At one time, the only way to keep in touch was in person. Then postal deliveries started, and we could then send letters. Next came telephones, and we could speak to people who lived far away. Now we have various forms of social media, and the world has opened up. Some people are happy to play Novoline games for entertainment. Others choose to discuss anything and everything over social media.
In many ways, social media platforms are a force for good, but there are times when it is a good idea to switch off the device and forget they exist. Our mental health can be affected in a good or bad way depending on who we engage. Laughing and joking with friends can be a boost to our well-being. It is one of the reasons why socializing is vital. Unfortunately, some people open accounts and use them purely to be offensive and hurt others.
Keeping in touch with family and friends has been more vital than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. Actual contact has not been allowed, but we have still been able to know what is going on in their lives. The downside is that trolls have had time on their hands, and many have shown the world that they have access as well. The more time spent online, the more risk there is of feeling lonely or frustrated. It is best to understand the good and bad of social media platforms.
Good Points To Social Media
It can give a lift when there is a post from a friend or someone you love. It is a great way to feel closer to someone when you cannot be near them. You may not see them, but it is a form of contact. With various platforms, it is possible to:
- Keep in touch with people you are not able to see. It does not matter how far away they are; you can share news and help to keep each other happy.
- Become involved with like-minded people. It may start online, but there is no reason why you should not move the friendship into real life. People should take care, however, before meetings take place. They may not be who they say they are, unfortunately.
- Share details of causes that you support and request help with funding from other people. It is a much easier way to fundraise without asking face to face.
- Lift spirits by sharing little fun stories or memes that you see. You could also be cheered up when others share.
- 2020 was a bad year for everyone, and travel was limited. It will help to have details of local businesses or people who can offer online support.
- Some sites will allow sales. Hobbiescan turn into businesses, and there is a ready-made list of customers already set up.
Social media can add a lot to our lives. The sad thing is that not everyone is prepared to see this. They see it as a way to hurt and insult without having to meet the person in question. This is the downside, and sadly there are several things that it seems the companies are unable to stop.
Bad Points To Social Media
It is not surprising that people link poor mental health to excessive social media use. Twenty years ago, it would be bad enough to be badly treated or bullied, but now there is no escape even when at home. Areas that you need to deal with include:
- People feel as if they are inadequate. Sometimes this can be deliberate, and other times it is a side effect of use. Bullying and name-calling will affect self-esteem, but so can see some people’s lives. There will always be someone prettier or cleverer than you. Also, there must be someone with a better life than you. Overuse of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and whatever other companies are around can increase feelings of sadness and not decrease them. The reality is that they are only showing the good parts. They will have to clean the house, go to work, and have all the same insecurities as everyone else. They choose to show the good things.
- FOMO – fear of missing out – is becoming a big problem for some. They don’t want to miss out on the latest news or offers or not know what is going on in the world. As a result, people spend far too much time on social media, and real-life is affected. It will be best to switch the platforms off and enjoy what is going on around you.
- Cyberbullying is increasing, and it appears there is no age limit. Cyberbullies may target kids in the same school as themselves. They can also abuse people who they have never met. Also, sports personalities face racial abuse and discrimination. As well, females in the public eye may face rape threats. Constant bullying can cause depression and even suicide. If someone tells you to kill yourself often enough, it might just appear to be the right thing to do.
- Grooming and exploitation – This may refer to sexual advances to underage children or a call to arms by terrorist organizations. More care is taken here to remove it, but there are still too many contacts made.
What To Do To Solve this
All sites will insist that they are doing everything that they can to find the culprits. Sometimes the authorities catch the guilty people, and the good news is that often they are charged with the offense they committed. They have to pay for the offense they caused.
At present, there have been 11 arrests in the United Kingdom after three footballers were targeted after missing penalties in a game. It is good news that there have been arrests, but this is just a drop in the ocean. There has to be more accountability, and that is the responsibility of the platforms. Everyone should have to register correctly. Full details are to be given, and then they can be found and prosecuted.
As with many things, the experience will be different for everyone. Some may have fun all the time and not have a negative experience. For others, it may be a case of closing accounts until improvements are made. If sponsors pulled out, it might make the sites take complaints more seriously.
If you are interested in even more social media-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.