With the immense enhancement in information technology, leading to various inventions of social media networks, the world has indeed transmogrified into a global village. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat and other social media networks have developed into multi-national corporations worth billions of dollars. Social Media has virtually captured a greater percentage of the world population with an estimated audience of about 2.55 Billion.
Social Media has emerged with both positive and negative sides. It now allows people from around the globe to share a platform where discussions on various topical issues bothering on culture, education, relationship, Sport, entertainment, and others take place.
It has also integrated into an avenue for the dissemination of information; Mostly News. A study by The PEW Research Center on News Consumption found that about 33% of young adults got news on Social networks. Various Media Houses have also taken advantage of using Social Media as an avenue to connect to their audience. Businesses now advertise their products to the public through social platforms. Social Media is gradually becoming a necessity, as more and more people are signing up daily. Notable People such as Heads of State, Ministers, and Celebrities are even obliged to join the fast growing trend.
Unfortunately, Addiction to Social Media has become a unique dilemma that has emerged. Research proves that users between the age of 15 and 25 spend at least 4 hours per day average using social media platforms like Facebook , Twitter,whatsapp and Instagram. And with the enhancement in accessibility and usage, addiction levels are constantly rising. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc have focused more attention and resources into improving their mobile apps which most users prefer, because they spend lots of hours on their phones & tabs texting, sharing pictures, videos and more.
Time which is supposed be to focused on work, studies, family etc are spent on social media. Young students are so addicted to the extent that they are busily texting, tweeting, and ‘facebooking’ during lecture periods. Others tend to have less sleep as they spend several hours on Social Media.
Now extensive research has exposed certain implications and consequences of Social Media Addiction. These consequences can affect one’s Physical, Mental, Emotional as well as his/her social well-being. Studies have shown that users who are addicted tend to be disorganized in certain key aspects of their lives. Recent studies also indicate that social media addiction also has mental health implications, addicts tend to be more insecure, restless because they get less sleep and lose a lot relevant time.
Social Media addicts are also more likely to have a detached social life, the more time one spends online, the lesser time he or she spends in the real world. Having a healthy social life is important to develop a person’s emotional quotient. Having kids and teenagers spend hours online, however, hinders their social interaction with people. Confidence and self-esteem are also affected and can be a cause of a multitude of other effects.
While social media has without doubt helped users bridge that physical gap with their friends and relatives, the adverse effects of its frequent use have also started to show. The question remains then: Is social media a good thing or a bad thing? The answer to this is quite simple—as the old adage goes, anything used in excess becomes bad. Regulation is the only way users can provide a clear demarcation line between their real life and their cyber life.