Social media helped connect everyone on Earth. People all around the world can share videos, photos, communicate with long distant family and friends, in one click. Yet, social media has drawbacks. Some social media sites such as Facebook have influenced us. It has become an addiction, it has made us forget our “real life,” and has led to depression. Therefore, if Facebook and other social media platforms continues to have these kinds of effects on us, then we should stop using it.
The first reason people instal Facebook is to communicate, but it slowly turns into becoming an addiction.
“Worldwide, there are over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users” ("Top 20 Facebook Statistics"). This is about one third of the world's population. A new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, states that “The desire to check a social network like Twitter or Facebook is stronger than the need to smoke a cigarette or have an alcoholic beverage” (Flacy, Mike). People that have and don't have Facebook are constantly wondering what is happening, and they feel the need of looking at their Facebook account because they are scared of missing out on what is happening. For instance, your friends start to use Facebook as a replacement for email, then that means that if you don't want to be left out or not informed about something, you must also get Facebook, which influences many other people. Additionally, statistics prove that people check their Facebook account at least 14 times a day for about 20 minutes each. That's about 4 hours and 40 minutes wasting your time, when you could’ve done something better. Furthermore, it becomes a habit to spend time on Facebook when you are bored, which gradually makes you an addicted person to Facebook.
Another negative effect Facebook has on us is that we tend to forget our “real life.” What I mean by forgetting our “real life,” is that we are more connected to Facebook than we are in real life. Since we get addicted to Facebook, we spend less and less time face to face with friends and family. Instead most of the time we are endlessly scrolling down our Facebook accounts, rather than enjoying our time. A second reason we become more antisocial is because we already know people's life from looking at the pictures they posted. This results in people not knowing what to say the next time they meet face to face, if they ever do. Alexandra Tendler also suggests that “It’s easier and more convenient to look someone up on Facebook than physically stay in touch with him or her or calling on the phone” (Tendler, Alexandra). Thus, Facebook sparks this laziness in us, in consequence, people prefer staying home chatting with friends via Facebook rather than meet up in some place with them. Alexandra Tendler also stated that “We become more socially connected with the rest of the world, but we are becoming more disconnected from each other” (Tendler, Alexandra). I agree with her and feel that even though you have so many followers and friends on Facebook, it doesn't have the real significance of a friend. Hence, It seems to me that they are your social media friends, but in real life, you are strangers.
Moreover, Facebook can create depression. One reason you can get depression from Facebook is from looking at random pictures and useless things that you don't need to know. This results in you feeling annoyed and sad that you wasted your time. Another point I want to make is that I believe we all agree that the main purpose of Facebook is to communicate and share things in an easier way, but according to a study published in Computers in Human Behavior, “Most people aren't using social media to be social. Only about 9 percent of Facebook's users' activities involve communicating with others” (Morin, Amy). Therefore 91 percent of the people that use Facebook are wasting time. A following reason Facebook can lead to depression is the fact that we only post the good things. In consequence people look at other people's post and see great pictures with friends, amazing vacation trips, etc. they start to think that their own life sucks, so they get jealous. This results in you compare your life and it makes you feel depressed. Then why do people continue using Facebook if they know it's making them feel sad? Researchers have found that “It stems from a psychological term called affective forecasting. Studies confirm that people predict Facebook is going to make them feel better.” (Morin, Amy). For this reason, people continue using Facebook.
Now I am not saying that Facebook is completely bad, and we should stop using it. I think that if we learn to use Facebook in a moderate way, as a tool for communication rather than a way to waste time, and enjoy it without making us feel sad or depressed, then there shouldn't be a reason to say that it has some negative effects. Facebook and other social media are great inventions, and they are useful, until you abuse them. So make the right choice and take a break from social media and, see how it affects you.
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Morin, Amy. "Science Explains How Facebook Makes You Sad." Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 07 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Oct. 2017.
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Tendler, Alexandra. "The Disconnect: How Social Media Is Making Us Anti-Social." The Odyssey Online. Odyssey Media Group, 27 Aug. 2017. Web. 19 Oct. 2017.
"Top 20 Facebook Statistics." Zephoria Inc. Zephoria, 18 Sept. 2017. Web. 19 Oct. 2017.
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