In today’s time, Social Media has already become a part of people’s lives. It has become normal to see them holding their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and whatnot even at times of breakfast, lunch, dinner, group gatherings and even right after waking up or right before going to sleep. Admit it or not, you have already experienced falling asleep in the middle of finding a picture to post on Instagram, stalking someone’s profile, checking updates through Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter or chatting with someone on your phone or tablets. This might be a normal thing to do every day but hold up; there are reasons why it is not good for us. Social media is essential to the world of today but there’s no denying of the fact that the youth tend to be careless in using it. We need to control and limit the use of social media by young children and teens because overusing social media can have a harmful effect on their lives and even their health.
First and foremost, social media is very addictive. As more people carry around smartphones and other devices wherever they go, it becomes harder to escape the internet. There is just this certain magnet between gadgets and their owners that it seems impossible to separate them both from close proximity. People go on social media for countless reasons; however it serves the same basic purposes: distraction and boredom relief. But once you start exploring the world of social media, it gets harder to get away from it which may cause addiction, without you even noticing it. Furthermore, people who are addicted to social media may experience negative side effects such as eye strain, social withdrawal or lack of sleep. Any addiction is potentially harmful if it saps your energy away from other activities, such as work, physical activity and offline relationships.
Secondly, social media gives way to cyberbullying. Due to people’s immoderate use of social media, the rates of cyberbullying has increased drastically and it poses the biggest online threat for young people. An organization that aims for internet safety, called Enough is Enough, conducted a survey that found 95% of teenagers who use social media have witnessed cyberbullying, and 33% have been victims themselves. Because of social media, people now have access to things such as anonymous online messaging which allows bullying on the internet to be much easier to get away with than bullying in person. Social media has given bullies a more discreet way to cause harm to others since bullies feel a sense of security hidden behind their phones and computers. Moreover, cyberbullying causes significant emotional and psychological distress to the victim. In fact, just like any other victim of bullying, cyberbullied kids experience anxiety, fear, depression, and low self-esteem.
It may be true how social media help us in our daily lives, but we have to make sure that we also watch out for our health and safety. By the presence of social media, many negative effects appear that cannot be avoided. As with just about everything, the three reasons stated are already enough to show why people, especially the youth, should moderate the use of social media because of how it can affect us psychologically, mentally and physically. There are many ways to limit the use of social media which are real simple just like being productive and learning how to prioritize things that are important. By doing those things, it may help us distract ourselves and not use our smart phones because we are pre-occupied with different tasks. Another way is through setting up an alarm or timer to limit our use of our gadgets. With it, we would know when to stop and we would be aware of how long we have been using our gadgets. We should always remember that our physical and mental health are far more important than internet updates, text messages and emails. This is why we should take effort in limiting our use of social media. It is important to be safe than sorry.