An anti-social dilemma
Social media is an unavoidable part of everyone’s daily lives now, but the issue at hand is; How do we use social media? Social media is a very versatile tool, it can be used for numerous tasks, some are beneficial and enhance our daily lives, while others are a hindrance to our productivity.
One of my preferred uses for social media is expanding my network by meeting people all over the world that share interests similar to mine. I’ve been using Twitter for two and a half years now, and in that time I’ve joined the science community and made friends from all over the world who are in or have finished STEM courses. As a whole, the community is great because even while scrolling through Twitter, I will stumble upon random facts and interesting perspectives about things that interest me.
Social media can also be used to keep in touch with distant family and friends, making the world we live in feel much smaller than it actually is. It is so easy to lose track of people without social media. With a memory as bad as mine, it is easy to forget about some people, especially when you rarely see them in person.
However, with every positive impact social media has had on our daily lives, there are countless negative effects. People spend hours mindlessly scrolling through social media, and wasting a major part of their time in the lives of others. In all honesty, I am one of those people. I spend a lot of my time scrolling through Twitter seeing what others are thinking and doing. As I’ve mentioned before, my Twitter is filled with a fair bit of productive content, but I’ve made my feed so interesting that I spend hours consuming content on a daily basis. This reduces the number of hours I spend sleeping/ working.
While writing this column, I ended up on call with two of my friends for over an hour discussing this topic (amongst others). I’d like to quote a few points they made because I thoroughly agree with their sentiments and felt it needed to be shared:
Social media is great because if it wasn’t for social media, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but at the same time if we weren’t having this conversation, we would be watching a lecture or studying for exams next week
I feel it depends on the reason you use social media, it’s so beneficial for networking and keeping in touch, but at the same time it reduces productivity
In conclusion, social media is a tool and can be beneficial if used correctly. Personally, social media has been a hindrance to my productivity for a while now. I’ve decided to reduce my social media consumption by turning off notifications on most of my apps.