How to use social media For a better life, and is it really worth it in 2024?

Social Media apps being used in smartphones

Social Media

So, are you concerned about your social media usage?

The internet has become far worse than ever… hasn’t it?

All of us had become more polarized day by day. The internet is driving a deeper wedge into society with each passing day.

People are being fragmented into opposing camps and factions, eagerly awaiting opportunities to critique their nemesis.

Social media is dividing us, pushing us further to extremes, and making us less empathic.

But, first, let’s give a brief about the apps which are not targeted in this article.

Apps which doesn’t use algorithms:

  1. WhatsApp
  2. Telegram
  3. Messenger
  4. Google

Now, I will tell you how to use them to stay connected with your friends and how to get access to information, but before that…

Let’s discuss why the internet is getting worse for society and our mental health, but first, we want to confirm that. Here, we are focusing on social media apps that use algorithms and AI to engage the user.

So let’s open your eyes…

Itachi Uchiha opening his right eye for Amaterasu describing how readers will find the truth about social media

Here, are the top 7 reasons why Social Media is not worth it in 202X:

1. Mental Health and Social media

One study that found a correlation between mental health and social media usage says that it puts detrimental effects on your mentality such as loneliness, FOMO, anxiety that deteriorates the quality of one’s life. 

Pew Research Center survey found that while the most-used social platforms for adults are YouTube and Facebook; teens prefer Snapchat and Instagram, while TikTok is reportedly the fastest-growing social network among younger users.

Joker dancing through the West 167th Street Step Stairs and acting all crazy and maniac describing the mental health of social media users

Moreover, high screen time results in bad quality of sleep, which in turn results in more screen time during bedtime, which results in worse quality of sleep thereby creating a vicious continuous cycle that needs to be broken if you want to take care of your mental health.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, And the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Buddha

Social media users are more likely to feel depressed and anxious due to the comparison with others, unrealistic standards, and cyberbullying. Therefore, it is important to monitor the amount of usage and the amount of time spent on social media to ensure that it does not become an addiction or have a negative impact on mental health.

2. No Role Modelz

Well, this study gave me a paradigm shift, hope it will yours, too

When asked to describe a beautiful woman in Ankole, participant 3 explains that:

She is fat! The Bahima love fat! That is why, the girl is given milk for her to become fat, and get stretch marks, in the past, girls used to cut off their hair and dress up with beads to bring the allure of beauty and pride. (Participant 3 is a 19-year-old from rural Ankole)

Participant 5 is a 21-year-old from rural Ankole:

Unfortunately, I don’t. I am a very slender girl with tiny hips and a very small bum. I have a boyish body that I hate so much. My friends and family have told me to drink a lot of milk and eat more food but until now I have not gained weight.

Participant 7, a 20-year-old woman from urban Ankole, voiced her desire to be slender; she believes slenderness is synonymous with health. She said:

You see our parents think a very fat woman is a beautiful woman in Ankole. My parents insist that I look beautiful when I have gained weight; however, when I go back to the city my friends will make fun of me and call me a big mama so I have a hard time keeping a healthy weight. If I am not starving myself, I am overeating.

Participant 8, a 20-year-old Mwiru from the Mwiru subgroup from Mitooma, a rural area in Ankole, explains that culturally, a beautiful girl is one that:

Among the Bairu, a beautiful girl that you can see must be tall. Maybe she is black or she is brown. She is energetic. By energy I mean, we usually engage in farming, so we know how to dig so we have tough hands.

“We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still.”

J. Cole

People showcase their idealized lifestyles, beauty standards and achievements on social media.

When you get constant exposure to crafted posts and filtered images it distort your perceptions of reality, fostering feelings of inadequacy and discontentment. 

Comparing oneself to the highlight reels of others can breed insecurity and undermine self-confidence.

Social media platforms thrive on likes, comments, and shares, fueling a culture of validation-seeking behavior. 

As a human being we seek validation through social media which diminishes our intrinsic self-worth and genuine human connection. 

When we rely on virtual affirmations for self-esteem, we become vulnerable to fluctuations in online approval, perpetuating a cycle of validation-seeking behavior.

The prevalence of photo-editing tools and filters on social media perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards, exacerbating body image insecurities. 

Endless scrolling through flawless images can foster our body dissatisfaction with ourselves and contribute to the development of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. 

