According to the FinancesOnline study, people spend an average of 2 hours and 41 minutes on social media. As a reference, it’s approximately the same amount of time you need to read a hundred pages of that book that’s been on your bucket list for ages.
However, social media is a crucial part of our lives, and it can help us access new information and connect with people we love. It can be a tool that could help us become more affectionate and open-minded, but there are also many hidden threats that can harm our wellbeing.
Therefore, we’re bringing you a list of social media pros and cons you should bear in mind.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROS
1. It increases communication
Social media is an unsung hero of our COVID quarantines and self-isolations. It helped us connect with our loved ones and share precious moments when we were most vulnerable. Bonding with others is at the core of what makes us human, and social media platforms can be an excellent environment for facilitating conversations and building friendships.
2. It raises awareness about important issues
Thanks to social media, some of the most critical social issues finally received the attention they deserve. Social networks can give voice to the underprivileged and silenced ones who believe in change. After all, social media platforms are places where movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter flourished and made their marks in the history of social justice.
3. It normalizes seeking help
Seeking help takes a lot of courage. Many teenagers shut themselves away after experiencing a lack of understanding and sympathy. This is where social media shines bright. It’s a place where many counseling groups were established, and they can provide insightful personal stories and guidance to help young people feel they’re not alone. From free online counseling and forums to support groups – there are various methods and approaches that can cater to everyone’s needs and help them tackle their challenges.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONS
1. It can be used for cyberbullying
Even though social media can be a great place to meet like-minded people and encourage meaningful discussions, it can also be a hostile environment where young people can feel unsafe and harassed. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is on the rise, and its link to depression and suicide among teenagers is alarming. It continues to be a challenging issue for social media companies to better manage.
2. It can cause mental health issues
Young women often feel pressured to follow unrealistic beauty standards seen on social media platforms. This could lead to unhealthy body image, eating disorders, and numerous mental health issues that can have vicious consequences. In fact, ExpressVPN’s study on Gen Z showed that 83% of respondents feel anxious around posting on social media, while 79% of them say social media presence makes them feel depressed.
3. It can promote fake news
When it comes to sharing news on social media, a “few bad apples” can truly spoil a whole barrel of good ones. Misinformation is almost old as time, but social media platforms make it spread extremely fast, and it can reach larger audiences. What’s more, it can contribute to anxiety and depression, and in some cases, it can trigger phobias and panic attacks and prevent young people from maintaining their everyday lifestyle.
Social media is a double-edged sword – it can welcome you if you need help and comfort, but it can also stab you in the back. Therefore, it’s essential to look at social media as an aid and not the only source of information and solutions to your problems. Surround yourself with positive people who empower you, and bring value to your life, and nurture those relationships.