According to a recent survey , nearly 50 % of the world’s population uses social media (that is over 3 billion users worldwide). The survey claims that approximate 86% of people use social media at least once in a day. And about 72% of people use it multiple times a day.
Another study shows that Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide and in 2020, the global number of Facebook users is expected to reach 1.69 billion, up from 1.34 million in 2014.
This data is not only limited to personal use or making social communication but meant a lot for business purpose as well.
Nowadays social media has become a strong medium for business for promoting their business and building their online networking. a new study has revealed that 73% of marketer believe that use of social media had been proved a most effective strategy for the growth of their business.
These data and statistics clearly explained the relevance and importance of social media platforms in our lives. We like it or not, but social media has become an integral part of our life and has a multifaceted impact on the modern society.
How different life was before internet?
The world web was created in 1981 by a British scientist sir Tim Berners lee. Since mid 90s, the internet had a revolunatory impact on every aspect of life, and now with the passing time, it has become an essential element of our everyday life.
I still remember those days of (late 90s), when I was studying in medical college and we had limited resources (mainly books) for studying vast medical subjects. in fact, talking to your family, cousins or relatives or maintain a social communication was not an easy thing. Letters or STD calls were the two main sources for maintaining a social communication and we have to stay long in ques (for making STD calls) for talking to our families even for only few minutes.
Now, technological advancement has made lots of things easier. In this modern era, social media platforms like twitter, Facebook and what’s up has changed the meaning of social communication. these emerging social media platforms has crossed global boundaries successfully. And made our lives easier in every aspect.
But like all other things, social media has its pros and cons. It can work in both ways and may affect our lives both positively or negatively.
In this post, I am sharing both sides of social media (as a boon and as a curse). Along with this sharing some easy tips to use social media wisely. Read the post to know more!
Social media as a boon
As I had mentioned earlier, social media offers so many great benefits and advantage for different important aspect of our lives. Such as:
It helps in gathering, learning and sharing useful information
Personally, this was the first reason, why I had started using internet. Today, with the power of internet and digital platforms, we have plenty of valuable resources for gathering useful information. Academics, sports, health and fitness, nutrition, internet provides excellent information on all aspect of life. Google and other search engine work like a helping friend and solve our challenging quarries in minutes from the comfort of our home.
Helps in making and maintaining social communication
Second important point, indeed social media has become a back bone of our social life. Now, with the help of different social media channels, we can make and maintain our social relations easily and effectively. Personally, I am living on a foreign land (USA), since last 5 years. And I could not imagine my life here, without the presence of social media.
With the presence of these platforms, I always feel connected with my family.
It offers an excellent opportunity for businesses for building their own brand and create an online presence
Another important benefit, whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a settled business brand, digital platforms have an immense power to enhance your reputation and you can build your own brand by using social media platform effectively.
Digital platforms provide an opportunity to showcase your talent to world
Yes, this one is another strongest point, social media planforms give an excellent opportunity to showcase your talent to world. I could say this thing confidently based on my personal experience. It was 5 years ago, when I moved from India to USA, visa status (H4) has restricted my professional carrier as a homeopathic therapist.
This restriction may have a strong negative effect on my self-esteem but social media and blogging have given a new purpose to my life. Slowly with constant efforts, I had established myself as a blogger and published my e books too. All these credit goes to social media and digital platforms that has helped so many people like me, in restarting their carrier.
So, these were some amazing advantages of social media and with these ways, it works like a boon for our lives, but it has some negative effects too. And can affect our lives negatively too.
Social media as a curse
Wastage of precious productive time
As it has been said that excess of everything causes harm and same principle applied to use of social media too. Unfortunately, large number of our population (especially younger generation) use social media platforms for long hours, for just passing the time or doing other meaningless activities.
Unlimited usage of social media platforms is reducing productivity of our lives, this one is one of the most disturbing effect of social media that bothers me a lot.
Overuse of SM has created a state of isolation in real world
I am sure you all would be agree that overuse of social media channels has created a state of isolation in our real world. Nowadays, people remain lost in virtual world for long hours. The constant virtual engagement creates a state, where they had no time for making conversation with real people. This over obsession reduces their ability to make time for people who matter most in their life.
It has affected our physical and mental health negatively
Nowadays, each one in family have their own gadget or device. Each one (including kids and adults) keep them engage constantly either on different social media channel or have some sort of other activities like playing games etc. Sadly, it is a routine scene in most of the households.
This overuse had affected our physical and mental health negatively. The unlimited usage of social medial planforms for long hours reduces our physical activity and due to this lack of physical activity, people are suffering from obesity and other lifestyle related disorders.
Along with physical health, social media had affected our mental health too. With the constant overflowing information, and mesmerizing personal update (specially Instagram feed) lead people to make comparison of their lives with others. And in this comparison process, they feel themselves inferior and suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.
Social media is so addictive, and sometimes we did not know that we had that addiction. Read this post to know the 10 signs, you should quit social media.
Cyberbullying is another digital threat that make our kids’ lives miserable and affect their mental development at a young age.
Chances of stealing personal information
Last but not the least, we have to be very cautious while using different digital platforms. Otherwise, there are higher level of chances to steal personal information, and we may suffer from mental and economic harassment.
So, these were some cons of using overusing social media planforms.
As a conclusion, I would say “like all other things, social media has its own set of positive and negative impact on our life. It all depends on us how we use it? If we maintain a good level of discipline and form a firm boundary, social media can enrich our lives with wisdom, knowledge and valuable information, otherwise it can ruin our physical and mental health, and can disturb our family and personal life as well”.
Before ending this post, as a physician, I want to share some easy tips to use social media wisely.
Tips to use social media wisely
- Fixed a time and try to restrict your use for decided time schedule. Avoid using it early morning or before bed time.
- Take frequent breaks. Constant exposure of overflowing information can cause more harm than good.
- Keep a check on your way of using it. Avoid unnecessary surfing to just kill the time.
- Avoid compare your life with others after seeing other people’s social media posts.
- Know your purpose for using social media and try to keep your surfing around your goal or purpose.
- Always take extra care about your cyber safety. Avoid sharing any personal info or accepting a friend request from unknown people.
- Teach your kids and tell them pros and cons of digital medium. Guide them to how to use digital platform for educational purpose. Always keep a watch on their search and use all appropriate cyber safety measures too.
So, this is all for now. What is your experience with social media? Is it a curse or boon for you? Please share!