The pressure to conform to unattainable beauty ideals takes a toll on mental health, leading to diminished self-worth and distorted body perceptions.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Question?

So let’s do a small test…

Guess the fill in the blanks, there is no right or wrong answer here: It’s all for self-awareness

  1. The moment you feel alone or bored you ____
  2. When you aren’t able to reach your phone you feel ___

Now, be fair to yourself, you know what will you do in that situation, don’t you? 

An addiction meme

3.8 billion people are addicted to their phones, so if we just do simple math. By not being addicted to your phone, you are way above 3.8 billion people.

The study shows that, as an individual, you start losing your productivity due to your screen time.

Addicts start losing their attention span and their ability to concentrate on one thing.

Your mind will always be in multitasking mode. Therefore, people who are not addicted to their phones are way ahead of the curve in their personal growth journey.

The algorithms of these social media platforms are designed to get the most user attention, that’s why you just can’t get off your phone. Billion-dollar companies earn money by keeping you engaged with their app, like it or not.

An average American spends 7.1 hours on his or her phone, while an average Indian spends 7.3 hours, which will result in the loss of 3.5 months in 1 year, 3 years in 10 years, and 20 years in a lifetime.

Was that 20-year period really worth it?

Now that’s a question only you can answer…

4. Let’s have some fun…

You know what, boredom is a healthy normal feeling which is actually beneficial for you. So, instead of scrolling down your phone when you feel bored, how about just doing nothing and feeling bored. 

One study says it increases your creativity, problem-solving skills, and tolerance for bad experiences. 

Think of it this way, when we feel bored, we play a game of how long we can stay in that not-so-comfort zone, be it 15-20 minutes, and this type of experience can be very good for young people; it can prepare them for life.

“Don’t seek pleasure for its own sake.”

Miyamoto Musashi
Ramsey Bolton playing with the sausage to tease Theon Greyjoy.

If fun is your primary motivation for using social media, then you are on the wrong page, my fellow reader. In the end, you will find yourself mindlessly scrolling on the phone with no purpose. 

Entertainment is not happiness, fun is not happiness either, they are entirely different things and concepts to grasp in this lifetime.

The feeling of fun is formed by the chemical named dopamine and happiness is formed by serotonin, both are different chemicals, and both need different things. While dopamine is used for motivation, habit formation, and pleasure serotonin is responsible for mood, the feeling of well-being, and contentment.

Like there’s a difference between a coach and a mentor, there’s a difference between pleasure and happiness. After all, we can’t live our whole lives becoming slaves to our senses…

“We want to become a champion side. I certainly feel this team has what it takes to be the best. What it requires is sustained concentration, attention to details, and practicing the same way every day. You know, doing boring things. At this level you need to be very boring in your training, in your practice if you want to succeed. As simple as that,”.

Virat Kohli

5. The cycle nobody rides anymore…

Studies have shown that using a phone for two or more two hours before going to sleep can seriously disturb the sleep cycle. 

Poor sleep results in more negative thoughts and increases the chance of depression. Approx. 40% of people with insomnia suffer from clinical depression.

Every 2 in 3 teenagers sleep less than the recommended amount, it is also linked to the symptoms of insomnia.

“Sleep is the cousin of death.”

Nas
Pikachu giving a creepy, weirdo expression. describing the eye circles and sleepy eyes we get after poor sleep due to excessive social media usage

Also engaging in exciting and engaging content before bedtime will increase alertness and melatonin, a hormone essential for getting sleep, its secretion will be affected by this. Moreover, there are countless articles about the ill effects of blue light.

Moreover, sleep deficiency is linked to various serious diseases such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Higher chance of injury
  • Loss of concentration and productivity

Most of the successful people are early birds. In fact, one study found that early risers are happier, healthier, and able to create more positive emotions. 

Another study says that people who wake up early are more proactive than their counterparts which results in higher levels of productivity for them.

Poor sleep can have a negative impact on an individual’s overall mental health. It can also lead to higher stress levels, which can further exacerbate depression. Insomnia should be treated early to avoid more severe forms of depression — source

6. The bad becomes the good…

You know what? The Internet has a huge part in normalizing many things, some are good, and some are bad.

We need to understand that name-calling is inappropriate, and adolescents are educated about the dangers of online harassment and revenge pornography, recognizing them as unacceptable and potentially illegal.

