Social Media: It’s Up to You To Use It Correctly
Social media has only been around and in heavy use for the past 20 years. With only 2 decades of use, we can’t fully understand the ill-effects that social apps have on our brains and social connections.
Apps that spread information like a fire can’t be good in specific situations. But, since they spread information so quickly, they are an important resource for people to collaborate and create a new future with.
Social media lets people be — well — social. Anyone can sign in and find a group of people who they otherwise wouldn’t have met. This is unlike centuries past where single beings would only know people within their small community.
With such an uptick in how and who people are able to connect with, there have to be some problems.
Let’s explore that:
The Cons of Interconnectedness
- Radical ideas can spread like wild-fire through social media
- Social media can be used to dox and stalk people
- People may feel excluded or are excluded from certain communities
- It can be used as a platform for online-bullying and destructive behaviors
These are just a few of the disadvantages of social media with respect to how it connects people. The most terrifying disadvantage of social media is the rate at which it can spread radical and destructive ideas and behaviors.
For example, the Tide Pod challenge. Yes, it is what it sounds like. Eat a Tide Pod and record it. Obviously, this is a silly thing to do, but it didn’t stop hundreds, if not thousands of kids from trying it. The Tide Pod Challenge resulted in the company Tide making a public statement that Tide Pods were in fact not candy. Who would have thought?
Aside from silly online trends, social media can lead to destructive groupthink. In fact, it’s designed for that.
In the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”, they outline how social media is designed to manipulate you, control you, and even lead you towards radical communities. In the film, they depict the path of a high-school boy who is lead astray by what the social media algorithm offers him daily. As the film progresses, there are interviews of people who worked for “Big Tech”. Some of the people designed the algorithms that are still used to this day on Facebook or Instagram to name a few.
The Social Dilemma gives a scary look at what’s under the hood. Social media isn’t your friend, maybe the people there are. But, as the film eloquently proves, social media desires your attention, it isn’t designed to make you a better person.
How Do We Use Social Media To Our Advantage Even Though Its Against Us?
Social media can be used for good. What kind of good?
- Use it to spread positivity
- Use it as a tool to look better for employment
- Use it to discover new, interesting ideas
- Use it to advertise your business
- Use it to make connections with people you love
Social media isn’t all bad, there is a good part of it. Sometimes people can be genuine and real on social media. You just have to look for it. In my experience, close-knit groups of friends who simply use social media to communicate and share updates with each other is a perfectly acceptable way to utilize it.
Don’t fall into traps of jealousy or loneliness with social media. Social media can be an extremely unrealistic place. There are many posers and people are just there to watch others fall.
The more you use social media the more it controls you. Use it less, the less it does. Ultimately, using social media too often can lead to false senses of reality, desperate attempts for attention, and downright laziness.
Use social media for productivity, create posts that engage others, send-off advertisements to promote your business, or create a distinct community.
It not like social media is going anywhere now. It takes one person at a time to control how it’s used.
It’s up to you to use it correctly.