Negative Effects Of Social Media On Society

In today’s world of technology, entertainment is at one of its highest peaks since the radio was invented. Games and such on digital devices are rising in popularity, and are enjoyed by a majority of the cyber world. However, a growing prominence in the social media aspect of digital entertainment causes many questions on its ramification on society. Although the advocates of social media say otherwise, negative effects of social media on society is detrimental.

Social media negatively impacts mental health.

An increase in mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety can indeed be linked with social media. This link to the illnesses isn’t a minor risk either. Jessica Brown, a reporter from BuzzFeed, mentioned that “[A study] found a threefold risk of depression and anxiety among people who used the most social media platforms” (Is Social Media Bad For You? The Evidence and the Unknowns). Depression itself is a terrible mental health issue; it can make people think irrationally.

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The same can be said about anxiety, which every student after taking a test feels only a percentage compared to the real ailment. However, social media increases the risks of both of these diseases, allowing them to amplify each others effects to a singular social media user. In addition to that, user satisfaction declined due to increased time on social media, causing mental health to as well. People some people look towards their digital devices as a means to relax and to get away from the real world.

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However, with social media, this simply isn’t always the case. Brown supports this stance by referencing a study conducted in 2013, in which “The more time people spent on the site, the worse they felt later on, and the more their life satisfaction declined over time” (Is Social Media Bad For You? The Evidence and the Unknowns). Satisfaction from entertainment is what the people using social media seek; however, bombardments of pessimistic stories, cruel news stories, and others do not lift their enthusiasm; instead, it curbs it to a point where they feel disgusted and lose their previous satisfaction. The most recent New Zealand even, for example, does not leave people with the best of feelings; the contrary, in fact, occurs. You also view events like the event where nurses would rather film a dying woman on a Snapchat story labeled “The End” rather than ask for help. This especially comes into play when you bring in cyberbullying, which is a prominent issue in altering mental health from social media. Cyberbullying via social media causes mental health issues in the users who use it. When you are bullied face to face, at least you can tell who is doing it and hope to seek help from an authority figure. However, being on a social media platform severely hinders that with one large issue; Kloog states that cyberbullying is anonymous, and because of that anonymity, when a user is being cyber bullied, the confidence and self-worth of the individual will decrease, and can lead to suicide (The Negative Impacts Social Media Has On Society). The bully can then feel more powerful, as they have their identity hidden, and can become more harsh and abusing than any real life bully could be. Their digital words hold power that may seem like friendly banter or intentional insults: either way the receiver is not benefiting. Due to a shifting focus on mental health, having a negative mental health is not beneficial in the slightest. If, then, social media causes these mental health statuses, then its use on the digital society should cease in order to restrict the negative effects of our society.

Social issues are caused by the negative impact of social media. For example, usage of social media causes issues with human interaction. Prior to the use of social media, face to face interactions were how people got by, and how all of society functioned back then. However, Kloog reminds the now digital population that “With the increase in social media usage, we have not been able to tell how others may be feeling, therefore, we “read” the persons words wrong” (The Negative Impacts Social Media Has On Society). An example of this can be found in a sarcastic comment, where if in reality someone makes a sarcastic comment, the other person can pick up on that, whereas in a digital conversation, it is impossible to distinguish the sarcasm from a legitimate response. In addition to the increased social media use, overuse produces other issues as well. Social media causes procrastination in a person’s life. It envelops the person in entertainment, trapping them as to not let them out until the very last moment to do their work. Shellabarger says this the best when stating that “Spending countless hours on the social sites can distract the focus and attention from a particular chore or assignment” (Social Media’s Impact On Society). Procrastination has a grip on the user that prevents them from working, similar to what happened in my case with this essay; procrastination has made finishing this essay a rush rather than a gradual buildup of a project. Procrastination could also lead into another large issue with social media. Social media users get addicted to social media, enough so that it hinders their daily life. Normally, a person checking social media on their phones check it for a short amount of time, then move on with their lives. However, Kloog addresses those who became addicted to social media by stating that “Our brains have learned and grown accustomed to having a device near us so that we cannot go 10 minutes without checking a status or text message” ( The Negative Impacts Social Media Has On Society). An example proving addiction to social media becomes obvious in a school environment; you look around and a large amount of people are browsing social media on their phones, some of them addicted to it to the point where they get caught in class looking at it.