Despite this, celebrities who engage in blatant attacks on social media are often rewarded with widespread attention. For instance, President Trump’s most popular tweet features a video of him mock-assaulting a representation of CNN. Similarly, reality TV personality Rob Kardashian garnered significant attention recently for publicly attacking his former fiancée on Instagram, using explicit language in numerous posts that ultimately led to the suspension of his account. He continued his tirade on Twitter, where he boasts over 7.6 million followers.

While the public fascination with sensational behavior is nothing new, the advent of social media has created a vast platform for the expression, observation, and dissemination of uncivil behavior.

 Experts suggest that this trend is influencing real-life social interactions.

“There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”

Game of Thrones

Studies show that youngsters who saw adults hit a doll in frustration not only hit the doll as well but attacked it with weapons. 

There are many things, habits, customs, and thought patterns that we carry on from our culture, our society, and our parents knowingly or unknowingly, we copy what we saw when we were small, without proper thought and perspective.

Humans are just advanced monkeys, but still monkeys… we learn and copy things sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. 

Most folks follow their family religion without questioning and thought, don’t they? 

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

7. Maybe, just maybe we all are brainwashed…

The internet should have brought us closer to each other, but we all know what the reality is…

We people are divided into different camps, different teams fighting to support what we feel or think is good. 

A study reveals that nearly one in four Americans believe that political violence is justified to save the country.

Algorithms make you more extreme, trapping us in a radicalizing filter bubble, and this filter paper makes us more extreme and hateful.

Social media has given us a false sense of connection, but in reality, it’s become a platform for comparison and competition. 

We need to break away from this and focus on the things that are really important, like being better athletes and teammates.

“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea, resilient, highly contagious. ONce an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there’s somewhere.”

Inception

In Myanmar, a country located in South-Asia. 

Myanmar map and location in the world globe

It is a country predominantly Buddhist majority country. 

Earlier it used to be called Burma. 

Tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities have frequently led to violence in Rakhine State, with nationalist Buddhists often targeting Rohingyas (Muslims). 

The Rohingya are a distinct ethnicity with their own language and culture but claim to have a long historical connection to Rakhine State.

And on 9th October, 2016 the genocide started. It consists of two phases[2][3] to date: the first was a military crackdown that occurred from October 2016 to January 2017, and the second has been occurring since August 2017. [4] 

The crisis forced over a million Rohingya to flee to other countries. Most fled to Bangladesh, resulting in the creation of the world’s largest refugee camp,[3][5][6][7] while others escaped to India, Thailand, Malaysia, and other parts of South and Southeast Asia, where they continue to face persecution. 

Many other countries consider these events ethnic cleansing.

Facebook was responsible for the genocide of the Muslim minority by the Buddhist majority, as stated by the United Nations in 2018, UN called Facebook a “useful instrument” for spreading hate speech in the country.

“It is extremely easy to launch a revolutionary movement based on hatred of a particular enemy…Whether the object of hatred is the bourgeois, the Communist, the Jew, the colonialist, it makes no difference…Propaganda of agitation succeeds each time it designates someone as the source of all misery, provided that he is not too powerful. However, hatred once provoked continues to reproduce itself.”

Ellul

Summary

  • The more time you spend on social media, the worse it is for your mental health.
  • Social media usage will downgrade your self-love by setting up unrealistic beauty expectations.
  • Almost most of the phone population is addicted to their phone, being free from your phone makes you ahead of the curve.
  • Don’t use your phone when you are bored, because, in fact, it is beneficial for you.
  • Using a phone even two hours before bed can disturb your sleep cycle.
  • Social media has normalized many evils in our society.
  • Social media has been used many times to spread extremism, propaganda, and brainwash people against a community, religion, or group.

How to use social media?

But before that, let’s first figure out what the benefits of social media are. After all, only then will we know what’s worth it and what’s not.

  1. Access to information, courses, skills, and education stuff for free
  2. Connection to more people online
  3. Source of Earning or marketing for some online business

Productive apps:

  • Google
  • What’s app
  • Messenger
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Any App that are using for your business, marketing or in making money, we can let it pass

Apps to avoid:

  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Facebook
  • X (aka Twitter)

Apps allowed

3. LInkedin

Linkedin is a professional networking software, great if you are marketing or looking for a job.

