Can you remember what was life like before social media? Before you posted our selfies to Instagram, before you poked your ‘friends’ on Facebook, before you continually rearranged your top friends on Myspace and Bebo based on who you liked the most that day?
No? Maybe? Just about?
Well you didn’t get notifications to tell you it was your bezzie’s birthday, you had to remember that for yourself. And there were no group chats for sending quick messages to your friends, you had to ring each individual’s house phone and that was a horribly daunting task.
Oh, what a time to be alive.
You may have already seen the relating news stories over the last couple of days. The ones discussing studies which state that social media, especially Instagram and Snapchat, can have a negative effect on your wellbeing and your mental health.
Both of these platforms are very image-focused and therefore it’s understandable as to why they may be driving feelings of anxiety and low self esteem in young people. People can be surrounded by these feelings almost daily without social media even coming into play, so when you do put your words and your photos out there for the whole word to see, it’s not surprising that sometimes you may not get the positive feedback you were after.
Whilst these sites were rated low for their impact on sleep, body image, bullying and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, some people will disagree.
They may even agree that social media can be used as a tool for good. Self-expression, self-identity, creating new friendships… It doesn’t all have to be bad. Maybe all everyone needs is to simply need to learn to switch off from their social media bubbles from time to time, and enjoy reality.
It may be difficult to stop aimlessly scrolling, but some things are definitely more enjoyable than staring at a screen.