Deteriorating physical health is another symptom of social media on society. Growing usages of social media can cause fatigue in others, leading to the point of sleep deprivation. Going hand in hand with procrastination and addiction, this leads to the hinderance on real life even more. Brown acknowledges that people are unable to sleep due to distractions on social media, and the blue light that using your device while trying to sleep emits contributes to it(Is Social Media Bad For You? The Evidence and the Unknowns). The use of blue light within the phone in addition to the incessant buzzing of phone notification vibrations disallows the person to engage in the normal sleeping routine - it does the complete opposite. However, there could be other factors in preventing sleep. Due to excessive usage of social media, physical pain and issues can occur. Navigating through social media apps by itself can be tiresome. However, you also have to navigate inside each app as well. This cycle of seemingly infinite actions can cause issues for the user looking directly at the phone as well. DiRenzo elaborates that social media can have an impact on other aspects of your physical health, such as causing fatigue, eye problems, lack of exercise, and carpal tunnel syndrome (How Can Social Media Affect Your Health?). These inconveniences, while they may seem like small pains at first, are hindrances that will plague your life. As an example, by having carpal tunnel syndrome for a couple of days made usage of my right hand in any method painful. However, even though there are effects due to using social media, what the social media contains also is detrimental.Social media triggers diseases related to physical health. As evidence, Haig mentions that he saw reports of people with diseases such as bulimia and anorexia say that social media worsened or triggered the disease ( I Used to Think Social Media Was a Force for Good. Now the Evidence Says I Was Wrong). With people arguing over diets and ideal body types and the such, those people feel the need to conform, causing those issues to surface. All of these possible negative physical changes are due to social media, as as the negative changes prove, social media is a negative invention created by us humans.

Social media has a negative effect on businesses. For example, financial issues are caused by the workers on social media. When they should be doing work, instead they are browsing social media. By doing this, Snow claims, workers costs companies 2.2 billion due to being distracted by social media while working(Is Social Media Bad for Us?). When these workers are on social media, they not only waste money, they also waste their time. Social media distracts them to a point where their productivity is miniscule; Snow provides statistics by saying“For the 61 percent who admit to wasting 30 minutes to an hour, the lost productivity may not seem like a big deal. But for a small-business owner, even 30 minutes each day adds up to 2.5 hours a week and 130 hours each year'(Is Social Media Bad for Us?). The infographic shows this escalating growth/waste, and how it is bad long term. Not only that, but a high percentage of workers claim to be on the social media distraction. Snow says that “89 percent of respondents admitted that they waste time at work each day”(Is Social Media Bad for Us?). If the workers were on social media to work on their jobs, then it would be beneficial. However, these statistics are based off of the workers who do work on one hand while browsing social media on the other. This bad productivity in businesses is due to the curse known as social media.

With the progression of social media’s influence on society, privacy becomes a growing concern. Proving such is that fact that social media account privacy is able to be breached. This can be seen in the court case Romano vs. Steelcase Inc., in which Romano’s private information was breached in order to determine if she was capable of suing (Individual's 'Private' Social Networking Sites Are Not Exactly Private, New York Court Rules). Although the contract between individual and company were withheld, it showed that seeing private images is easily done if wanted. Leading further into individual actions, social media posts that you post that violate your privacy, leading into events like robbery. According to a member of Pennsylvania State, they claim that “Posting personal information leaves you open to criminal activity such as identity theft, stalking, and robbery. I always like when one of our Facebook friends post pictures from vacation and let everybody in the world know they will be gone for the next week or two. Anybody who sees their post will now know that their house will be empty for that time period”(Social Media and the Negative Impact on Individuals). This has a basis in truth, because I have had family members who post that they would go out on an outing only to come back to their house ransacked of their valuables. However, by posting that image in the first place, the individual forsakes something else. Social media’s lack of privacy creates a decreased mental health. The link between individual mental health and privacy may seem far fetched; however, Reed indicates that “The idea of losing your privacy does impact emotions and mental health. An article in the New York Times reports that privacy research in 'online and offline environments has shown that just the perception of being watched results in feelings of low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety'(Negative Impact of Social Networking Sites). This could be in part because people dislike the attention, and this could especially apply to introverts. The side effects of social media privacy is nothing positive to society.

Some critics advocating against the negative influence of social media say that the use of social media is beneficial in today’s society, as it can induce positive changes in physical and mental health. As Alex DiRenzo mentions, “Positive connections with people are important for your mental and even physical health… While interacting with people on social media is not enough, and not a substitute for live interactions, it can be beneficial nonetheless” (How Can Social Media Affect Your Health?). To an extent, he is correct; social media is able to create beneficial effects on the people in society. However, the negative effects are able to extremely outweigh the positive effects. For example, in one case of social media fame, a man named Jason Russell soon became obsessed with the view count, and eventually underwent a “temporary psychotic break”, in which Russell “took off his clothes, went to the corner of a busy intersection and repeatedly slapped the concrete with both palms ranting about the devil”, all of which was due to the sudden outburst of his internet fame (Social Media’s Impact On Society). Excluding digital prestige, even a daily dose of social media can worsen people’s health. In a Facebook Newsroom, David Ginsberg and Moira Burke refer to a study from UC San Diego and Yale, which “found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey”, proving that the effect of social media is not always positive (Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?) . Even though social media interactions seem somewhat beneficial to the health of a user, they do nothing to counter the undertone and true threat: the disastrous effect of social media that prove otherwise.

Social media has changed us humans. Entertaining, informative, saddening, it provides those who have access to it a variety of feelings. However, with those feelings comes a great cost to this society; therefore, it should be stopped.

Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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Negative Effects Of Social Media On Society. (2024, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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