Social Media: The Good, The Bad, And The Perfect Ying-Yang
“The average person spends up to 3 hours a day on social media”
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The Internet has changed the way we live, forever.
Before the glorious internet, the act of staying connected was extremely limited.
Nowadays, we can shop for whatever we want, search for whatever we want, and talk to anyone you want whenever.
And for many for us, the internet has manifested itself into something most people come to depend on.
This can be seen in young teens and teenagers the most, as with social media, the influence has become a sort of drug, where the likes and follows represent the high effect.
I have mixed feelings about social media. Sometimes I think it’s awesome, like when I have a few minutes where it’s ok to see what the most liked video on Tiktok is or jump on Snapchat too see what your friends are up too.
But I believe there’s a fine line as to how much of a time sucker these can be. One moment you’ll be scrolling through Instagram, constantly hitting the bottom only for your feed to refresh so you can keep scrolling.
I find, that sometimes it almost feels like a trap and endless void that tricks your mind into enjoying the “high” effect, while consequently stealing your time right out from underneath your nose.
Like I mentioned before, as bad as social media can seem, I find it’s an accurate representation of a ying-yang, an equal balance of good and bad. But with the quarantine period that’s going on right now, having that connection with your friends and family is what keeps most people sain.
As the Ying-Yang portrays, there is a good side to social media.
From connecting with people you haven’t seen in a long time, to expressing yourself however you’d like, to even making money by doing it, social media can be a sweet gig if you’re up to it.
Furthermore, I’ve broken what I consider to be the better half of social media into five main points.
Throughout history, communication has gone from human interaction to letters and telegrams, all the way to cell phones and smartwatches.
As the Internet started to become more and more popular, the idea of being able to instantly chat with your friends also began to take off.
And I mean, who wouldn’t want too. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all allow for the ability of the people who are communicating to be able to see each other’s faces, something which e-mails and text messages really lacked.
And I can personally say that once you move away from somewhere, communication with your friends that you had to leave behind will sometimes become nonexistent.
Social media is absolutely great for connecting with friends who live far away, and with the amount of time everyone is spending on their phones daily, sometimes it doesn’t even feel like they live far away because they’re literally just a quick snap away.
2. Gives You The Opportunity To Be Whoever You Want To Be
This point will tie into the next point, but because of the Internet, you can literally become and express yourself into whoever you want to be.
If, say you’ve always wanted to become a famous baker, you can totally do it. The Internet is absolutely huge place and there’s a for the sure chance that you won’t be the only person who wants to be what you be.
One reason that the bigger people on social media become so famous, is because they serve as an icon or a role model for whatever they themselves want to be.
They went out and became what they wanted to be, and it’s the fact that it worked for them that makes us envy them, because who wouldn’t want to be them.
They get to be whoever they damn well wanted to be, and built an audience around themselves.
Like what an absolute deal and like my next point will say, there is always an audience for anything in the world.
Another thing I’d like to point out is that as much as your social media followers care about you, the Internet doesn’t give a damn about you.
As harsh as that sounds, that is actually a good thing. Social media doesn’t care about where you come from or who you are, which means you can literally start from scratch and build yourself and your image into whoever you want.
It provides a chance to start over, which can sometimes be hard to come by.
3. There’s An Audience For Everything
The human population on Earth is getting up there, almost 8 billion people. And out of those 7.8 billion people, maybe 2 or 3 billion have access to the Internet.
Chances are, you won’t be the only person who is interested in your passion. Even if 0.00035 percent of the population is even REMOTELY interested, that still around 1 million people.
Even if you were to shrink that number to 0.000035 percent, that's still 100,000 people.
What I’m trying to say, is that you almost guaranteed to have more than 100,000 people who are exactly interested in your passion, which is great odds.
4. Helps Keep You Informed
In today’s society, things can change in the blink of an eye. Especially during this pandemic, things are literally changing from day today.
Social media is absolutely great for providing you with news and information about everything in the world.
When something big happens, I always see the news on my social media streams before I see it on the news. This is strictly because of how fast stuff will travel from person to person, and before you know it everybody knows.
Although there is a lot of news and information about stuff that is absolutely pointless that I could honestly care less about, I do really appreciate how fast I’m able to keep up with what’s going on throughout the world.
5. You Can Make Fairly Good Money At It
It’s no surprise that you can make money with social media. In some instances, you can actually make a bunch of money.
The no denying it, social media influencers are just about everywhere these days. And frankly, they do a really good job at what they do.
Besides making and creating content, they do a crazy job at amazing a bunch of followers and audiences.
Studies show that people would rather buy something after seeing somebody who is a known influencer use it than if a celebrity would show it, this alone goes to show how powerful being an influencer can really be.
That’s not the only way people can make money with social media because becoming an influencer can sometimes take YEARS to do. You could use social media to market to either sell yours or somebody else’s products or if you're really interested in just working with social media, you can become what’s called a freelancer.
A freelancer is someone who does short term custom work services for companies or brands in exchange for payment through sites like Fiverr.
Fiverr is a marketplace where you can offer up your services to people around the globe.
Even if you don’t know much about social media, there’s literally jobs for just about everything Internet wise. You could become a social media manager, help companies design business flyers, write reports, and even help write ebooks.
All you have to do is sign up, create what’s called a gig (which is kinda like a resume that describes what you’ll be offering) and set your price.
If you have a good skill set to offer up, Fiverr will begin to send potential customers your way and if you do a good job completing your jobs, over time more and more brands and companies will want to higher you, meaning you can raise your price to whatever you deem is fair for your work.
