Do you miss your son who is studying overseas? or Do you miss you school friend who is now settled far far away?
If yes, then you are lucky that social media is at its best to aid these feelings.
Believing that social media has genuine reasons to prevail including meeting new people in this digitally revolutionized era, it needs to be used with more mindfulness then recklessness considering both sides of the coin. Also, the disturbing effect it has on an individual’s mind is more transparent then ever. It is like a subconscious gum exercises (Keep chewing gum constantly) for the most of us where we broadly invest our time scrolling.
According to a recent research, while we scroll down a bunch of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram pictures, each one of these, alarm a distinct feeling in us. That feeling can be admiration, envy, proud, love, devotion, mission, vision etc. When we don’t give time to process these feelings and keep scrolling like a lunatic, it usually gets added in our non important pile of junk where our unsolved feelings go on overlapping and creating a distress in us. This is digital clutter. Most of us ignore what we feel and keep on progressing without paying any attention to it.
To have a better understanding, let us compare digital clutter with physical one. When your room is messy or unorganized and you are unable to find even a single item in time, you finally decide to clean up the mess and get to work, the same goes for digital clutter, if you don’t organize or minimize it, it keeps pilling on and soon we are lost in this wild forest. The way you feel once you clean up the physical clutter, clear and ready for important things. Same ways one can feel once they start de-cluttering the digital mess.
Along with this, Here are seven negative impacts that social media can have on people.
1-Dependency- One might forget to brush their teeth or take a bath (if you don’t have an Ocd for cleanliness) but the first thing most of us do while we open our eyes to a new day is to scroll through social media to get rid of the feeling of FOMO- Like you missed something really important while you slept for 7 hours), you want to know everything possible through news, Facebook feeds or Instagram feed which in-fact leaves you feel more hollow.
2- Comparison/Envy– People will always put the best of their lives on social media, no-one will convey if they went through a breakup, or are broke, or talk about how their life is miserable. They are only going to announce about their best vacations, their best promotion, the best body they have worked hard to built or the fairy-tale love life they are living. We have a perfect life with amazing family, good work, financial security and what not and as soon as we see someone’s else achievements. we feel we have less. We have enough as per our need, but we have less as per someone else’s appetite. But do you eat as per someone else’s appetite?
3-More likes more validation– More the number of likes we have on our images, posts, etc more we feel satisfied and at ease. Like an approval that yes we are beautiful, fit and so many people want to be like us. Nuggets- More numbers is more disapproval also, we aren’t satisfied with one attestation, we want maximum number of people to agree with us, but can you get 7.2 billion to like you or agree with you?
4-Time Elapses- You decide that you will spend only 15 minutes to check all-possible-affairs and then end up spending 2-3 hours without much realization and a tiny-guilt. That sin doesn’t stop you from still being tempted to keep going and there is an accumulation of a lot of digital clutter before you could address it.
5- Distraction– Working on a paramount life changing assignment, you keep getting distracted with notifications or text messages relating to all the silly things which somehow have enough weight-age to divert you. This constant partial-attention reduces your efficiency to work and increases/almost doubles the time you need to complete the task.
6-Instant gratification versus Real gratification- When we open our social media account, and have 50 notification, 5 inbox messages and 100 likes, we tend to feel important but that instant gratification quenches our thirst to crave for real one. So stop feeding junk food to your appetite if your aim is to have a Madonna figure.
7- No real conversations– 2000 friends and no real friends, 600 likes on one photo and no-one really likes in your surrounding. Agreeing that social media helps build confidence in many ways, it also hampers real conversation we can have with real people. Looking at someone’s expression, gestures, eyes is not the same as typing distracted with thoughts of your next Halloween dress.
Instead of feeling like a hamster that can only do bursts of work for a few minutes before running through the rounds of checking Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, repeat! Work on it to have a diversion free tasks ethics.
1. Cell-Phone free time– Decide and stick to your commitment of discarding cell-phones for time intervals. Most importantly, no cell-phones while sleeping or for an hour of waking help, that will help mitigate the dependency.
2. Stripping down applications/notifications– Applications/notifications sometimes hamper your commitment due to constant pings. Strip them out one by one and use browser instead if there is something urgent.
3- Note the digital clutter- For a week, note down all the distinct/diversified feelings you sense while going through feeds. Even 10 minutes of this awareness and scribbling will help you become more aware and make mindful decisions.
Have a productive day!!