If you’re like most people today you have two selves; your online self, and your physical self. You may not agree with that statement but at the very least you can agree that social media plays a huge role in the way that people socialize in 2013. There are two ways to look at this: One, you enjoy the prospect of being able to reach out to people all over the world to meet exciting and similar people, or maybe you just love being connected to all the people in your life at all times. If you think this, I get it, it’s true, and I applaud your positive outlook on things. What I’m going to talk about is the ways that social media ruins certain aspects of life. Or at the very least, make them a whole lot more stressful.
There’s no argument that social media hurts productivity. The average Facebook user spends 46 minutes a day on the site, but this is from the Facebook site and takes into consideration accounts that are often inactive and discounts the possibility for multiple accounts. A more realistic number is closer to an hour and a half. That’s 10 and a half hours per week that could have been spent on something more productive than checking your buddy Sean’s obscene Punta Cana pictures. Simply put, It’s a waste of time ESPECIALLY with the student population who spend close to 3 hours a day socializing online.
Friendship is now a Business
First things first: I’m a business major and happy to be one. However, I think that when you take aspects of life that aren’t meant to be businesses and make them so, it tends to mess with their true purpose. Facebook’s true meaning and original goal was, I’m sure, to help people connect and stay in touch. As a business it is no longer only that, but it is to continually improve their experience and gain users so that the company can continue to grow in the future. Sounds harmless, but when this happens it means that people start sitting in rooms thinking about how they can get users to use their service more frequently, and in greater numbers. If they don’t , their company stock goes down and people lose money. If the company is successful, this means that you’re not on Facebook because you want to; you’re on there because if you aren’t, you can’t have a regular social life. In short, it forces a need for the wrong reasons.
You may think, “But isn’t the whole point of social media to strengthen relationships?!”, and it can. However, it’s my opinion that it makes any kind of romantic relationship more stressful. I could talk about how being accessible at all times can be tiring, but maybe I’m just a bad boyfriend. Instead I’ll speak to anyone who has ever had a relationship end and finds himself or herself on Facebook in the near future during the “moving on” phase. This is where social media makes this process almost impossible. Chances are you’ve been communicating with your ex for a long period of time. Most social media outlets (especially Facebook) record whom you interact with and tend to follow these people a little closer. This means that your home page is most likely laden with pictures of “Jenny” out having fun with her friends and moving on, while you boil more water for your second consecutive box of Kraft Dinner. In short it makes it more difficult, and if you remove your ex as a friend or follower, then you’re the ass who couldn’t just get over it. Either way you look at it, it’s a lose-lose situation.
In tune with the whole relationship reason is the fact that Facebook destroys self-esteem. When you can see everything that everyone around you has ever done in his or her life, it naturally makes it really easy to get down on yourself. That kid who made fun of you in grade school is making $250,00 and married to a supermodel. Your friends are travelling to Europe while you’re writing an economics paper. Your friends went to laser-tag without you, or maybe that girl you’re into was tagged with twelve varsity football players in an album titled “You only live once! :)”. Even the most self righteous person claiming they don’t get jealous has to admit that seeing this stuff doesn’t brew positive feelings towards ones self.
So get to the point…
Now admittedly, I’m joking and exaggerating about a lot of these situations, but it’s all to prove a point. Social media makes you focus on others, the things you don’t have, the things you’re not doing, and what happened in the past. When I said, “I’ll show you the ways social media ruins certain aspects of life” it’s because life should be about living for you. It’s your life and you can’t live it when you’re stuck following everyone else.