Its completely free to join, and you get to keep 80% of what you make on each job, which starts at 5$. If you have a youtube channel or an Instagram account with a decent amount of subscribers, a job could literally be a 45-second shoutout, which is a quick and easy profit maker.
Freelancing is a great way for people with even a small degree of skill to make money with social media, and for the most part, it won’t be super difficult either.
If you already have a website or social media page that you need help growing, Fiverr also has the option for you to purchase somebody’s assistance instead of providing that service.
Say you have an Instagram account that you’d like to turn into a business but aren’t the greatest at finding and growing followers, you can search through Fiverr and find someone who is credited to be good at growing an Instagram page and you can higher them to do that for you, for fairly cheap.
It doesn’t just have to be social media work either, there are hundreds of different options to choose from. Examples could be like somebody helping you to create a website to someone giving your business a youtube shoutout, to someone growing your SEO stance.
I’ve spent quite some time looking through their website, and from what I’ve concluded is that Fiverr can provide those services you need, for really good prices.
You can find some website redesigners for anywhere from 70 to 100 bucks, or youtube shoutouts that have 50 to 100,000 subscribers for around 10 bucks, which is a pretty sick deal.
The Bad Side Of Social Media
With all the good things about social media, there’s an equally bad side too. With being on the Internet all the time, it can't start to take a chip at your mental health strictly because the Internet is SO huge.
One day good news will be ever and the next the media will portray that the world is literally ending right under our noses.
Like the good of social media, I’ve broken down the bad of social media into four main points.
This one is a killer. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, studies show that the average person spends 3 hours or more on social media a day. That 3 hours is equivalent to 10,800 seconds.
That’s a lot of time that can generally be labeled as useless because as much as everybody loves to see what’s happening with the Kardashians, none of that junk will really affect you at all.
People love social media because it lets them escape, and with the help of influencers live in another person’s shoes who are usually doing exactly what they want to do.
Another key factor that makes us glued to our phones, is the scrolling feature. With lots of today’s social media platforms, they all have the scrolling feature, which you’d think its job was to keep your feed updated regularly so you don’t have to see the same stuff over and over again.
This is where they get ya, the scrolling feature is designed to keep your brain hungry. If you kept seeing the same stuff over and over again, you’d lose interest super quick. The scrolling is there to keep your brain seeing new things that keep your brain seeing new stuff so it won’t get bored.
Studies have shown that this concept of constantly showing your brain new stuff gives off the same brain stimulants as if you were getting high.
I find, that I’ll be going through just mindlessly scrolling and then for some reason I’ll glance away only to realize twenty minutes have flown by.
The social media high is what causes those times where you seem to be lost in time, and if you don’t have good self-control, it can become addiction super fast.
2. Negative View Of Yourself
This is another bad one. Lots of posts and videos all show people who are in killer shape, sipping fruity drinks on the beach on some private resort or in a mansion.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of normal people doing just day to day stuff, but even that can be unrealistic.
I’ll be going through my social media stream, and I’ll be seeing all these different people doing all these things and watch as they seem to have to one hell of a time doing it, and a sense of envy will come across me.
Because who wouldn’t want to be having a party on the beach in California or sipping drinks in a hot tub somewhere in the mountains.
The problem I have with this is it isn’t realistic at all. The reason so many people post all that kind of stuff in social media literally gives you the power to show people only the good apple of the bunch. They could have had a terrible day and not be happy but post a picture showing they’re having the time of the word.
Not every post is like this, but it’s the sense of this fake atmosphere that leads to so many people looking down on themselves because they’re not happy or having fun.
I try to take social media with a grain of salt because you never know the whole story, people are just showing you what they want to show you.
Anxiety is like having your brain convince yourself of all this stuff that isn’t going to happen. I know this because I struggle with anxiety daily.
I won’t be the only one to say that social media just heightens the sense of anxiety that can sometimes be extremely hard to win the battle over.
With seeing all those people doing all those things, you might feel as your missing out so you go out and find your own picture or video to post and then, you stop, the anxiety is back.
You start to wonder what people will think of you, whether your clothes look good or whether they’ll judge you for being you.
Anxiety is a sh!ty game, and sometimes being out there doesn’t seem to help at all. As much as you think you need people’s approval to help stim the insecurities you feel, take it from me to know that there’s an extreme peace in just shutting all that off and just breathing in the air of the real world will help.
4. There’s A Lot Of Useless Sh!t
As society begins to adapt and evolve around the Internet, like how any city grows, so does the trash.
There are some things on social media that you’re just better of not wasting your time consuming,
Could be if two celebrities aren’t getting along or some famous person is getting a divorce, as much as it may seem juicy it’s just plain junk.
It’s the drama that people love, and it’s ok if you want to just know what’s all happening, but these dramatic poop fests have a way of suckering you in and before you know it, your time has been wasted.
I saw a quote that said “You are what you consume”, and that there is an extremely true statement. We have to be careful of what we feed our brains because our thoughts do become our reality.
Social media is in my opinion, a sort of double-bladed ax. It can be extremely good and helpful in some cases, and downright toxic in others.
It can be great when I have to contact my school friends when we need to collaborate on a project, and at the same time be absolutely awful when it bombards you with drama filed junk that can just ruin your good vibes.
In the end, it comes down to what kind of person you are, and what your views are and how much of the tidal wave we call social media you can handle.