Social media has woven into almost every aspect of our lives. Some more than others, but while so many of us enjoy it and feel practically hooked, others are noticing a distinct overwhelming of the fabric of our lives. Some of the aspects of social media platforms can take over our lives to such an extent, it can be detrimental to health.
One of the key areas where the use of social media platforms and general internet use is sleep. So many of us are now taking to social media, one last time before the pillow is puffed up and we switch off the light to sleep, just to see if that picture or video posted earlier has generated any more likes.
It can be truly addictive. That is something you probably already knew. Moreover, when we see about 50 of our friends still logged online – even at 10 or 11 o’clock at night – we feel no requirement or desire to log off and sleep ourselves.
The impact on rest and sleep is impacting our lives. Anyone who will have spent any terms or years in a dormitory or multi-occupant rest areas, will know that sleep is very difficult if there’s someone in the room who will not sleep.
Online contacts are in the “virtual” room of your social media platform, therefore, it is easier to get off line when there are only a few people left in the chat rooms. It’s a kind of psychological thing, but you know what they say about birds of a feather?
Recommendations are that social media platforms should be shut down at least one hour before we shuffle off up to bed. Moreover, the blue light from the screen can trick our brain into thinking it is daytime, thus causing sleep pattern issues, insomnia and all-day long tiredness.
When it is controlled and used correctly, it can be a fun and purposeful tool, but misuse of social media can easily disturb our circadian rhythms.
Self Esteem and Body Image
This area of our lives seems to affect women, particularly younger girls, more so than boys. We are constantly bombarded by pictures of our friends looking good, thin and “ideal”, but it raises the bar in all of us.
The next picture you post has to at least match that, as when the other social media friends see the two images side by side in a news feed, there is the fear that there might only be one “winner”.
Likes, comments and sharing posts help to elevate a person’s social media wall or post. Instagram and Snapchat are two other media platforms where looking good and getting liked seems to be the order of the day.
This means that there is a hypersensitive focus of one’s own body look, social circle status and self-esteem.
Real Life Social Interaction Can Take a Big Hit
It is a no-brainer that spending too much on social media, means we spend less time actually mingling and interacting with others.
Such behaviour can make us shy or introvert when we talk to people in a non-virtual environment. In a positive way, social media has allowed us to become interactive with people from all over the world.
This is something that was never possible, unless you joined a pen pal club and received the name of someone who was a similar age, wrote to them and waited three weeks for a response.
It is possible we have always had the urge to Facebook, tweet or Snapchat another but only now have we finally got the technology and speed to do it.
Through social media we have all become news hounds: like when a plane plunged into the Hudson River, the people on the scene had it up on Twitter first. Pictures, videos and all.
Social media is changing the way we live our lives too. Getting married is for many, one of the biggest days of anyone’s life.
However, hundreds of dollars are spent on the accessories, food, guest list, photographer, reception music and wedding dresses that couples are overlooking the fact that the wedding photographer has been well beaten to the post by a number of guests posting matrimonial snaps online.
This has prompted many couples to actually request instructions on the invites and wedding booklets: to “please not upload any photos or videos to social media”.
We have all had the wedding gift list and baulked at some of the presents the couple actually want, but to be told what to, and what not to put on our own social media?
Well – life really is changing in every way because of social media. So, whether it is the latest weather report or just some sports results, social media really has taken over our lives.