With the increase of Twitter and Facebook users it seems like we are constatly using the sites to tell our ‘friends’ what we are doing every minute of the day. We have become obsessed with knowing about every little detail of someone’s life and by posting our lives on these sites, it asks for judgement and approval by other people. But are social networking sites affecting the way we think and live our lives?
How many of us have done something interesting in the day and then instantly tweeted about it? Being an avid user of Twitter myself I have been found guilty of this on more than one occassion. But why do we do it?
Social networking makes us crave attention. We want to be accepted and for people to have a positive view on us. We need to be seen as busy people with interesting lives. However, social networking sites allows us to create ourself and become any person we want to be. Social networking sites allows us to create a persona for ourselves and make us seem more interesting than we actually are. It is not healthy to want people to know everything we are doing and could affect the way we live and may even be the result in us doing certain things, just so people will find us interesting.
Social networking sites make us feel popular. Having hundreds of ‘friends’ and followers makes us gain a feeling of importance and popularity.
Social networking can lead to isolation. Although it is a good, free way to communicate with friends and in some ways, it allows us to talk to our friends more than we possibly would if social networking were not invented, it has also lowered face-to-face human interaction. People now communicate online rather than meeting up and talking. It has lead people to isolate thereselves and has resulted in them becoming much lonelier.
The constant use of social networking sites can lead to addiction and users feel the need to contstanly update their page and check for other posts.
Using social networking sites a lot can also mean we spend hours sitting in front of the computer staring at the screen. This can lead to weight gain and obesity as more people are choosing the computer over getting up and staying active.
Social networking sites have decreased attention span over time. There is so much information to consume on the internet and social networking sites, we often scan things quickly and do not take time to read things properly. This has made studies and work more difficult due to the small attention span we have now all adapted.
So after reading this, do you think social networking sites are bad for us? In moderation they are a good thing but it is not healthy to post every second and uninteresting fact about ourselves online. So next time you’re about to instant message someone, pick up the phone and arrange to meet up with your friends and loved ones and discover who your true friends really are.