Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be risky. The use of social media platforms has drastically increased. And, unfortunately, it also means that more evil forces target users as well.
There isn’t any doubt that social media has many benefits, and it provides career opportunities to a large number of people. But being positive while using social media is becoming more challenging than ever. Social media is also causing a lot of toxicity in people nowadays.
Moreover, there is a strong connection between mental health issues and the use of social media. With people presenting only the best versions of themselves, it might get difficult to relate. Thus, the image of happiness and success can get twisted online.
Let’s figure out just how you can use social media to avoid toxic posts and, sometimes, people. We will also discuss some security and privacy tips, letting you use such platforms safer.
Social media influence today
Social media includes websites or apps that allow users to create accounts and share information, videos, photos, etc., with other users. They are international hangouts, with people across the world connecting with each other.
The recent social media blackout did prove that people react differently to losing that connection to the world. Some enjoyed the opportunity to be with their family as there was no temptation to open apps like Facebook and Instagram. Others felt uncomfortable, especially influencers relying on their posts to make money.
However, it is difficult to escape the social media bubble. It is, usually, a necessity in our lives. In the process of networking, we can lose a sense of reality. The users we see on the screen might not be the ones we will meet in person. Furthermore, we always notice cyberbullies attempting to shame or embarrass other people. Hence, the toxic environment on social media can increase the chances of feeling anxious, depressed, or like they are not good enough.
Social media creates a space where people can connect and voice their opinions, both good and bad. One of the main aspects of this platform is to encourage free speech, which we all want. After all, restrictive governments do block access to the likes of Facebook to limit what citizens share and read online. Since the freedom to express yourself is essential, social media can become the platform to share your story. Thus, many censored people do use tools like a VPN app to regain access to social media sites. Such tools manipulate IP address and help users change their virtual locations. For them, unblocking such platforms means having a chance to read transparent news.
However, social media can become harmful and trigger various issues:
- Depression. Social media is becoming a significant cause of depression amongst people. Most importantly, it is spreading amongst the younger users who aren’t mature enough to handle the hatred and bad speech.
- Overuse. People are getting addicted to social media in a short time. They spend their whole day on Facebook and Twitter, and they don’t even get enough time to eat properly or talk with family. This itself shows how toxic it is for the users.
- Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has spread rapidly over the past few years. People who face this problem on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat can’t handle the harsh comments and lies they see about themselves. These problems cause anxiety and depression in some cases leading to suicides.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). It is one of the most serious problems caused by social media. People fear that what will miss out on something important due to lack of use. This thing makes them addicted, and they don’t stay away from social sites or mobile apps.
The platform itself isn’t toxic, but it’s how we are using this incredible tool for spreading hatred and causing cyberbullying, which has become toxic in all ways possible.
But there are solutions too to avoid all these problems and stay safe on social media. Here are some steps you can apply right now at your home.
Keep sharing positive stuff
The rule seems simple enough, but it is easy for anyone to wander around while posting anything online. This rule will help you to control your habit of sharing everything.
Spend time with family and friends
Don’t get carried away with social media and spend some time with your family and friends. This will keep you more productive, and you won’t miss out on anything important in life.
Turn off notifications for some time
You can turn off certain apps’ push notifications so that whenever they deliver a notification on your screen, it won’t affect you much. Moreover, you can also block the users who you think trigger your toxic behavior.
Try not to get addicted
One thing which most people ignore, but this problem is deadly enough. If someone spends most of their day on social media sites, they may skip daily life activities, such as eating correctly, taking some exercise, etc.
Know your privacy settings
We often don’t understand how vital our privacy settings are. In reality, these settings can save you from many problems. You can change them to avoid cyberbullying or hate speech which might affect you personally.
If online harassment continues, seek help
If someone is troubling you through social media sites, it is your responsibility to act upon the situation. Report the person for bullying, which will help you and other people who face similar issues on social media platforms.
Social media isn’t toxic in itself, but it has become a target for trolls and bullies who spread hatred and fear among innocent people. We need to take some precautions to stay safe on social sites. We must use these beautiful platforms to share positive things only to maintain a healthy relationship with this technology.