social media is a rapid and growing effort by people everywhere to connect with each other. They are also connecting with all the barriers that the modern world forces into our lives.”
Social media can also help people make new friends from all over the world. Often, these are friends they would not have been able to meet without social media. For example, imagine that you have a special interest. You love pets and animals! In general, you don’t meet a lot of people who are also interested in pets and animals. But through social media, you can find people all over the world who are interested in the same.
Social media is not going anywhere. But we may need to think more carefully about how we use it and how it makes us feel. So, how do you feel when you use social media? Do you think this will improve your relationship? Would you ever consider stopping using social media? Tell me what you think. You can give your opinion below.
As we know social media has many positive effects. But some scientists warn that social media can also hurt people. The Public Library of Science published an important study in 2013. The study looked at people from the United States who used the social media site Facebook. The study found that the more people used Facebook, the less satisfied they were with their lives. And scientists have found that it can cause depression. Another major study in Germany found similar results. Scientists study how 600 German Facebook users feel when using Facebook. They found that the most common emotion people experienced when using Facebook was jealousy.
So, why would using Facebook cause stress and jealousy? Well, often, when people post things on social media, they only post the best things about their lives. They talk about the fun things they are doing. Or they post pictures that they especially like. So, when people look at Facebook, they are only looking at the best things in their friends’ lives. This can make them feel less satisfied with their lives. And, they may start to feel jealous because their friends’ lives look so perfect.
The researchers also noted that Facebook relationships are different from normal relationships. When one sees his friend regularly, he sees both good and bad in that person’s life. But if one only sees a friend on social media, he will probably see only a part of his friend’s life. This makes social media relationships very different from normal relationships.
Sherry Turkle is a technology expert who teaches at MIT in the United States. Sherry Turkle claims that social media is degrading the quality of our relationships. When people use social media, they don’t talk deeply or talk for long. And just because someone is a Facebook friend requires very little effort. Turkel wrote in the New York Times about social media relations. she said,
“We expect more from technology and less from one another. More and more, we desire technologies that provide a false idea of a relationship without the demands of relationship.”
Many people themselves have begun to see the negative effects of social media. Ashleigh Elser is a young girl from the United States. In 2011, she began to feel that Facebook was affecting their relationship. He told the New York Times,
“I was not calling my friends anymore. I was just seeing their pictures and comments on Facebook and I felt like that was really connecting to them.”
But Elser began to realize that she was not really connecting with her friends. So, he decided to stop using Facebook. She knew in that look that he had failed her. But he felt that blocking Facebook would improve his relationship with his close friends.
Sam Laird is the author of the Internet company Mashable. Like Elser, he decided to stop using Facebook. For her, it was an experience. He wanted to see what would happen. After 5 months, she felt that she was more focused on her life and relationships. However, he also found that he had lost shared memories and fun events on Facebook. Laird enjoyed being away from Facebook. But he said that maybe one day he will be back on Facebook. He wrote,
Humans used to spend their evenings in darkness, but now we are surrounded by artificial light all day and night. Research has shown that it can interfere with the body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which facilitates sleep. And the blue light that emanates from smartphone and laptop screens is said to be the worst culprit.
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