How Social Media is Affecting Out Real Life

Social media has grown to be such a huge part of daily life in developed countries like the United States that it is nearly impossible to spend a day, let alone live a life, without it as a young person. This may seem like an overstatement, but it would be very challenging socially and even professionally to lead a life without some form of social media. From meeting new friends, to picking a college roommate, to finding out what Lower has for dinner that night without actually walking over there, following your favorite sports team from the library, and now finding a job. These are just a few situations where social media can enter your life but there are many more. And once it does come into your life it is very hard to cut it out. More and more social media platforms are being created everyday and they all seem to add value to my life, and I become more attached to my smart phone.

The interesting question is what kind of effect can this have on a developing brain? There hasnt really been any research done on this and that may be due to how young social media really is and how fast it has growth and now consmes our daily lives. To put it in prospective for for myself, and a lot of the other seniors in the class, I am 22 years old and I started out with a flip phone the summer after my 8th grade year. From there I think I got an iTouch at the end of my freshman year and then finally an iphone sophmore year. And I think this is when we should start looking at how it has been affecting developing brains. Social media has been around longer, but I think it is the mobile generation of social media that has really taken over people’s lives. Its hard not to pull up Facebook or Twitter while you are bored at home, walking to class, or yes, even sometimes in class.

The University of Pittsburgh dove into this issue of how social media effects mood and the findings were not positive. “The research determined that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.” “There were significant and linear associations between social media usage and depression whether social media was measured based on total time spent or frequency of visits.” This is very troubling and it gets even worse considering this test polled young adults aged 19-32. I think that the findings will be even more troubling if this study is repeated in 10 years when mobile social media has had time to reach kids at an even younger age. I understand that there is a lot of social benefits that come from social media, but our consumption of this product has grown to unhealthy levels and I am concerned about my generation and the effects that may grow out of this issue.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2016/04/30/study-links-heavy-facebook-and-social-media-usage-to-depression/#180fffe47e4b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. The issue you raise is incredibly important and highlights the need for parents to pay close attention to social media use among their children – especially now that kids have smartphones as early as 12 years old. The University of Michigan did a study and found the following, “the more time participants spent on Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.” Another studied showed that regular Facebook users experience the following feelings, “37 percent feel they need to change specific parts of their body when comparing their photos to others’, and… 44 percent wish they had the same body or weight as a friend when looking at the photos.” These are just a few studies that align with your concern of how social media is causing a negative impact on people’s mood. The article found at http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/child-brain-development-and-social-media/ speaks more in-depth about these studies as well as provides tips on parenting to prevent behavioral changes as a result of social media. Your post as served as a reminder for me to ease up on social media usage.

  2. Great post! I also blogged about a topic regarding cell phone/social media overuse. After writing my blog, I ended up giving a presentation in my Public Speaking class about the negative effects of excessive phone use on individuals, so I did a little more research. This Psychology Today article (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain) states that too much screen time is damaging the brain. Although this is not directly correlated to social media harming the brain, social media is a big reason as to why people use their phones so much. Although some aspects of the article are too scientific for me to understand, it is basically saying that too much screen time damages brain structure and function. It affects the frontal lobe, which continues to be developed until an individual’s mid-twenties. Screen time can affect the development of this important part of the brain. I definitely agree with you about being concerned about our generation!

  3. Wow is the first thing I have to say. I absolutely had no idea that increased time spent on social media results in a higher chance of depression. I’m very curious why this would be the case. I’ve written a few blog posts, one on cyberbullying and one on ridicule given towards people online and these could be two reasons possibly why this is the case. Hopefully as social media does continue to grow, so too does research on safely using social media. Like you said social media is so critical to life now, so it is time to make some changes to education around it to help people manage that depression. You never want anyone to hurt themselves, especially because of social media usage which is vital for survival.

  4. I agree with you, as beneficial as social and digital media shave been on our generation there are many issues it is causing. We have become lazier in a sense despite the tracking apps like Fitbit (rather than walking to lower we can sit on our couch and look up the menu). I had posted an article on Twitter that discusses how Facebook has become more popular than face-to-face interactions and books. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, we are losing things that have physical meaning and are turning to a digital presence to share our memories. Check this link out! http://www.marketwatch.com/story/people-spend-more-time-with-facebook-friends-than-with-actual-friends-2016-04-27?link=sfmw_tw

  5. Great post! Do you ever wonder how much time social media takes out of our lives to actually be social? Like really social, as in real life, face to face social. When I think about it in that sense, it makes me question the value as well as the sacrifice that comes with being in an increasingly digital world. I wonder how it effects our friendships, relationships and how different they were before the social media explosion. Have we slacked off in these areas without even realizing?

    It was surprising to learn that SM increases the chances for depression, but when you sit back and think about it, I can see how this would be the case. SM is quickly becoming part of our DNA, whether we notice it or not, and most don’t think about how such an amazing tool can be used to hurt people or effect their mental state of mind.

  6. willybbolton · ·

    This is a very relevant post. A friend of mine said yesterday – “the smartphone is now officially a part of the human body”. Smartphones and social media have found their way into almost every aspect of our lives. I think that the millennial generation will not be negatively affected long term by the digital age, but I think the new generation of young kids is at great risk. I think that growing up with social media is definitely a negative thing for very young kids, and will ultimately make people less social. Kind of ironic.

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