Hey everyone, this is a continuation of a discussion brought up by one of my awesome Patrons, Stephen M. and is a follow up to my previous post, “Social Media Can Have its Benefits.”
As someone with social anxiety I admit these platforms can be beneficial but ultimately I think they’re incredibly unhealthy and now I know there’s quite a bit of research out there to back me up on this…
Two recent Pew studies caught my eye. The first one came out in March and shows that 73% of Americans are on YouTube and 68% are on Facebook. Of the percentage on Facebook, nearly three quarters log in everyday, half of them check in multiple times a day.
Additionally, the average American is active on at least 3 different platforms, this number increases among younger adults. When I sat down and thought about it I was on nine different platforms, not counting WordPress.
It’s important to note that first study came out in March because things have certainly changed for Facebook since then. A second study published by Pew in September shows that 26% of Americans have deleted the Facebook app from their mobile devices, I’m one of them.
In the two months since I deleted the Facebook app I feel like there’s less BS in my life. There’s less propaganda, less clearly biased news, and less arguments with my friends that are still on the far-left.
I haven’t deleted my profile and I still check in with a few people now and again but I don’t post anything to my page and I have it locked from anyone posting anything on it, all you can see at the top is my last message about leaving. And sadly, this commitment to delete Facebook from my life has meant I’ve had to walk away from volunteering for WalkAway.
I wish I could say my life has gotten infinitely better, but honestly… it hasn’t. I’m still on Twitter, and even though I’ve also deleted Tumblr & Instagram, I’m still on Gab & Minds, so how much time have I really reclaimed for myself?
These are the questions going through my head right now:
- How many hours a day are we in front of computers?
- How much time do we spend buried in our phones?
- Of that time how often are we spending it on social media?
- And how much is that multiplied by all the different platforms we’re on?
- How would walking away from social media change our lives for the better?
I wanted to know more about the potential physical and mental health effects that over-using social media might have. I found an incredibly well-researched Forbes article that I hope you’ll check out, it links to several studies cited in my video.
We’re on these platforms every day, for many of us multiple times a day. We know sitting down for long periods of time is insanely unhealthy, but even if you’re someone who gets your fix on the treadmill some scientists believe we’re still damaging our bodies. The extended loneliness coupled with regular exposure to stress could be affecting our hearts and lowering our cognitive function.
Multiply this by how many different sites we’re currently active on, often multiple times a day:
So what does all this mean?
It means these sites are roping us in with a false sense of socialization and studies are now showing that interaction isn’t a replacement for actually physically connecting with people. As a result we’re growing more depressed rather than feeling like we belong somewhere. These regular feelings of depression can then have serious mental and physical health ramifications.
Combine all of this with the blatant suppression of free speech on many of these bigger platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and it all begs the question: Are we truly being served by social media or are these corporations serving us up to something or someone else?