Social media is playing a big part of our lives, with reports suggesting that around 40 percent of the world's population use online social platforms – with an average daily use of 2+ hours.
Social networking websites like Facebook and Instagram help us link up to people around the world. They could serve as a launching pad for a new entrepreneur, or could become an inevitable source of negative peer pressure for young adults.
Despite the numerous benefits of social networking, it can have negative impacts on our well-being and time. Following are some of these downsides:
Stress: For some people, the use of social media can result in users feeling more stress. People use social media to vent about everything from personal experiences to politics. This could increase awareness of distressing events in people's lives and thus turn to be a source of stress.
Distraction: All the social apps we use and news and messages we receive can highly distract us and lead to all sorts of problems from distracted driving to failing to give full attention during a conversation. Also, around-the-clock obsession with browsing social media can incite procrastination habits and radically affect productivity.
Sleep: The blue light emitted by screens on smart phones, laptops and tablets restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycle. This means that checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before your bedtime means you are headed for fitful slumber.
Interaction: Spending more time on social media could substitute offline and face-to-face interaction and make people feel more excluded. In some cases, social media can encourage antisocial human behavior and make people experience a lack of a sense of social belonging, engagement with others and fulfilling relationships.
Self-esteem: Todays' teens and young adults may feel inadequate thanks to social media. Exposure they now have to the highly idealized lives of their peers, 'social influencers' and bloggers can significantly contribute to lower levels of self-esteem. They often compare themselves to photos of other people looking their happiest, mistakenly thinking those lead better and happier lives.