Social Media is a powerful tool, and so many of us use it too much. Almost all of us are to some degree, addicted to social media. One of the reasons that we are so addicted is because we aren’t fully aware of the impacts that it has on us.
Low Self Esteem
One of the most damaging impacts of social media is to our self-esteem. We seek appreciation and validation from others as humans, but this is taken to a new level on social media. So many of use associate the number of likes and followers to how good looking / good of a person we are. This cripples our self-esteem because on social media, we compare ourselves to others. Theodore Roosevelt once said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We always look at others and seek what we don’t have. When you see people with more likes than you, you doubt yourself, feel bad about yourself and lose self-appreciation. It is important to remember that what you see on social media is a highlight reel, and that you only see the high points of people’s lives.
We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t look at screens before you sleep or late at night. The reasoning behind this is that the blue light in screens supresses the production of melatonin in your brain. Melatonin is the hormone that is released to help you sleep. It is reduced because our brains become confused with the level of light that our eyes are picking up. This messes with our body clock by making our brain more active before you try to sleep, resulting in you either taking longer to switch off or not sleeping at all.
Studies have shown that social media has affected our attention span. In 2000, the average attention span of a human was 12 seconds, and in 2015 it is 8.25 seconds. Our attention span is now 0.75 seconds less than a goldfish.
Many of us are guilty of pulling our phones out during memorable moments instead of just being present and soaking up the experience. Taking photos to remember them isn’t the issue, it’s the immediate reaction to take these pictures for Instagram or twitter. We don’t remember these moments; we remember the picture on Instagram.
Social Media is taking more and more control of our lives, and it impacts so many of us. We recently discussed ways to help you curb your social media addictions on our podcast. Listen to our podcast today, available on all major podcast outlets and on our podcast page.