Psychology of Social Media Can Be Harmful and Helpful
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The Psychology Of Social Media Can Be Both Harmful And Helpful

As our community evolves through technology, we also have to.

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The Psychology Of Social Media Can Be Both Harmful And Helpful
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Some would say that social media has brought individuals together, while others say it has created a greater divide. Subconsciously, technology is in our everyday lives. We use our computers at work or school, watch TV, and spend, on average, over four hours per day on our phones. As a result, we are constantly absorbing information from social media. High school and college-aged adults spend the most amount of time on the mobile phone.

We communicate with our friends, families, and people we admire through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and it gives us a sense of closeness even when we're not with them. We may text our friends more than we see them every week. It can even become an addiction because notifications can give a sense of rewards and trigger the release of dopamine into the addiction areas of the brain. It becomes an easier access to social interaction but omits the human connection and inferences we make through tone and body language in person. Our brain activates specific areas when interacting with a human compared to behind a screen, which requires cognitive and emotional involvement.

People also want to share positive stories and achievements, so it can become an artificial sense of self that is shown on the screen. You see your friends getting married, traveling, graduating, and so much more that day to day life may seem less exciting and you can start comparing yourself. I know people that have had to take breaks from social media because it became negative for their mental health. They either became consumes and were constantly on social media or they started comparing their lives to others. There is less effort through social media and interaction because you do not have to infer the social cues and are only getting a snapshot of information, hence it's easier to hide our emotions behind the screen. You can create any image you want so it becomes a good escape or a big part of your life.

The positive side is social media has created a safe environment that people feel that they can advocate for things, fully express themselves, and meet people they can't in their own city. Information for everything is at your fingertips. You can go on YouTube and teach yourself to play the guitar or you could look on Instagram and check up on your grandma. It provides a sense of belonging in your community and you can have connections with role models such as an artist or athlete. It has been documented to improve the quality of healthcare and the image of health since people can research conditions on social media. You can reconnect with people from your life and can decrease isolation.

We as humans are still navigating in understanding social media since it's had a huge impact on society in the last 30 years. A sense of community and expression has evolved through the internet, but also isolation and health problems can occur if not used responsibly. Being cautious of how you want to perceive yourself on social media, who you follow, using this tool for growth, and taking breaks when it affects your mental health can continue a healthy relationship with social media.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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