Humans’ thoughts and emotions have always been influenced by the surrounding people, places and lifestyle. With the advent of social media in the 21st century our surroundings have expanded to a very large radius with the circumference encircling almost the entire globe. Our thoughts are now influenced by the trends prevailing in the entire world; whether the influence is positive or negative depends upon the respective individuals. Any new technology is introduced in hope of improving the humanity but their drawbacks have also been inevitable. Social media is no exception.
Social media has always posed as a mode to expand ones social circle. It has been a great way to exhibit ones talents to a larger audience which in turn expands opportunities many fold. Business franchises have also found this to be an excellent advertising platform to attract consumers in exuberant numbers. This has proven to be the easiest and most feasible way to communicate with other people with similar interests in terms of professional and non-professional means. All these factors are evidence that social media proves to be a really useful tool for professional upliftment.
Social media possesses as a recreational spot for people to spend their leisure time. It can also serve as an antidepressant and an ideal was to kill boredom. People use social media to keep them entertained through videos, memes, and humour blogs. There exists a blog for everyone. Social media comprises of newsfeed, fan pages, humour sites, documentaries, DIY pages, cookery blogs and many more in a single platform. It is the most ideal multi-purpose tool which is both informative and entertaining. This is the best way to stay connected with friends and peers, interact with them and expand to newer acquaintances.
Social media uses the proliferation of its use by a huge multitude to its advantage. This is the prime reason behind all the positive impact it has created in our lifestyle. Nevertheless, the most significant use of social media is the rapid spread of information and ideas to an extremely huge population. This merit can serve as a life safer during emergencies, or while informing citizens about important law ordinances, or in creating a socio political impact amongst common people. With swift spread of information, thoughts and emotions supporting a common idea people get a sense of oneness which motivates them during crisis.
Nonetheless, this same merit is the biggest disadvantage of social media. Any kind of information gets spread in lighting speed which does not permit the time to examine between harmful misleading content and good content so false information gets spread as much as true ones. This can really serve dangerous as wrong thoughts and ideas can manipulate people into supporting wrong deeds. Any propaganda supported by a mass multitude is accepted by all multitudes without proper verification or research. This paves way to online terrorism and people become part of it even without realization. Any person opposing the mass idea becomes victim to cyber bullying, online abuse and hate. This influences the society and minds in a negative way.
Social media is a platform where everybody is both strong and vulnerable. Many people fall prey to cyber bullying, hate speech and verbal abuse. The predominant reason behind such reckless behaviour is the fact that their identities remain unknown and their actions unquestioned. Even established people and celebrities are no excuse to such notorious acts. This has affected the mental and social well-being of many.
People often resort to social media as a way to escape from depression, stress and loneliness. But this also has had a negative reaction in many. People get discontented with themselves on seeing models and fitness trainers with perfect looks and physique. They try to adopt unrealistic diets and routines in an attempt to obtain such an appearance. But, when their attempts fail their self-esteem plunges immensely low. Many people suffer from eating disorders while trying to acquire the perfect looks and bodies portrayed by models in social media. They cut down on food to appear slim which deprives them of the essential nutrients in a balanced diet. This further adds to depression and stress.
People generally post only the happy and seemingly perfect incidents of their life. This may trigger feelings of dissatisfaction in one’s own life. Many people use social media to overcome loneliness but on seeing others’ lifestyle feelings of envy and FOMO seeps into them gradually which only exacerbates the situation.
In today’s world social media is the biggest robber of time. Tracking and maintaining the time spent online is an extremely tedious task especially for the younger population. This serves to be the most fundamental symptom for social media addiction. This diverts one’s concentration from performing any other productive work. People tend to have the urge to check for updates and messages ever now and then. Getting likes becomes the most important priority which leads people to do dangerous and insane things. Such habits harm both the physical and mental health of an individual.
Above all these drawbacks, cybercrime through social media has posed as the most intensive threat with the maximum affected percentage. Cybercrime through social media includes an exuberant list of illegal activities; like abducting money from victims through fake advertisements or offers, fake sales and purchases, impersonating an institution or person and many more. Another lane of cybercrime includes threatening someone for money by claiming possession of one’s personal data or explicit videos. We get many miscellaneous offers and advertisements in our mails as a scam; many of us get allured by the offers and open those mails without verifying their source. Any of these mails can be an attempt to hack our device.
In my opinion, the solution to all these problems lie in our own hands as all of them are human driven which implies we can solve them on our own as well. If the users of social media were more alert such scams could be largely prevented. We should resent from opening scandalous messages; if a mail is sent from an unverified source it shouldn’t be opened. We should be more precautious when sharing important information. Any post shared should be verified previously. This prevents proliferation of false information which eventually eradicates false thoughts and propaganda. This is the 1st step towards eliminating online terrorism.
Social media should only be a part of our lives; our lives should not be entirely driven by it. Flamboyant pictures posted online are generally edited. So, one shouldn’t feel insecure on seeing the seemingly perfect pictures. In fact, there are many blogs that encourage people to be body positive and feel good about who they really are. As long as, one has control over the usage of social media he is his own master. Nevertheless, there are many apps which help you maintain your duration of usage. In order to prevent cyberbullying many governmental officials are setting up trackers which aid to catch cyberbullies. It is impossible to stop technological development. It is up to us to use this development wisely and benefit or fall prey to its loop holes and become a victim. All human inventions have errors which can be fixed by the same humans. It all depends on the user!