Does social media create isolation?
How many hours a day do you spend on social media? There is a high chance you spend majority of your day online. Three billion people, around 40% of the world’s population, use social media. The average person spends a staggering two hours a day on social media. That is wasting a lot of time staring at a screen! This is increasing dramatically as the younger generation is becoming engulfed in social media. Social media exploded in the 20th century. In February 2004 is when the multibillion dollar social media platform Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. He created Facebook to connect with people from his university. As of 2017, 81 percent of the United States population has a social media profile, compared to the early 20th century were there was a small population of the world who used social media.
I believe that social media creates isolation. I will be demonstrating comprehensibly that social media stimulates mental illness in teenagers and adults, social media is a factor of online bullying, social media is highly addictive and social media violates people’s privacy.
Around half a millions tweets and snapchat photos are sent every minute. Social media nowadays allows us to upload pictures with friends, speak to virtually anyone all around the world and share our opinions on different issues but it also allows us to focus on how many likes we get on a photo or how many Instagram followers we have. This can lead you to comparing yourself and your life to other peoples. The impact of this can lead to extremely low self-esteem and can cause you to start having negative thoughts towards yourself. High amounts of time on social media can also be linked to depression.
Social media can cause stress. A study found that social media causes more stress in woman than men because it makes them aware of other people’s stress. Twitter is used as a stress relief for most people as they can vent about what’s going on in their lives. A research was done in Austria finding that people’s moods lowered after only spending 20 minutes on Facebook. A study involving over 700 students found that depression symptoms, such as low mood and feelings of worthless and hopelessness is linked to social media. Depression symptoms are a lot higher in people who use social media very often. The reason why social media causes depression is cyberbullying. This can have an extremely big impact on our mental health. Also having a distorted view on other people’s lives and feeling like you are wasting your whole life on social media can cause you to have depression. More research needs to be carried out to find if social media causes anxiety.
Cyberbullying is a major issue in this day and age especially now as social media is a massive part of our lives. BullyingUK carried out a survey and found that 43.5% of young people ages 11-16 have been bullied over social media. 70% of people ages 12-20 say they have been abusive towards another person over social media and 17% of people say they have been a victim of cyberbullying over social media. People isolate themselves from the world and don’t tell someone they trust about what is happening to them; this could cause the person to harm themselves as they think they are worthless or a burden to people. There aren’t enough resources out there to help people who need help. Social media sites don’t do very much either to prevent cyberbullying.
The TV personality and former glamour model Katy Price started a petition for her 14-year-old son Harvey, who has multiple disabilities. Harvey is a victim of online bullying and abuse because of his size, colour, looks and disabilities. Katy started the petition to make online abuse a criminal offence. Katy and her mum, Amy Price, went to speak to MPs to try and make online abuse a criminal offence. She told the MPs that she believes social media providers should do more to track down offenders and prevent abuse. The law is still being reviewed. How would you feel if this was your son being bullied online and nothing being done about it?
People these days will refer themselves as a “social media addict” and no one would batter an eye lid. In fact, a lot of us social media users have it in their Instagram and twitter bio. But recently it’s been found out that social media addiction is a real serious thing that’s having a negative mental impact on our well-being. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently announced that video gaming addiction will be listed by WHO is officially a disorder. Research has confirmed that social media addiction is considered as a pathological behaviour but has not officially been listed as one. “Social media addiction” comes with all the behaviour signals that we might usually associate with chemical addictions, such as smoking or alcoholism. Social media is described as almost like a drug it is becoming that much of an addiction. You can literally talk to anyone you want over social media from anywhere over the world.
There are different aspects of social media that makes us so addicted. Social validation, a like on Facebook or someone commenting a nice thing on your Instagram photo is a social signal that makes us feel good. Fear of missing out (FOMO), sixty-seven percent of people aged thirty and under say they are afraid of missing out on something when not on social media. Ego, eighty percent of our online conversations are self-disclosure, compared to thirty to forty percent of offline conversations.
When we scroll through Facebook the ads that pop up always match our interests, companies will do anything to promote themselves, even if this means breaking our online privacy. And the simplest way for them to get to know your interest is keeping a close eye on your social media behaviour. It has been reported that Facebook apps have been leaking personal information of people who are using the apps, and the users have no clue. There isn’t a way to stop this apart from deleting social media all together, but this would be a real struggle for most of us as we are all highly addicted to social media.
We all know what stalking is, but do you know what Cyber-stalking is? Cyber-stalking is a form of cyber-crime that happens online when a criminal uses social media to harass or threaten a person or an organization. Some examples of Cyber-stalking are tracking their victims every move on GPS device, hacking and saving emails, texts and using them against the victim and creating mean websites or blogs about the victim. You are 20 times more likely to be robbed online than you are in the streets.