By Annie Stoll
Social media: it’s everywhere and everyone is using it. In today’s world, it is rare to find an individual who isn’t tangled in the mass web of social media in one way or another. It’s all around us, affecting our lives in more ways than we understand. It seems like nothing more than just a way to further connect with others around us. Can something used simply for people’s entertainment be so destructive? Apparently it can be! Here are four reasons why being plugged in can actually cause more harm than good.
Number one: social media is actually highly addictive! In a recent study done for people from the ages of eighteen to eighty five found on Www.edudemic.com, results proved that people thought logging on to social media sites was harder than resisting smoking, drinking, spending money, and sleeping. Social media can give people the same kind of satisfaction food gives. Neil Vidyarthi in ‘How Social Media is Ruining Our Minds’ states, “Adrenaline is released when we respond to a sudden change in environment, and social media is a series of changes, giving the body plenty of cause to send out bursts of this addictive hormone.” This hormone causes people to sign in time and time again, without even realizing the damage they are doing.
Number two: there has been a direct correlation found between the hours spent on social media and the decline in the attention span. Www.socialtimes.com shows that in just ten years, the average attention span has gone from twelve minutes to a meager five minutes. As previously mentioned, adrenaline is released during browsing social media sites, because of the constant changing in environment. Not only is this hormone highly addictive; it is also highly destructive to one’s attention span.
Number three: the more time an individual spends on social media sites, the less social skills that person tends to have. Joe Robinson, in ‘Is Social Networking Destroying Our Social Lives’ said, “A study at the University of Michigan reported that seventy five percent of college students have lower empathy than their peers did thirty years ago, which isn’t going to boost the social cause; neither will a spike in students’ narcissism over that same period, documented in research at San Diego State University”. Drastic social changes are taking place, and it seems to be going in a bad direction.
Social media can be extraordinarily destructive, and is a great waste of time in today’s world. Junior Taryn Alexander, explained how social media used in moderation can be a rather positive thing, but she also stated, “Spending too much time [on social media] is a complete waste”. Ultimately, it all comes down to how much you use social media. It’s not all bad, just too much of it is!