Since the dawn of the technological revolution, in the 1950’s, up until the 21st century, technology and digital processes have dominated modern society. The spur of different technology companies, such as Microsoft and Google, seemed too good to be true. Up until this day, these two companies have been dominating the digital world. With the continuous avalanche of technology and social media companies sprouting on a day to day basis, the huge dispersal of our connection with ourself has slowly turned into our connection with a whole new level of imagination and a completely new “world”. The question is, has this superficial world dominated the inhabitants of a real world: Earth?
While social media might seem an innocent tool that is being used for education, leisure, and simple day to day interactions, the reality is far from meets the eye. A shocking research, in 2016 by the National Survey of Children’s Health, showed that of the 46.6 million children ages 6 through 18, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition. Of that 7.7 million, only half received treatment. Furthermore, according to the Pew Research Center, 45% of teens say that they are overwhelmed with the drama they see on social media. When the youth were asked why they unfriend people in social media, 78% said that people cause too much drama and an additional 52% said that they were subject to bullying.
One report conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK surveyed 1,500 people from age 14 to 24. Their study showed that Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and SnapChat all had negative effects on mental health. If that is not convincing enough then let me tell you this, a study performed by the University of Pennsylvania reported that students who limited their social media use felt a lot better with reduced symptoms of depression and loneliness. Melissa G. Hunt, author of the research, states, “Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.” She then continued,”It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely”.
All of these statistics clearly show the harm of engaging and interacting with social media, however, that is not to say that social media can not be used for constructive purposes. Social media has also immensely improved our lives and enhanced how we communicate, interact, work, and play. These statistics are just to show the potential harms that can be sparked with having various social media platforms and some cautions to keep in mind. Ultimately the choice is up to you. The way you use social media can be of benefit and can also be a trap. The amount and content you are looking at should be regularly be monitored and reflected upon by yourself to answer a question: is this benefiting me in any way or it is harming me?