Social media has now become an unavoidable part of our day-to-day lives. We might be able to start a day without a cup of coffee, but not without scrolling through WhatsApp chats or Facebook notifications. For the younger clan, it’s flipping through Instagram feeds and stories. People use social media for various purposes. Especially during this time, we have realised how much we are dependent on social media and how it is the need of the hour.
Some people use it to promote their business or other’s businesses, some of them use it for personal blogging, others use it as a medium to express their opinions, thoughts and reflections, some for portraying their political views, and yet others for expressing their art and creativity and so on.
DIfferent Media, DIfferent Uses
Age plays an important role in how and why people use social media. For a 45-year-old homemaker, WhatsApp would be the only way to relieve her daily stress and connect with her distant family and friends. But at the same time, for a 10-year-old schoolgirl, WhatsApp would be a platform to take and share her notes from her classmates, contact her subject teachers and get updated about school announcements. For teenagers, social media is more of expressing themselves and connecting with like-minded people. Likewise, each group chooses different social media platforms to gratify their needs. There are negative effects as well, such as having insecurity, envy and constant stress because of the contents being posted by others in social media who are more privileged.
In this modern era, we cannot completely avoid the use of social media, but we should make sure it is not disturbing our mental wellness. For quite a number of people, it is an opportunity to connect with the world outside and explore the possibilities for unleashing their skills and feel good about themselves. On the other hand, some people who are socially isolated sign in to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram in their leisure time just to know what is happening and what people are up to, but at the end of the day, they feel they’re not worthy and their life is not as beautiful as others’ who post happy moments of their life.
This is where the real problem lies. As we all know, people only post the most picture-perfect moments of their life; that is what they want the world to see. So, when a person who is living alone, away from family and rarely getting a chance to meet friends, this creates mental stress. Similarly, when people with less financial support, see his or her Facebook or Instagram friends post luxurious pictures of their house and car, they tend to feel envy and never become content with whatever they own.
Mental Wellness and Social Media
According to a BBC Future 2018 report, women spent much more time on Facebook than men and experienced significantly more jealousy when doing so. But people never speak of this social media jealousy or stress that it is causing them. If they do or avoid the use of social media, they fear they would be considered less than equal in society today. Yes, some people find peace outside this digital world and choose to stay completely away from this chaos. But, some or the other way, at times they too are forced to get involved in it.
There is no doubt that social media and digital marketing has opened the doors of success to many small entrepreneurs and influencers to widen their vision and reach their goals. Many multinational companies and brands also use Facebook and Instagram to advertise their products and connect with their customers. Without even stepping out of the comfort of their homes, customers can explore various products in the market, compare prices, check the reviews and buy it if they like and return it if they don’t. Though we feel it saves so much time and money, most of the time we end up spending more time and money than we would spend otherwise. Social media and its impact on us is a vast subject as it influences us every single minute in every possible way, whether it’s good or bad. It’s we who should decide, how much it should take over our lives.