Social media is damn exciting, right?
Every time you open your social media account, there is always something new popping up. Whether it’s a photo of a pop-star, your favorite politician or a funny meme, it leaves you begging for more.
Previous study reports have linked talking about oneself on social media as inherently rewarding. The feelings of reward you get on social media have been equated to the pleasure sensation associated with food, sex and money.
This is because the brain releases dopamine when something good happens around you. Social media is no exception as it makes you feel you are getting new information. Your brain is thrilled by novelty and social media has a way of feeding you with that.
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That means technology has had a big impact on how people feel. The amounts of the feel-good hormone released by your brain correlate to the time spend on social media.
Positivity vs negativity on social media
However, when it comes to sharing information online, social media is lopsided. Many users share their positive side of life more than what is negative. This could have a tremendous negative impact on you if going through hard times.
Most feelings of insecurity stem from a comparison. If images of friends and people you meet tend to be doing well in life, you definitely have a reason to feel insecure.
On the contrary, you may happen to come across pictures with an expression of misery appealing for help. Whether genuine or created by impostors, such pictures could give you a sense of the inequality facing the world.
Is real connection fast eroding?
Decades of research that have a span of up to 75 years prove that nothing in the world can substitute human relationships. The study done by Harvard shows that not even money or fame can be a substitute for human relationships.
Conversely, the report also found out there is a rise in the number of young people who are feeling lonely. A quick question to ask yourself would be why would someone feel lonely with all these social connections?
It’s clear that however much of a giant you are on social media; you cannot substitute that with physical human relationships. Social media relationships appear to be superficial and out of touch with reality. Not all lives on social media are perfect as they appear to be. People have their own flaws and challenges to deal with.
As a matter of fact, the use of social media and Smartphones are now listed as a 21st-century addiction. Technological growth has also contributed immensely to the rise in social media addictions. This means more people are turning out to be victims of social media addictions at the expense of true human relationships.
Social media for a noble cause
Despite the dangers brought about by the superficial relationships on social media, social networking has been used for the good.
Many people diagnosed with chronic illnesses that require expensive treatment have used social media to raise money. This, they could do, through the formation of groups with people that know each other and share a common interest.
Statistics about online donations give a positive trajectory about the use of social media to raise funds for a noble cause. For instance, according to a report released by Forbes magazine in 2013, online donations added up to a whopping $822 million. This money was collected online through 8.3 million donations.
The report also found out that cities which had given much had young wealthy people who were tech-savvy. Without social media, such substantial amounts of money would be far from being raised. This shows, inevitably that social media played an important role in influencing such huge collections.
So, how should we handle the social media threat to human relationships?
First up, understand the feeling you get from the use of social media. For you to be better placed to handle social media, you need to know what need it meets. That means knowing what goes inside your brain when using social media.
While social media is good for entrepreneurs, they should also guard against falling out of touch with true human relationships. As of today, social media platforms, have never been better for entrepreneurs. For instance, entrepreneurs can now buy Instagram comments for photo or video post. This also works best for socialites and those looking to build a strong personal brand on social media.
Regardless of your activity on social networks, you have to be careful against drifting away from the people you call family. Life becomes meaningless when we start living on a comparison basis. Even though it’s quite difficult to avoid what is happening on social media; it’s important that we engage more with people we can meet so as to know who their true nature.
An easier way to combat the effects of social media in your life would be to develop a new habit. A new habit will substitute the tendency to engage in social media activities.
To start this up, write on a sheet of paper the people you value. You could categorize them as close family members, best of friends and important business contacts. Keep this paper at a place you can see. Daily add to the list the people that come into mind.
Once your list is exhaustive find the time to reach out to them personally.Schedule meetings with them if need be, so that you can be able to know them at a deeper level.
True human relationships face the threat of being eroded because of social media. Social networks are turning out to be irresistible human sucking platforms due to a human need they fulfil. Dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter is released when people get to use social media. This chemical has the sensational effect on the brain that is associated with food, money and sex.
On the contrary, the excitement that comes with social media is short lived and few people fail to encounter true and fulfilling human relationships. Instead, it leads to a life of comparison which breeds insecurity. To solve this, identify family members, friends, and business contacts you can connect with. Seek to know them for what they are and build strong relationships with them.