Social media is here to stay. People enjoy it too much, and it makes too much money for it to not remain a big part of our society. Social media can provide a lot of benefits. However, it can also be detrimental.
Social media is a powerful force that can be used to enhance or damage your life. It can even harm your physical and emotional health. Let’s look at both sides, so you can determine for yourself if, when, and how you want to use social media.
Consider these benefits of using social media:
- Stay in touch with friends and family. This benefit of social media is certainly near the top. Social media does make it easy to stay in contact with the important people in your life. You can exchange messages, videos, and photos with multiple people with ease.
- Battle loneliness. Loneliness is a common affliction, especially among the elderly. Social media provides a convenient way to connect with others.
- Develop contacts. Whether you’re looking for a mentor, clients for your business, friends, hunting buddies, or vendors for your business, social media can be a great help.
- Communication is much faster. One post is faster than 30 phone calls. At the very least, you can reach all of your friends and family with one communication.
- Greater reach. With a simple post or tweet, you can potentially reach millions of people instantly. You can address people that live thousands of miles away that you’ve never even met.
- Show off your talents. Are you a fantastic singer? Amazing artist? Do you tell the funniest jokes? Can you train a dog to stand on his head? Social media provides a platform for sharing your talents with the world.
- Boost your income. It’s not easy, but there are a lot of people that make a lot of money from social media. It can be a great way to find customers, sell your product or services, or just make money from ad revenue.
- Learning opportunities. A site like YouTube can be highly educational, and it’s free. For example, there are experts that will teach you to cook, garden, fix things, breed turtles, and play the guitar, to name a few.
There are also several drawbacks to using social media:
- Anxiety. It’s become common knowledge that social media use can lead to anxiety. Fear of missing out is one cause of anxiety in social media users.
- Addiction. Any social media platform you enjoy using can become an addiction. The creators of these sites know how to keep your interest piqued.
- Depression. Social media users often report depressive symptoms. When everyone else’s life seems so idyllic, it can make your own pale by comparison.
- Reduced productivity. Social media use robs employers of worker productivity. It robs you of your own productivity at home and socially.
- Substitute for face-to-face contact. People spend less time with actual in-the-flesh humans, because social media provides a substitute that feels valuable, but often isn’t.
- Social media can waste a lot of time. Social media use can suck up a lot of time and attention. There are apps you can use on your phone or internet browser that will track your time. Try one and keep track of your social media time. You might be surprised by what you discover.
- Privacy concerns. Identity theft criminals use social media to mine personal information. It also provides a tool for stalkers to keep an eye on their victims, and burglars to know when you’re out of town. Protect yourself at all times.
Take your social media use seriously. It can cause more harm than good if you’re not careful! Do your best to get the most from social media without it negatively impacting your life. Social media can be a great addition to your life if used wisely.