Jeremy Edge, LPC
Social Media Pros and Cons: The Benefits and Problems With Social Media
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
The Internet is an amazing tool. People can be more productive than they ever have been in the past thanks to the medium of the Internet. The Internet allows us to work together and connect more with not just those we work with or are friends with, but anyone who is also online.
Imagine trying to go to work in 2019 and not having access to the Internet. There are professions that do not rely on Internet use, but a vast amount of work depends on the Internet. Simply using email, or a similar communication platform, is a key part in staying up-to-date professionally.
There are many pros to the Internet, but what are some cons? What could possibly be wrong with spending time being productive online? The key word there is productive. What happens when we don't use the Internet to be productive? When does the Internet turn from something useful to being a distraction? A distraction from not just from productivity, but from life.
Let’s take social media for example. Social media can be a great place to help you professionally. We can market our business and promote goods or services for free! We can also connect with businesses we like and want to be a part of. A good social media page can help with producing a lot of revenue for a business.
But, what happens when we are on our business Facebook site and then say, "I'll check my page real quick." Then you check your page and see the fun weekend trip your friends were part of that you could not partake in because you had to work. You think, "Wow, Karen looks good. When did she loose all that weight?" That gets you thinking about how you need to be running more but just don't have enough time.
You continue to scroll through their pictures and comment on a few. Then you keep scrolling and see another one of your friend's dating status changed. You'll think, "When did they start dating?" Then look up this person they're dating and learn where they are from and what they like. You get a notification and see someone posted a comment on your wall. You check it out to see an old friend and you respond back to them by saying, "It's been too long! How are you and the kids?"
After a while of Facebook exploring, you forgot what you initially were doing on the site. You lost track of time and now feel self-conscious because you don't look as good as Karen and feel bad you are not enjoying time with friends. Those negative thoughts can stay with you for the rest of the day, negatively affecting your work productivity and self-esteem.
The more we check Facebook, the more we compare ourselves to others. It becomes easy for us to focus on what we don't have and become depressed because we feel we will never be able to obtain what others seem to have. So what can we do about it?
Spending real fact to face time with those you love is a great way to respond to the negative emotions social media can bring. Not FaceTime through your iPhone, but real face to face interactions in real life can help you feel more supported and connected than any social media platform. Even Facebook recognizes that their platform should be used to help make real face to face interactions.
Spending time on a social media platform in it of itself is an isolating activity. Our attention is on our device and we are not truly engaging with another person. The more we are able to spend time with those we can about and care about us, the more we can feel truly connected.
Social media is a great way to promote your business and connect with others. It can be a great way to help stay up to date on what others are doing in life. It can be a great tool. But, it can become problematic and negatively affect one's life. Do what you can to not just check what your friends did last weekend but make plans to spend time with them next weekend. Stay connected by disconnecting from the social media.