The negative effects of social media

Today, almost everybody is on social media. From snapchat, to twitter, to instagram, and everything in between social media is taking over parts of our lives. I personally spend countless hours a week on various social media sites, and frankly I feel my life would be a lot better without them. How deeply does social media effect our lives, and how much of it is in a negative way?

One negative effect of social media is a raging addiction to the sites. A study run by the University of Maryland dug deep into the social media addiction that is sweeping across the country, and killing productivity in the process. According to the survey eighteen percent of people can’t go more than a “few hours” without checking Facebook, this number raises to sixty-one percent of people who can’t go through a twenty four hour day without checking the site. I for one am one that has trouble staying off social media for hours at a time, and it impedes my focus and productivity significantly. Twenty eight percent of people reportedly can’t even get their head off the pillow in the morning before their thumb is scrolling down their twitter feed. A big problem with social media is that a lot of time people go on it just to “kill time”, in fact anywhere between sixty to eighty percent of Americans confess that their main purpose of going online to social media sites is to do just that, kill time (INC). The addiction is most prevalent in millennials, one in every five millennials spends at least six hours a day on social media (Link). Think of that, one fourth of your day is spent on social media, at least another half of your day usually would comprise of sleeping. In that scenario, how much are you really getting done in a twenty four hour period? The time you spend each day on social media, is time you could be spending doing something productive. This is a problem many businesses are finding is a lack of productivity in the work place due to social media.

For businesses, even the slightest bit of time an employee uses on social media could be tons of money lost.  A certain statistic I found really jumped out at me. Social media sites collectively cost employers 650 Billion dollars a year (Huffington). According to an approximate U.S census there are approximately 321 million adults in the U.S (Census). That is over $2,000 per adult in social media caused lost money. The time spent in the work place, and the classroom should be spent entirely focused on the task at hand. Companies and employers everywhere are looking for solutions to squander the problem, and get productivity up again in the work place. This however, is a problem that has spiraled out of control and needs answers quickly.

Another negative effect behind social media use is the sometimes twisted psychology behind it. A lot of times people will make a big deal about how many likes their tweet got or how many likes their Instagram picture got. There are many examples of why this is a bad way of thinking psychologically. In some cases even, it is more important than people lives in reality. In a survey of 1,600 participants 58 percent responded than the attempt to take the “perfect picture” to post on social media took away from the actual experience of the event or situation they were in (Entrepreneur). This is the sad reality with what social media is becoming. It is more important to garner people’s approval in many people’s minds rather than enjoying your life. Social media is turning the world into a more materialistic place by the day.

The best solution to decrease the negative effects of social media sites is to simply stop using them. This will get productivity up both in the work place, and your life overall.

7 thoughts on “The negative effects of social media

  1. Lydia A Chelli

    We all know the majority of young adults and teenagers today are social media driven and attached to their phones. In your post, you mention the statistic regarding the average amount of time per day spent on social media and it is a frightening fact. Something very crucial that I believe social media has affected in a negative way is the way we communicate without technology. In many workplaces and schools, email has replaced meeting with someone and discussing a problem or solutions. Even in our class, cell phones have become implemented on the comment wall instead of raising hands to ask a question. Below I have included a link to an article explaining more about how social media has affected the way we communicate.
    Great post!

  2. David Ross

    Give me a second I have to check twitter. I definitely do think that I am addicted to social media but I never though that it had actual negative effects. The statistic you mentioned about how businesses lose money based on how much time their employees spend on social media was very interesting to me. While social media can end up causing businesses to lose money, it can also help them make more money by adding publicity. The conflicting effects of social media often are just not thought about. Do you think our generation may face negative long term effects because of our dependence on social media?

    1. Stephanie Keyaka

      Hey David,

      Speaking from personal experience, definitely! I broke my phone roughly 2 weeks ago and I have been feeling extremely cut off from the rest of the world. becasue in a sense that’s what social media does, keeps us all connected to each other no matter where we are in the world; race, ethnicity, gender, etc. So yes, I am a fan of social media; especially snapchat (I consider myself to be an enthusiast of sorts even). So you can imagine the type of withdrawal I was experiencing by not being able to post my daily ‘dog filter’ snaps. It was practically a foreign feeling for me, since I snap on a daily basis. is this a problem? Absolutely. Is it one that I am embarrassed of? Only when it’s put into these type of contexts and after deep analysis. But I do think they are vital skills that I’ve forgotten to appreciate with just the constant use of my phone. Such as reading an analog watch (no phone = needing to wear a watch to tell time), sense of direction AKA using maps vs. GPS, etc. All these skills may be lost on our generation and coming generations due to the rapid advancement of media and technology.

      Great post Thomas!

  3. Colleen Bridget Mcshea

    I definitely struggle with the social media addiction you mention in your post. Even as I sit here trying to finish up my blog posts at 3:30 AM, I still find myself checking my phone every few minutes. What I always wonder is WHY! What is it about social media that we are so addicted to? 90 percent of the time we are just scrolling through a bunch of crap that we could actually care less about.

    Here is a study that was done to find out why people are so addicted to social media.

  4. gcm5149

    This is really interesting and relevant because it is such a big issue in todays day and age. You see in classrooms every day students on their phones for the entire class sometimes. I’m sure you don’t retain much information when you are distracted in that way. I found an article that studied a group of students. 60% of the students said it was hard to focus with their phones on them. 80% actually reported using the phone at least once during the period. 75% of the students said that it was okay for people to check their phones in class. Obviously it is a big issue when its already hard to focus in class.

    here’s the article:

  5. dff5115

    I agree that our generation is sort of addicted to social media, however; i think it comes with some positives. With social media news spreads faster than ever before and this keeps the world more connected. Everything has a time and a place and if social media is negatively affecting your productivity in school or at your job you should consider limiting your time on them. I believe if used correctly twitter can be a great place to read current news articles and caught up on current events.

  6. Casey Patrick Brennan

    I actually blogged about the same topic and it was interesting to see the coorperate spin you took on the problem. I never knew these sites had a such a large financial impact. I focused on addiction which you touched on and I actually used the same study, so I can concur with that information. I also found that many people in the mental health field are unhappy with calling it an addiction, as compared to other bona fide addictions such as drugs, it does not meet the same criteria. What is your opinion regarding that?

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