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Addictive Social Media is Sugar Coated Tobacco – A Public Health Crisis

Anything in excess is harmful. When we cannot control the excess, it becomes poison.  The addictive social media is harmful and it is slowly becoming poison. Social networks are a public health crisis. They are negatively affecting physical and mental health. Sugar and tobacco are both addictive and unhealthy. Social media is sugar-coated tobacco.

To know how addictive the social networks, you should attempt to stay away from them for a day.

They are designed like drugs – once you start, you just cannot stop. We give them enough information that they can manipulate our thoughts and control our emotions.

Pitfall of Likes
Social media wants your time and attention. For this they need to give you enticements. Your posts or photos are liked or commented by someone. This gives you a small high, so you post more. When you are liked, you want to get more likes. When you are criticized you go back to make sure you win the battle. Social media is not bothered about your emotions, all it wants is that you log into them for a long period.

Disconnecting with family by connecting with unknown
Social media add little value to our life. We are made to believe that it is connecting people. But in reality it is distancing people are physically present with us. We have no time for our family members but we have time to reply to someone who had studied with us 20 years ago. You scold, ignore, or shoo away your child to connect with a person whom you have not met for a decade.

Waste of Time and Energy
People spent nearly an hour on average on social networks. We keep on checking social media frequently. We do not consider it as problematic but if government asks us for telephone number, we create big fuss. The amount of personal information these networks collects about its users is mindboggling. They can predict the behavior of a user and keep posting advertisements, which they are sure the user will click.

They entice people using their weakness. Once, they get to know our likes and dislikes we can be remote controlled.

Some of the know problems of social media are:
  • They make us lousy.
  • They are big distraction.
  • Wasting time – lack of productivity.
  • We post our personal pictures and details - opening them to all kinds of people. We are saddened when we do not get the expected likes. We are worried. We are forced to contribute more to make sure that our social media status is maintained. Our anxiety level increases.
  • We join social media thinking we will be happier by connecting with people. But the reverse is the true. Few good friends are better than hundreds of friends who make your life miserable.
  • When we feel sad and bad about our life, social media throws up fake pictures of the perfect life of others. This makes us even worse.
  • Social media pushes us into a nonstop comparison world. Even though our life is good, we become disillusioned.
  • Social media is lot of noise. You are forced to listen to too many things.
  • Social media helps to form groups, which are full of negative and hatred to a particular group of people. Such groups spread false news. They vilify and gang up to attack those that are against their beliefs and ideas. We have umpteen examples of fans of a particular team or actor going full throttle against people who dared to criticize their idol.
  • The endless stream of breaking news that the social media magnifies can damage the spirit of a person.
  • Suppose you are single and happy, social media will be presenting before you people whom you know are married and happily with kids. Soon you will start to worry about your single life.
  • Social media directly attacks your power of judgment and thinking capacity. They can manipulate your thoughts.
  • Social networks are absolutely bad for weak-minded teenagers and struggling youngsters. Such people get to see a few of their friends get job or well positioned or having a good partner. This is constantly highligted by social media especially if you are jobless or single. This increases anxiety, a feeling of worthlessness, suicidal and self destructive tendancies. Some take out anger in public places by harming innocent peoople.
We advise people to use things in moderation. But this advice is not applicable to social networks. There are only two options – quit completely or get addicted.

www.hindu-blog.com
Abhilash