Is social media bad for you and can it affect the way humans behave? Social media can affect the way you learn, the way you think, and the way you act. Social media and the internet have changed a lot of people’s everyday routine. We’ve become obsessed with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms to the point that they’re controlling our time and our lives. Even to socialize, we often use technology. Business meetings are held over Skype and kids would rather just use messenger apps than talk in person. This dependence on technology is negatively affecting our social skills.
Social media has really affected the way people interact with each other. Technology appears to create a global network, bringing people together; however, this replaces real-life interaction and people are just stuck behind a screen. This is really targeting the younger generation because they can just sit behind a screen and say whatever they want, but when it comes face-to-face interaction some people can’t even hold a conversation. We’ve gotten into the habit of living in our own world and staring at the device screen. Mr. Johanson, an IHS parent, said, “I will walk into a building and people are just hunched over staring at their little screens, while sitting next to one another not interacting at all. I never had any of this stuff when I was a kiddo.” When we replace real life interaction with online communication, we lose the ability to read tone of voice, facial expression, and body language, which could lead to people taking things the wrong way.
The Internet has become a great tool for learning. You can google any information you need rather than spend time in the library or attend the course online without leaving home. But having all of these options at your fingertips wherever you are doesn’t always guarantee a quality education. Now-a-days, people don’t even know how to write properly. People sometimes overuse technology in the classroom which obviously affects the learning process in a negative way. People have started plagiarizing and cheating much more than they used to with all of these websites available to them. This makes young children’s learning abilities much worse over time. Various studies claim that the more students use social media, the lower they perform academically. Instead of reading and doing homework, modern kids are sending a Snap chat or liking their friends pictures on Instagram. It is really hurting kids test scores and quizzes because people would rather spend time playing Fortnite and Call of Duty, leaving them with little time for studying. According an article titled “The Impact of Social Media Use on Social Skills”, social media has an obvious negative effect. It states, “According to a study, from 1997 to 2003, the amount of kids’ non-screen playtime decreased by 20%, while screen activities (TV, computer, video games, etc.) increased (Hofferth, 2010). Children’s access to electronic devices has grown five fold in two years (Common Sense Media, 2013) and they engage with screens almost all day long and in many different settings such as cars, restaurants, vacations, and even in the bedroom.” Too much screen time can lead to a decline in productivity.
The final problem with the negative impact of social media is bullying. According to a study entitled “Prevalence and Effect of Cyber bullying on Children and Young People” by Michelle P. Hamm, PhD., “Social media has had a profound effect on how children and adolescents interact. While there are many benefits to the use of social media, cyber bullying has emerged as a potential harm, raising questions regarding its influence on mental health.” Bullying is a very serious thing, and cyber bullying changes the world of bullying completely. Instead of in person, cyberbullying happens behind a computer or phone screen where the bullies can say whatever they want without seeing the person’s reaction to it. Social media has completely changed how bullies attack people, making it much less physical and much more mental. Many studies show that mental bullying is worse than physical bullying. Hamm concluded that, “There is a consistent relationship across studies between cyber bullying and depression among children and adolescents.”
In conclusion, social media and the new generation of electronics do have some positive effects, but they also have many negative effects on people. As a society, we should limit our screen time. As teenagers we need to put down our devices and engage in meaningful conversations.