The downside of social media

While becoming an essential part of modern  interaction, social media has also created a culture among teens that causes unnecessary drama, negative self images and inauthentic relationships.  

With the permanence of internet posts, anything you  post can be twisted against you. Something you might find funny might be considered offensive by someone else and can negatively affect your future.

While in-person bullying seems to have  decreased in the past decade, social media allows for another harmful way of social punishment: cyberbullying. When someone is unable to express their anger in a calm manner, they now post their problems with someone for everyone to see. Many teens now rely on social media to express themselves, but some thoughts should stay to themselves.

It’s easier to misinterpret posts on  social media, because without in-person expressions and body language, you can’t understand what is and isn’t a joke. Underneath all the finstas, private Snapchat stories and group chats, it’s hard to tell if someone is just saying something to be funny in a private setting, or trying to directly hurt someone.

Furthermore, as individuals develop their own online presences, teens are constantly judged based on their social media following. Popularity shouldn’t be based by the 300 people that follow someone.

At a study at the University of Pittsburgh has found that the longer young adults spend time on social media, the more likely they are to be suffering from depression. Social media encourages comparison and dissatisfaction in one’s own life, causing problems in their self esteem and outside relationships. If you believe that everything someone posts accurately represents their life, it can affect a person’s expectations of their own lives and other people.

Social media can cause pressure to be friends with those who follow you or comment on your posts, but in real life, they  might not share any common interests or have similar personalities with you.

Social media has affected the way we socialize. Even though platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat create an easy way to communicate, it shouldn’t be seen as the only way. People need to learn how to meet friends through similar interests and common activities, not through  a phone screen.

Communicating online  hasn’t made people more social; it has made them needy for followers, likes and comments to measure popularity. We need to limit the time we spend on social media and take a look at  what we have been missing out in the real world.