Social media became an important part of our everyday life and routine. Its chief purpose was to keep people all around the world connected. However, people use available platforms for all sorts of reasons — some are good, while others are bad. Because of that, social media can have different positive and negative impacts on our lives.
There’s a widespread belief that the social media effects on people’s mental health and well-being are harmful. But that’s not always true — nothing’s black and white.
Here are some pros and cons of using social media and tips on how to use it in the best way.
The Convenience of Social Media
Social Media platforms certainly make our lives easier. They give us plenty of options we never had before. For example, it’s quite simple to stay in touch with our friends and family, no matter where they live.
And there’s more to it — we can take a look at what their life is like at any moment. With everybody sharing content on social media, we can see where people we care about are and what they are doing. That way, we feel involved in their life without even asking them about it.
However, staying connected via social networks only can have adverse effects too. More often, people tend to present themselves unrealistically on social media, especially on Facebook and Instagram. And for that reason, you can never be sure if what you see there is true or not.
Besides, being able to talk with everyone all the time makes us lazier than before. Nowadays, people don’t care that much to see each other face to face. And for that reason, we spend less quality time with others and more chit chatting via mobile apps. That can easily lead us to take people we love for granted. So, it seems that nowadays we have more friends, but very few real ones we care about.
Reconnect With Old Friends
As mentioned before, popular social media sites and apps make it simple for us to connect with people. That is especially convenient when you wish to find someone you lost contact with a long time ago.
So, today you can quickly reconnect with friends from your childhood or relatives who live far away. With platforms like Facebook, it’s easy for us to find and keep important people in our lives. And by sharing photos and videos with them, we also keep them involved and let them know what’s going on.
But this can also make us feel bad about not staying in touch with everyone we think we should. In some way, social media can make us feel obligated to stay connected with everybody we ever knew. So, feeling bad about not talking enough with a cousin from a distant country is something most of us experienced at least once. And guilt is possibly one of the most destructive emotions humans can face.
Can Affect Mental Health
Social media can make both positive and negative impacts on our well-being. Using it can make us feel more connected with the people we love. But it can also cause some mental health issues, even social media addiction. It all depends on the choices we make.
Using social media platforms to reconnect and talk to people isn’t a bad habit by itself. When we spend too much time scrolling down, our brains feel overwhelmed with processing that much information in a short period. That can damage our memory and ability to focus.
Also, social media can make a serious impact on the way we see ourselves. Getting enough likes and comments became a priority number one for many people. And some use social media to present themselves in a perfect way, which can lead to narcissism.
Besides, thanks to social media, we’re constantly looking at perfect lives everyone seems to have, comparing them to ourselves. And this can easily cause us to feel depressed, bitter, or anxious. So, popular social networks help us stay connected with others all the time, but at the same time, people feel lonelier than ever.
Disrupt Your Sleep
Overusing social networks can cause issues. Also, there are the right place and time for using social media platforms. However, people don’t keep this in mind and stare at their smartphone screens everywhere and anytime.
Most of us don’t mind going through Facebook notifications while hanging out with friends. A bunch of people look at pictures on Instagram when they’re supposed to be working or studying. Checking out our social media accounts before going to sleep, or right after we wake up, has become part of our daily routine.
These are all unhealthy habits and can negatively affect our everyday lives. Since social media tends to overwhelm our brains with information, using them before going to sleep is a bad idea. And this can seriously disrupt our sleep and damage the quality of our lives. In general, using social media irresponsibly and inappropriately causes a lot of problems, including poor sleep.
Here is another article from Cosmopolitan about the bad effects of social media.
It Can Make You an Instant Celebrity
We keep hearing stories about people becoming celebrities overnight, thanks to social media. They were sharing the right content, getting a lot of feedback, and eventually built their little online empires. And no matter how incredible it sounds, these are true stories.
There’s even a new term we use to describe people of this profession — influencers. They have a huge audience and a strong influence on many. The content they share is something people love, like workout tips or makeup tutorials — they earn their living by sharing sponsored posts. That way, some of them make crazy amounts of money.
However, all these stories lead people to believe anyone can become an instant celebrity and earn ridiculous amounts of money. But creating an empire on Instagram or Youtube isn’t as easy as it seems. Just like with any other profession, it takes time and money to become an influencer. Besides, as a beginner, you’ll face serious competition on every social network site or app.
So, the belief that becoming an influencer is pretty straightforward and requires nothing but luck is wrong. Instead, try looking at it like any other profession. No matter what you do, you need to have the knowledge, be persistent, and put effort into building a career.
Can Be Used as a Platform for a Good Cause
We can use fire to burn and destroy things, but we can also use it to keep ourselves warm. And the same goes for many other tools or devices created by humans, including social media platforms. So, the reason why we use social networks matters a lot.
These platforms are a fantastic and inexhaustible source of pieces of advice and information. For that reason, people today know a lot about what’s going on in the world. And this is a huge benefit we gain by using social media — they help us stay informed.
Of course, this also means we come across a bunch of fake news. But more often we find useful information we need to solve some problems. You can even look for a job via social networks, or reach a mental health support groups.
With the invention of social media, the dream of making a positive impact on the world became achievable than ever. Now, anyone can reach people they wish to help in some way and actually do it. And even sharing positive posts, tips, entertaining content, and leaving supporting comments can change someone’s day or even life.
At the same time, social networks can help us too. No matter what we struggle with, spending time on social media can make us realize we’re not alone. And sometimes, this alone can make a huge, positive impact on a person.
Advertising for Business Owners
There’s one more amazing thing about social media platforms — they are perfect for advertising! And this is especially convenient for small businesses that don’t have much money for marketing. Promoting a product or service has never been this easy.
So, advertising on social media usually doesn’t cost much but is very effective. And when it comes to marketing, these platforms also give you a variety of options. They even offer marketing tools that make it simple for you to reach your target audience.
But when it comes to social media marketing, there are still things to learn. Sharing a simple picture of your product now and then won’t help you that much. Not to mention that you can even ruin your business by posting the wrong content online.
For that reason, having a marketing strategy before starting is a pretty good idea. That means that sometimes you need to pay for Facebook ads or to spend hours making a perfect picture. But one thing is certain — when people want to find something they want or need, they’ll most often use social networks. For that reason, having a business account on social media is very important for any company. See this other article from Entrepreneurs about marketing strategies.