Negative Effects of Social Media
Social media has had made many impacts on society. Any website that allows social interaction is considered a social media site (Schurgin O’Keeffe, Clarke-Pearson). Due to the new technology taking over, social media has been easier than ever to get a hold of by the applications that have been made for portable devices. Through these devices and applications, being socially connected has made it easier to communicate with each other. Unfortunately, it all hasn’t been positive communications. There are many negative effects of social media, the biggest being addiction and self esteem. The definition of an addiction according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something (addiction). While social media addiction is not clinically diagnosed at this point, the behavior displayed and language of the students use suggests that society is not that far from becoming physically dependant on mobile devices (Westfall). With the new technologies right at the fingertips of society and easy access to check the newsfeed of the word, addiction to social media is on the rise. There are many factors that classify someone as an addict in different parts of the world. According to psychology professor and author Larry Rosen, “Social media addicts spend most of their waking moments checking for updates, chatting in instant messaging rooms, posting updates and checking their friend’s latest postings. Even when they delete their accounts, they usually are driven to make new accounts within twenty-four hours” (Gabriel). Some cases of addiction to social media are not as severe as others. In some extreme cases there are symptoms that can be observed. These symptoms include: spending at least four hours per day using social media, canceling more and more activities with family, friends or coworkers, bringing cell phones or other internet capable devices into the bathroom, and feeling anxious when you cannot get onto the internet. Once the individual has gotten involved in networking sites, things can escalate quickly. One reason these sites are so addictive is that there is a nonstop stream of messages, photos, updates and information coming from those in the network. If you have ten friends, it should not be a problem keeping up with them. If an individual’s network is one hundred friends or more, the individual might end up online for hours every day, trying to check all of the updates. Trading messages back and forth with other members, the individual might find himself or herself even more caught up in the exchange, just as it would be in a normal conversation. Social networking sites are meant to be casual, relaxed ways to connect with others. If you start losing sleep or are unable to concentrate because you're always thinking about going online to check your friends' statuses, then that is a sign of trouble. Social media has become an addiction to people because it is a form, or a way, to escape reality. It is also a way that someone can create their own cyber reality (Cosper). According to an associate professor in a program of science, technology, and society, Natasha Schull states, “Online games and social networking sites use psychological principles to keep you hooked” . Recent study shows that online dependency is not so different from a physical addiction. “MRI scans of patients checking their social media feed and those using cocaine look exactly the same,” says Schull. Most addictions begin as a harmless satisfaction of needs and desires; checking a few media sites stimulates those pleasure centers in the brain (Jensen). Another reason these sites are so addictive is that they provide outlets for when you are feeling down. People post fewer negative than positive updates on networking sites. They might mention trips they have taken or new cars, but they will rarely mention when they get poor grades or if they gained twenty pounds....
Cited: “addiction”. Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2014. Web. 14 January 2014.
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