Social media is a great tool to keep in touch with your loved ones who are far away. However, just like most other things, such as money, what is meant to serve a noble purpose can easily turn into something that is destructive, and even harmful to people. It is no more a matter of surprise to notice how people, especially youngsters, fall prey to the dark side of social media, ending up with issues such as depression and the loss of self-esteem.
However, this is exactly where the problem lies - it should not be a routine, normal thing for people to fall prey to depression due to technology. A lack of understanding and maturity of how technology and social media should be rightly used has created a whole new generation of people who are suffering more from the downsides of social media than benefiting from its plus points.
Social media creates a false image of how things should be
To put it simply, social media can paint a wrong picture of how life should be. A teenager viewing the party pictures of other teenagers, for example, on Facebook or Instagram may start believing that parties are what life should be about. This leads to a loss of value and respect for their own abilities and talents, as they try to ape others and live the lives that others live.
Today, people have begun to give more meaning and value to the ‘likes’ that they receive on their posts. No wonder then that today we are living in times when whatever is done, is done for the sake of ‘uploading’ and ‘updating’ in the hope of gaining more followers and likes.
Next starts the game of comparisons, where people start comparing their own lives with others or even their success on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, with that of others! What actually should not matter at all becomes an integral part of life, trapping the human mind and making people slaves to social approval over the net!
Do not let technology dictate what happens in your life! Life is much more than what social media portrays. Here are some practical things you should keep in mind about social media :
- All that you see on social media does not have to be true. People post only desirable things online, and that does not mean their lives are like that!
- The true beauty of life lies in those moments that you simply do not feel the need to share on a public platform - the warmth of your family, the love of your friends, the special sights you see in nature, the adoration of your dog and so on.
- There's absolutely no need to seek approval from people online! The real people that matter are those around you, and not virtual individuals on Facebook and Snapchat with whom your relationship is limited to the click of a button.
If you are a parent or a guardian, then there are certain things that you should keep in mind during this age, when children can no longer be kept away from social media, and are increasingly falling prey to depression :
- Give them adequate time and attention so that they will not end up seeking for it online. This is what is lacking in most families today.
- Keep communication channels open and keep an eye on your children, but do not be overly intrusive or nosey.
- Help your child to feel good about his/her abilities and talents and boost their self-esteem to prevent them from falling prey to feelings of unworthiness and depression.