Social Media Is Weakening Us.


Person holding up phone into the sky with apps flying about

Do you feel addicted to social media? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. More often than not people will spend hours upon hours scrolling on their phone. It may seem like meaningless time being spent on social media, however that time builds up. Social media is built to be addictive. Platforms like Instagram, have algorithms that are all prescribed to the user. All the information is conformed to the person’s interest and likes so users keep scrolling and spending more and more time on their platform. Social media is harmful to our social interactions, our relationships, and mental health. 

They prioritize
social media, giving in every
second with every
notification, bringing in more
of a desire to get back on.

Humans in nature are social. We need to have social interactions to stay connected. All our social skills are directly tied to our mental health. Without social interaction, we fall to serious stress, anxiety, or depression. Social media can be far from social. People rely and go to social platforms to get these interactions yet nothing comes from them. The media is used like a replacement for human interaction. These platforms allow for individuals to hide behind a screen and people can put up a fake front. Spending a lot of time on social media will start to cause a loss of human interaction. People end up feeling more lonely, lost, and saddened.  It is the control the platforms have that cause the unrealistic social interactions online.

Social media works very much like any other addiction. Scrolling on a phone can provide a distraction from the world, it is an escape from reality. Social media platforms can feel rewarding to users. It starts to impair other important daily activities. Social media on the brain creates the chemical dopamine which makes you overall feel good. An author at the Addiction Center writes “Studies have shown that the constant stream of retweets, likes, and shares from these sites cause the brain’s reward area to trigger the same kind of chemical reaction seen with drugs like cocaine.” Social media becomes a habit, people need to constantly check their notifications to get another chemical reaction in their brain continuing the cycle of addiction. It takes severe self discipline to control how much you spend on social media apps or  to even cut them out completely. 

Images, videos, and pictures are all a pigment of someone’s life. People online put up edited or highly manufactured versions of their life on social media. Young people who are on social media are constantly influenced by others’ perfection and configured lives, leaving them to compare themselves to strangers on the platforms. This is extremely damaging, as the constant comparisons from one person’s life to some idealistic standard is harmful. People try to configure and alter their own lives so others on social media will acknowledge and give them attention. Social media gives young people this outlet to harm and damage that will lead them to a low self consciousness, anxiety, stress and depression. One of a kid’s worries is how they present themselves online and how others will perceive them. They prioritize social media, giving in every second with every notification, bringing in more of a desire to get back on. It doesn’t help that we all have the convenience right to our fingertips. Today’s generation has grown up with technology and it is heavily involved in their lives. Kids are more susceptible to the risks of social media. Kids start comparing themselves to others online at an early age and it causes severe self hatred and deprivation from social media. Kids are also prominent to cyberbullying, and the dangers of strangers online. It is easy to get involved in someone’s life on social media while never having met a person online. Stranger danger is not so easy to pick up on social media. People have the ability to be completely different from who they actually are and it can lead to harm. Not only is it hard to see who’s behind the screen but kids do not develop a good self discipline. Social media provides a distraction for kids; it becomes a way to prevent them from doing chores or homework. Today’s generation has a tough battle to face with social media constantly being surrounded by them making it harder for them to limit themselves online. If parents do not monitor what kids do and how long they spend on social media it will cause problems and struggles for their future. 

Social media addiction can become very problematic in any type of relationship and with developing relationships. Spending too much time on social media can break the face to face connection between two people. Within actual social interactions in the presence of someone, social media has made it difficult for people to socialize in real life. Social media provides such a big cover for real interactions. Online it is easy to have conversations without physically being there mostly because  you can take your time with how you present yourself. Yet once reality comes around people start lacking those social skills, most of the interactions are all online through social media. Some relationships may be ruined because a person is just wasting time on their phone instead of being with a person that cares about them. For instance, sharing a meal with another person is not time to be spent on social media. People lean directly towards their phone when experiencing any amount of boredom. Instead of curing boredom, social media has the ability to fill that emptiness or free time a person has. Openly engaging in social media deprives of social skills and makes it difficult to form and keep up relationships, causing the loneliness and anxiety that comes with social media 
Overall, social media is extremely harmful if not in moderation. Social media can lead to addictions and lack of social skills. Social media platforms can waste people’s time, and push procrastination. Kids of this generation have grown up and are most susceptible to the damage of social media. The reality is obscured, people pretend to be something their not which leads to a bad self image and low self esteem. It is extremely important to monitor and watch what you take on social media even with its configuration to the specific user. It is important to focus on your mental health and wellbeing so if needed keep your phone out of reach.