Rick Andreoli Montreal – The Dangers of Social Media
I caught a fantastic video last month from the brilliant web guru Rick Andreoli Montreal, and he was discussing the perils of spending too much time on social media. This is especially important at the moment given the amount of us who are stuck at home under quarantine conditions. There is very much a temptation to spend your time on social media when it seems there is little else to do but there are some very clear dangers of doing this and the reality is that it should be avoided. Here is exactly why too much time on social media can be dangerous.
Designed To Keep You
The first point to mention here is that social media is actually designed to keep you on the channel. They do this with smart ads and with a layout that makes you want to keep on scrolling, to keep seeing new information and to ultimately keep you there so that they can advertise to you. Make no mistake about it, these social media companies are all about the money, and the longer that they keep you there, the more they can make.
Something which many magazines have been guilty of in the past is creating a false reality which people then try to aspire to. The same thing happens with social media and the more time you spend on it the easier you fall into the trap of thinking that everything you see on there is real. Very rarely do people post about what they are feeling and doing, unless there is a chance that they can get some attention from it.
Depending on Rewards
Most social media channels are set up like rewards systems with likes and a variety of other reactions which shows what people think about what you are posting. This may seem quite harmless but the reality is very different, because ultimately you then learn to depend quite heavily on these reactions for acceptance. When you start to feel excited at the thought of getting a like or a comment, or disappointed when that doesn’t come, this is when you need to slow down the amount of time that you are spending on social media.
Ultimately there are some clear links that have been drawn between those who use social media too much and those with mental health issues. The reason for this is that social media makes people feel heavily pressured into being a certain way, they can very easily become vulnerable and lack self-confidence and this manifests very quickly indeed. It is in fact for this reason that you have to learn to step away from social media from time to time and just have a break.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using social media, but if you find that you start getting hooked on it then you need to make sure that you take a break and spend some days offline, for your own sake.
Pearl M. Kasirye is a writer at Kemistri.co, editor, and researcher who spends most of her time reading. When she isn’t reading or working, she can be found sitting on her balcony writing her own novels or traveling.