SOCIAL MEDIA SHOULD IMPROVE YOUR LIFE, NOT BECOME YOUR LIFE! RITU GHATOUREY
THE WRECKING CREW is a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, as a tribute to his father, late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The movie tells us about the unsung musicians that provided the beat, the rhythm and the tempo that gave us many number one hits in the 1960’s. From Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds or The Beach Boys, these musicians became a musical force around the world.
Many of us have our very own Wrecking Crew, and they do not make us Rock Stars or give us number one hits. However, ours give us addictions, depression, unhealthy eating habits, disrupt our lives, and cause many problems in our marriages and families. The World’s favorite Wrecking Crew is Social Media. Around the world, billions use social media every day, and it’s estimated that by 2018, 2.44 billion people will be using social networks.
Social Media has revolutionize traditional communication and with a few keystrokes we can reach anyone at anytime around the world, and it is free. It is a much more faster way to reach our loved ones worldwide. We can access information, research and news at the click of a button. Non-profits use social media for their awareness campaigns, and it is an effective way of getting support, and they can easily reached hundreds of thousands of people and these sites can become central to raise funds quickly for a disaster.
So these networking sites should be a great Wrecking Crew Band for our lives, however Social Media has been wrecking many lives and relationships. Our love affair with Face-Book, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and all the other sites and apps can easily lead to unhappiness, addiction, or it leads to risky or unhealthy behaviors, and also infidelity and even divorce.
Social Media is addictive.
When we spend so much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapshot and WhatsApp, it disrupts other parts of our daily lives, and has become an addiction. Studies show that 63% of Americans log on to Facebook daily, and 40% log on multiple times each day. Everyone is on Facebook and other Social Media, and we’re posting pictures, sharing feeds and content 24/7. We all have a fear of missing out(fomo) so we constantly have to check our phones to see who is doing what or how many likes we’ve got on out latest post.
Social Media can make us unhappy.
A study from the University of Michigan found that the more we use Social Media, the more unhappy we were, and had lower satisfaction in our lives’ overall. That is because we seek our self-worth from others’ affirmations, instead of our own selves. The click of a button decides whether we are happy or not. Many of us post the most exotic vacations and fancy dinners and the perfect pictures and make our lives look so fabulous. Instead of focusing on what really our lives are about, we live in a make-believe world on social media.
We compare our lives to others on Social Media, and as President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Many of us feel bad that our own lives are not as exciting or perfect as so many try to portray on their Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. The amount of likes that we receive, intensify our depression. Many of us use social media to get attention from our friends and yes, even people we don’t know. When we do not get as many likes as others, we could feel less popular and less appealing to the rest of the world.
But just as quickly as I might scroll through Instagram and see 100 people liked a photo of me, and that makes me feel good, the next moment I might see all of my friends hanging out the night before and wonder why I wasn’t invited and feel extremely lonely about that. Now more than ever there are some major highs and really depressing lows, and they come so close together. So you begin to feel numb to genuine emotion…
Kim Stolz, stated in a June 24, 2014 TIME titled “Kim Stolz: How Social Media Is Ruining Our Relationships”:
Social Media can lead to Unhealthy Eating And Eating Disorder.
According to NEDA, about 30 million Americans suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point of their lives. Social Media can trigger and influence the progression of an eating disorder. Being exposed frequently to certain images can be damaging for those who are more vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. Hospitalizations for eating disorders are on the rise. Social networks feature photos and other images that glorify thinness. A study done by the University of Haifa in 2011 showed that the more time teenage girls spent on Facebook, they developed a higher risk of negative body images and eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and exaggerated dieting.
Social Media leads to infidelity.
It is so easy to hook up with a past love or a crush on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp that can lead to infidelity. Though many start out innocently, these communication can quickly lead to an affair. Although in fairness to Social Media, there must be something lacking in their own relationships that cause these people to seek out a romantic relationship with someone other than their partners. Social Media is just another tool to quickly break rules in your relationships.
A Boston University study showed that Facebook plays a significant role in divorce and spousal troubles in the United States’. Heavy social media are 32% more likely to leave their spouse. A doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism found that active Twitter users experience Twitter-related conflicts with their romantic partners. According to the London Times, Gian Ettore Gassani president of the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, said ‘forty per cent of adulterous divorce cases in Italy cite WhatsApp messages as evidence of unfaithfulness.
Social Media cuts into our time
As soon as we wake up , we are on our phones or tablets and laptops and we easily get lost in endless feeds and updates about others’ fake lives. Before we know it we have easily wasted a couples hours of our time doing nothing. A study taken by Ohio State University showed that college students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grades than students who don’t use it. Parents are missing out on spending quality time with their children as they are so busy trying to capture the perfect picture.
Let us use Social Media to be the Wrecking Crew Band to improve the tempo, rhythm and harmony in our lives. Not as a Wrecking Crew to destroy our families, our marriages, our lives and our communities. The only way we can do so is by not having it control our lives. We have to be as G. Hannelius said :
With the Internet and social media being a huge part of today’s culture, I think it’s super important to promote staying smart online.