It can be important tool in this information world to connecting and getting insights.

LinkedIn is the place if you are looking to discover and hire some potential candidates.

It can assist your professional journey

The platform empowers you to advertise job vacancies to its extensive user base, significantly enhancing the likelihood of identifying the ideal candidate for your organizational needs.

2. Messaging Apps

Now, we are using WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, or all of them to stay connected with our friends.

Since WhatsApp doesn’t use algorithms, it is not as addictive as other social media platforms. The same is true with Messenger and Telegram.

This gives them better options for staying connected without falling into the trap of social media addiction.

Additionally, they are more secure than other social media platforms, making them a better option for communicating with others.

They are also less intrusive than other platforms, as they do not require as much personal information.

Furthermore, they offer more control over who sees your messages and who has access to them.

1. Google

So, we can access almost all of the information on Google, whether it be a course, tutorial, or science research paper. 

If you want to watch a video, you can see that through the Google Video tab, which is why we are not using YouTube.

Moreover, there is far more information available on Google Chrome compared to YouTube, quora, Instagram, or any other social platform 

We can also use Google to find jobs or internships and post our resumes online. 

We can also connect with other people through Google’s messaging platform. Finally, we can use Google to find courses and skill-building resources for free.

Apps not Allowed

5. X (aka Twitter)

I hope you know the name of a poor guy named ” Elon Musk.” 😉

4. Facebook

There are quite a few studies [1, 2, 3] that show poor mental health and Facebook usage, especially among women, who are more susceptible to poor self-esteem and poor self-image due to unrealistic beauty standards.

3. SnapChat

Very very addictive in nature, and moreover, most of the content on Snapchat is, internet pollution, or, in plain words… ‘useless’.

It also encourages bad behavior by normalizing bad things.

Snapchat disappearing messages are also very controversial, especially as it puts children able to get bullied or in contact with predators without any proof.

It also gives you a false sense of security to the people using it.

2. Instagram

Instagram is again and again accused of fostering unrealistic beauty standards, particularly among teens – Source

It is also associated with poor mental health and a negative body image of an individual. It also affects its user’s personal self-worth and self-esteem.

Many times, influencers do bad things in Insta’s lives in an inspirational way, influencing young children and teens.

It can very easily make you feel inadequate and jealous. The filters can create a false sense of reality. And the main concern of all is that FOMO is real and it is really very dangerous.

1. TikTok

How can we say it?

Well… if you live in a democracy then consider it as more of a national or civilian duty to not use TikTok because there are some laws in China that allow them to steal your information legally and as a nation they can use that information against you and your country.

I am not forcing you here to stop TikTok but in my personal views it’s like if you know TikTok is bad for your nation and yet still you are using it, it’s kind of a Treason, although most of the information is worthless or even all is worthless but still it gives the other nation leverage over yours country.

This study also finds a strong correlation between Tik Tok use disorder(TTUD), watching short videos and mental distress.

Another study focuses on how TTUD is positively linked to memory loss, and it is also positively linked to depression, anxiety, and stress.

Depression, anxiety, and stress are positively linked to memory loss. Furthermore, depression, anxiety, and stress have a mediating effect between TTUD and memory loss.

TikTok is also very controversial for reducing the attention span, definitely not recommendable for students or people who need to use their mental ability in their day-to-day lives.

To wrap it up

Social Media and phone addiction making us less productive

As of 2022, the average daily social media usage stat of internet users worldwide amounted to 6 hours to 58 minutes per day, nearly increased by 50 minutes compared to the previous year.

One of the Forbes surveys says that successful people spend 28 minutes on social media every day.

People are wasting much of their quality time which they can spend with family and friends are being wasted in having fun. And then we become screen zombies, who end up eating their own mental health and sleep.

There is a limit to everything, moderation to every stuff.

Demise is born from ignorance and indiscretion.

And we humans have a tendency that we don’t come to the realization, that we are doing something wrong until we get thrown into the dirt…

About the Author

Author image - Abhinandan Thakur

Abhinandan Thakur

Blogger

Abhinandan Thakur is a renowned blogger and the founder of Celeb Chronicles, a popular platform dedicated to celebrity news, entertainment, and lifestyle. With a passion for writing and a keen interest in the world of celebrities,he has established himself as a prominent figure in the digital media industry.

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