Social media can be an addictive platform as we never get enough of using it and are constantly looking for ways to enhance its features.
When we speak about the positive effects of social media, we should also consider the following ill effects of the most popular medium of communication in the 21stcentury – a false sense of connection, lack of privacy, decreased productivity, inability to think independently, added wasteful expenditure, increased appetite, online-offline influences and so on.
Astrologically, mobile phones, social media and technology are related to BUDH and RAHU mainly.
A false sense of connection
Since the introduction of social media, there’s been a decrease in real-life conversations. More people are building relationships online and drifting away from the real world. The more we post, comment and like, the more we feel closer to other people (whether or not we know them in person). Phones are smart enough to become a studio of conversation with people across the world. But these interactions and relationships are far from the real social life that is needed for holistic growth of a ‘social animal’.
Lack of privacy
“Check-in, at home, on the couch, with my popcorns, watching Star-Wars”.
Social media is encouraging people to become more public with their private lives. Users are easily giving out information that can be dangerous if leaked to the wrong person. Also, people have started sharing personal details that they would never reveal in a face-to-face conversation.
“The journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click”.
Social media can either increase or decrease productivity. It all begins with a single click of searching for some very important content, and then you come across an intriguing post about say, the first man on Mars, and the curiosity driven you clicks on it. After deciding to share the news with your friend, your friend comments, and ten more friends comment and it carries on… This and many other similar activities can decrease your productivity. Hence, you must work with discipline and try to avoid social media distractions.
Inability to think independently
An HP Lab’s computer scientists’ study revealed that more users are influenced to change their way of thinking based on the majority rule – dependent on their online circle. Peer pressure continues to be an influence on a lot of users. This is a negative trait that inhibits a person’s own idea. People are afraid of sharing thoughts that are different from the majority fearing criticism, and effectively their self-esteem is lowered.
Increased wasteful expenditure
“It’s not about ‘don’t spend time on Facebook’, but just be aware of what it might be doing to you” – Professor Keith Wilcox, Columbia University.
More business is entering the social media world and it is luring more consumers to buy products online. Online purchasing is cheap and doesn’t consume time, which is exactly what the consumer wants – no delays, no physical effort involved. However, this ease of purchasing encourages irrational purchases without investment of thought and effort regarding the need for the products bought online.
A study from Women’s Health reveals that more people tend to feel hungry after they’ve viewed a couple of @ItsFoodPorn images online. A photo of a mega-food plate can trigger a part of the brain to compel observers to overeat. Beware of the content you see on social media, as it may have a major impact on your daily habits.
A lot of people enjoy online interactions and entertainment just as much as they enjoy online shopping. But this is coupled with impact on relationships in the real world as sometimes such interactions can lead to jealousy and suspicion. For instance, more couples fall prey to jealousy or breakups based on online posts. Another reason for such bitterness between partners is when a partner is caught keeping up with their ex in online conversations. Another example is of negative posts being put up online by people you may or may not know in the real world, but the content of the posts may trigger self doubt, aggression, biased opinions and so on.
Experts have not been in total agreement on whether internet addiction is a real thing, let alone social media addiction, but there’s some good evidence that both may exist. A review study from Nottingham Trent University looked back over earlier research on psychological characteristics, personality and social media use. The authors conclude that “it may be plausible to speak specifically of ‘Facebook Addiction Disorder’…because addiction criteria, such as neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying experiences, tolerance and concealing the addictive behavior, appear to be present in some people who use