This summer we may find ourselves glued to our phones more than ever before. Our phones help us stay connected when we’re all stuck inside. Social media is an easy way to stay connected with our friends and family, but it also has its downfalls too. With World Social Media Day on June 30, read on to find out some pros and cons of social media.
Social media helps us stay connected with the people we love. Missing your besties? Have a Netflix Party sleepover. Stuck on a math problem? Make a virtual study group. It’s also easy to stay up to date on your friends’ lives through sharing apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. It’s hard to feel alone when your friends are just one click away.
Meeting new people
Social media helps us also connect with people and opportunities that we may have not been able to before. Online communities allow you to find people with similar interests and can introduce you to some of your greatest friends. Apps like Linkedin and HandShake help you build a professional network and can even connect you to job opportunities. Just because we’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean that we can’t be constantly learning new things and meeting new people.
One of the major problems with social media is the fact that people can post idealized versions of their lives. This can really negatively impact our feelings about things like body image and what our lives should look like. According to Jasmine Fardouly, a postdoctoral researcher at Macquarie University, “People are comparing their appearance to people in Instagram images, or whatever platform they’re on, and they often judge themselves to be worse off.” Remember not to compare yourself as what you see isn’t always what’s real. Set goals for yourself based on what’s best for you and your body, not just based on what you see on social media.
Falling down the media hole
A 2015 study by Common Sense Media reported that teenagers spent nine hours a day on social media — that’s a lot of hours. This can be really draining to your mental health. Especially in our situation today, it’s easy to be swept into disturbing news headlines or become enamored with what other people are doing. According to Tim Bono, the author of “When Likes Aren’t Enough,” “Spending too much time on our phones will detract from those other aspects of the experience, undermining the happiness we could [glean] from them.” While it’s important to stay up to date, it’s not recommended to spend your whole day on social media instead of experiencing and being present in your life.
Even though it may not feel like there are a lot of things that can be done this summer, there are many opportunities like classes, online communities and new hobbies to explore.Spend this summer focusing on yourself and what makes you happy.