What is The Impact of Social Media on Human Behaviour?
Social media is becoming more popular with each passing year. The usage of social media has now become widespread. Nowadays, most of us are active on social networking sites.
Social media's impact on human behaviour can be seen in various aspects of human life, impacting it in both positive and negative ways.
What might be the reasons behind these impacts? Is it something that the users have started doing voluntarily or is it because they are forced to do so socially? How has social media changed our lives?
Let's find out:
1. What is Social Media and how It has Evolved Over the Years?
The term "social media" refers to the digital platforms and applications that allow people to communicate and interact with each other.
TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are some of the most popular social networking sites used by people across the globe - it has evolved from simple text-based communication to various forms of multimedia content sharing like images, videos, audios, etc.
These days, most users spend a lot of time on these social media platforms to interact with their friends/family members.
Social media has become an addiction for many internet users as they can't resist themselves from staying connected with others through these networks even when they are very busy in their daily life activities.
2. The Positive Impacts of Social Media on Human Behaviour
Social media has become a great platform for promoting social causes
Social media has provided an effective platform for individuals, groups and organisations to promote the causes they have been working on.
With the help of social networks, it is now easier for people to create awareness around any particular issue that concerns them or other groups among all their friends.
Many campaigns, fundraisers and charity events have been organised through social networking sites which have helped in raising funds for different purposes.
Such campaigns have not only helped in converting the goals into reality but also strengthened relationships between like-minded people involved in such activities.
Social media as a means to reduce loneliness and isolation
Many people feel isolated due to various reasons - they generally don't interact with other people or form any kind of relationships with them. In addition, they don't feel comfortable in communicating with others especially if they are relatively new to a place.
This may lead to many mental health problems like depression, loneliness, social anxiety disorder, etc.
Social media provides a good platform for such lonely people to connect with each other and form friendships or relationships through their common interests which can help in improving their overall wellbeing.
Promotion of diversity
Social networks have helped in bringing the different cultures together - different ethnic groups usually have different traditional values and beliefs that may not be acceptable everywhere else.
Through these social networks, it is now possible for members from diverse backgrounds coming from different parts of the world to interact with one another on a common platform to share their views and opinions.
This can help in promoting the idea of diversity to the users and make them feel more comfortable accepting such people.
3. The Negative Impacts of Social Media on Human Behaviour
Oversharing personal information
People are known to post a lot of sensitive information about themselves on social media which has the potential to be used against them, leading to loss of money, security or worse.
Such sensitive data may include bank and financial details, smartphone number, email address, etc. that can lead to identity theft and other cyber crimes.
Also, posting harmful contents like videos, images or messages can hurt feelings of not just the user but also the people around them - always remember to think twice before sharing anything on social media.
Addiction towards social networking sites
Social networks have become so addictive that people find it difficult to stay away from them, even if they don't have a particular interest in using them.
Such users generally check their profiles and status updates several times a day which can take a lot of time.
Most people are unaware of how much time they actually spend on these sites which can prove harmful for them.
Many people lose track of time when they scroll through the various social network services which reduces productivity leading to frustration - they may even spend so much time online that it is to the detriment of other daily activities such as cleaning, cooking, in some cases even personal hygiene, etc. which could lead to a whole other set of issues to deal with.
Most social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. require their members to register with their real names and identities.
This can sometimes cause security and privacy issues for the users as their information (in some instances) becomes available for everyone to see.
Anyone can take advantage of such personal data to exploit those who are unaware about such activities.
Also, people may find some pictures or videos highly objectionable which they don't wish for others to be able to see, however there isn't any way through which they can protect such entries from public view unless they own the content.
4. How to Use Social Media Responsibly For the Betterment of Society ?
As most of the social networking sites come with the option to sign up with real names and identities, users should be aware about how much information they are sharing online.
They also need to take extra precaution while using such services especially when they use their smartphones for gaining access.
There are several free VPN services available these days which can help in keeping all social media accounts secure.
Also, people getting used to checking different posts constantly can make a schedule and divide it among themselves so that they don't miss anything important without neglecting any personal work.
5. Tips for Parents to Monitor Their Children's Online Activities
Today, as children have become more interested in using smartphones/tablets to gain access to different online services, parents need to be cautious about how much time their children spend on such activities.
A safe option is to use parental control applications that help them monitor the browsing habits of the teenagers.
Parents can keep track of who their child communicates with on such sites and block those people they do not approve of or they deem to have a bad influence on their life.
They can also control the type of content being viewed by filtering it according to age level which they consider appropriate for their kids from time to time.
Hence overall monitoring will make sure that things don't go wrong for your child as he/ she uses the internet.
People generally use social networks as a platform to express their views and interact with others around them on common topics of interest and other things that concern them and others equally.
Through these sites, it is now easier than ever before to form communities on specific issues and organise campaigns like-minded people involved in such activities can come together to share their ideas and opinions either on the same site or use other social networks for the same.
People who are socially very shy and introverted can now more easily express themselves freely without worrying about any kind of criticism as such platforms let them hide behind a wall that provides some measure of anonymity.
Social networking sites have helped in bringing people closer from around the world coming from different backgrounds and nationalities which has helped in creating harmony among different cultures.
Such sites have also provided a platform where members can easily connect with each other to help those who need assistance concerning anything, this has promoted the idea of giving and helping which is evident through various charitable organisations formed by such communities working towards improving lives of those less privileged than.
However, there is another side of the story where social networking sites have been used for spreading rumours which can lead to chaos and unrest in an otherwise peaceful society.
Also, there are many people who shamelessly perform various malpractices by hiding behind the mask of anonymity provided by these sites which is highly condemnable.
Overall, social networking sites have both positive and negative impacts on human behaviour - being mindful on how you and those around you use these to your advantage will always be the best way forward...