How Social Media Affects Us Positively
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How Social Media Affects Us Positively

You read that right: social media has some positive aspects too!

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How Social Media Affects Us Positively
thesocialmediamonthly.com

“How Social Media Affects Us Positively?” Woah there.. wait.. positively? Is that even possible? There are so many ways that social media affects people negatively, like cyberbullying, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and perceived inadequacies, that seemingly outweigh anything positive social media has to offer. Honestly, I can’t deny the fact that these multimedia platforms we use everyday aren’t harmful in any way to some (or a lot) of people. However, I can say that there are positive effects that people like to gloss over in favor of the negative.

So, how exactly does social media have positive effects?

Take a step back and think about it for a second. Is the idea behind social media really that new? The ability to connect with friends and family became easier through it, but it’s definitely not a new concept. Likewise, displaying pictures, writing about one’s day, and chronicling important events in one’s life are all notions that have been around for hundreds of years. Journaling and writing in diaries actually became a fairly popular pastime around the turn of the 19th century, encouraging more focus to be put on the self, rather than just enjoying media produced by others.

Believe it or not, simply writing about, taking pictures of, or talking about oneself is not narcissism. In actuality, narcissism is an over the top view of one's own talents and an intense craving for admiration from peers. Although I can’t say that people don’t post pictures of themselves online or statuses describing an achievement in hopes of getting likes or comments, I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with that.

This is because, for the most part, we use social media as not only a way to connect with friends and family, but also as a way to chronicle our lives and prove to ourselves that we're doing and accomplishing things. In this way, social media is a form of self-documentation, just like diaries and journals of the past. This means that we can record our daily lives, much like a scrapbook or auto-biography.

But how does social media boost self-esteem?

I’m not going to lie, social media can boost your confidence from getting likes and comments from your peers. But since it is a form of self-documentation, it can also give one a sense of purpose and a way to look back and see self-improvement. That feeling you get when you either see past memories, notice self-improvement, or catch up with friends when it would have otherwise been impossible, is amazing. Scrolling back to look at memories or getting a nostalgic feeling when “On This Day” or "Time Hope" on shows you a post from several years ago, as well as posting albums containing tons of pictures from a trip or making a life event Facebook can provide a serious upsurge in self-confidence and happiness.

So, social media can boost self-esteem. As I said earlier, yes, there are other entities like cyber-bullying that can cause a loss of self-confidence in people, particularly young adults and teenagers, but at the same time, we shouldn’t deny the positive aspects that social media has. After all, who would use social media if it had absolutely nothing to offer?

I know what you might be thinking, though. Why does this matter? How could the positive aspect of self-documentation outweigh all of the awful, negative consequences like cyber bullying and perceived inadequacies? Hear me out.

Social media is an incredibly helpful tool that allows us to document our lives. I know when I improve my life compared to what it was or look back on good times, my confidence and self-esteem sky-rockets. Having a constant reminder that you have friends who love you and proof of memories, whether good or bad, is amazing.

It is a way of preserving and recording our lives. It is a way of proving to ourselves that we exist. Because more than getting likes, comments, or getting tagged in things, and making ourselves feel better about ourselves when people "approve" of our actions or you make sure they don't forget you when your post shows up on their feed, you're making yourself feel loved, needed, and important.

So in a world where you have google at your fingertips and can look at those Wikipedia pages that describe amazing people and list all of their accomplishments, it's not terrible to get a boost from posting something describing your accomplishment (whether it's getting into your dream school, passing a class you were afraid of, or getting a position in your sorority). Feeling validation from that is not a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing.

So, next time you’re on your Facebook, or your Instagram, maybe your Twitter, or any other social media you have, scroll back! Look at how you have improved or look at how you maybe haven’t, and look at all of the memories archived there. I dare you to not smile even once! :)


Interested in this subject? I know I am!

I drew a lot of inspiration for this article from Jill Rettberg’s Seeing Ourselves Through Technology. A great read, if I do say so myself.
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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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