Social Media has undoubtedly become one of the world’s most valuable resources. It benefits us by helping us reconnect with our loved ones, provide jobs for those who are technology savvy, and even help the police incriminate those who are bold enough to post all about their criminal endeavors. Social media offers a multiplex of opportunities to anyone that has access to the internet. But as much as the internet pandemics Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have to offer, they are all still bad for us. They bring meaning to the phrase, “too much of a good thing is bad for you.” If we slice deeper into the heart of social media, we find just how bad they can get.
Correspondingly, we often neglect the fact that social networking is bad for us because we do not want to believe it. How can something so entertaining, so informative, and so accessible, be harmful? There is no skepticism about whether people use social media as a medium for them to gain confidence. On Instagram for instance, users upload pictures of anything they choose and allow others to comment on and like their posts. The only problem here is that Instagram has no dislike button. This simple fact supports Andrew Santella’s notion, writer and editor whose work has appeared in GQ and The New York Times magazine, that the use of social media encourages narcissistic behavior. Social Media Narcissists are those who find the utmost importance of what their followers think of them. They find meaning and value in the number of followers they have or likes they get under their picture. This quantitative assurance feeds into the user’s narcissistic need to feel unique and superior.
Additionally, social media is exactly what its name defines it as. It is media that responds to trends in our current society. This in itself is not a bad thing, but when it is coupled with the fact that trends change faster than dirty underwear, it becomes catastrophic to the mind. The information on social media is sporadic. Ideas are scattered all over the place, and it causes our minds to do the same thing. It prohibits us from thinking about a single idea for any longer than it takes us to read a tweet. It is training our minds to comprehend concepts on a small scale. I think of it like this. We are training our brains to read condensed information. Within a few sentences the concept of a topic is understood and the idea is thrown somewhere into the depths our consciousness. This is damaging because when a reader attempts to understand a concept within a text using the length of an entire paragraph or two, they will become disengaged due to the length of the text. In other words, a short attention span. They are expecting to get a quick synopsis similar to the ones they experience on social media. Yes your timeline may seem as long as a Harry Potter novel, but each post is as minute as a single sentence on each page.
In Closing, social media is not all its cracked up to be. It’s used daily as a medium to stroke our egos and live a false life. It has the potential to cause personality disorders such as narcissism and change a person’s life for the worst. The mental affects are more of a concern when you consider the significance of your education. Having a short attention span can be detrimental to a college student reading 20 pages from their textbook, that they need to discuss in class the next day. Let’s stay away from social media.