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Social Media in Moderation

Introduction

In terms of the current situation and online environment shaped by the pandemic, the online space has become the most pivotal and influential in working and educational domains. It is a valuable source of essential information to extend the public’s knowledge and help people maintain their work responsibilities remotely. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that one of the most critical concerns enhanced over the past few years is social media’s impact on the mental health oneself, sometimes with lethal consequences (Amedie 12). Given the controversial side of social networks in modern-day society, this research argues that the moderate use of social media is the most mindful approach to incorporating these online assets into daily life.

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Positive Contribution of Social Media

With its increased presence in modern life, social media positively contributes to developing a coherent and diverse online community. However, one of the most critical benefits of social media usage implies its ability to “nurture and expand relationships” (The Good, Bad, and In-between). More specifically, the primary cause for social media emergence is improving communication and reinforcing human connections worldwide. The variety of online platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and many others, represent the social networking assets that help users revitalize existing relationships and create new ones. The multiple media platforms connect people around the globe, thus, enabling easy and instant communication. According to Moreau, one can maintain long-lasting relations with old high school friends on Facebook and meet new people on Twitter from all around the world. Therefore, such increased online mobility gives particular benefits to any social media user. A person can promptly connect with new people by sharing the same interests and concerns.

Another essential positive impact of social media is enhanced productivity for students, remote employees, and employers. Online networking tools provide an immense amount of valuable information that can significantly advance academic performance and maintain successful work results. Such a piece of information is accessible to users unlimitedly and globally, including real-time news. Many studies have confirmed the close association between social media use and “a greater success in academics,” as well as advanced job functionality (The Good, Bad, and In-between). It is important to learn that “59% of students” use social media to examine educational topics, and 50% of them use it to discuss school assignments (Are Social Networking Sites Good). Moreover, practically all the recruiters (96%) find social media helpful in the recruitment process (Are Social Networking Sites Good). Social networking creates a global online community by providing easily accessible ways to “understand, learn, and share information instantaneously” (Amedie 5). With this said, social media serves as a robust online mechanism facilitating both educational and business purposes.

Negative Effect of Social Media

Despite the fundamental role of social media networks in the contemporary lifestyle, such a prevailing online asset poses critical challenges for a single social media user. One of the most vital concerns regarding the adverse impact of social media on society is cyber harassment. As stated in Amedie’s research, “approximately 20–35% of adolescents” reveal involvement in bullying cases online, whether as a bully or a victim (12). There is a significant number of stories reported by students from different parts of the world and at all grade levels regarding the severe harassing behavior on social media. Therefore, “social media facilitates cyberbullying,” with 52% of students subjected to cyberbullying mainly on Facebook (84.2%), Instagram (23.4%), and Twitter (21.4%) (Are Social Networking Sites Good). Cyber harassment or “digital bullying” imply severe threats, terrorizing messages, and offense, which cause irreparable damage to the younger population and students (Akram 352). It is important to note that some of the negative consequences might include suicide or long-term bodily or emotional damage, thus, affecting the mental state oneself.

Another negative aspect of the online networking space implies the severe issue of social media addiction and personal information security. By spending more time online, users become less cautious of sharing personal data and, thus, they become more vulnerable in the broad context of entire social media platforms. A rapid increase has been reported in personal data breaches over the past few months. Akram states that individual data and security can be easily hacked and shared throughout different Internet platforms (352). The most common cases involve hacked Twitter and Facebook accounts that revealed much personal information and influenced people’s lives. Hatcher claims that “advertising practices of social media sites may create an invasion of privacy,” which sets the security concern in the first place of prudent social media usage. Additionally, the possible breach of privacy is considered an adverse effect of social media on society’s health. In such cases, addiction and personal data breaches are closely intertwined concepts and adverse social networking impacts. Social media addiction damages users’ lives and affects all the related aspects, including education, work, personal life, and health.

The Middle Ground of Social Media Impact on Society

After considering both the positive and negative effects of social media platforms, it is crucial to devise the golden mean between its strengths and weaknesses. Any activity capturing the majority of modern human lifestyles needs to be responsibly incorporated into daily usage. According to The Good, Bad, and In-between, the resulting impact of social media on a single online user is defined by the unique ways of using and applying media benefits into life, education, and work. The solution to the well-balanced use of online media tools implies incorporating the benefits they bring “sensibly, constructively, and in moderation” (The Good, Bad, and In-between). More specifically, the positive and negative implications of social networks on a person’s mental health and well-being are directly dependent on how one integrates social media into life.

Therefore, the main idea and purpose behind each personal account on various Internet platforms need to be well-thought-out and have clear boundaries. The main concern implies the right choices people make regarding their approach to using media because the poor choices and excessive usage might lead to life-threatening results. For instance, while the abundance of information can confuse and control the public mindset, wide-spreading news might considerably help solve criminal cases. Online users face everyday examples of such cases when people receive “emergency amber alerts” or report the “missing persons’ photos” (Amedie 4). The rapid spread of information online has also facilitated the FBI’s work through “Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit” in finding the suspects (Amedie 5). Social media can be dangerously damaging for society because of its impact on mental health and lives. However, it also brings many benefits that help other industries perform better work and deliver successful results.

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The Moderate Social Media Usage

Social media can be a beneficial tool in case of its moderate use by the modern-day online user. To be more specific, a conscious Internet user must take critical steps to minimize the negative effects of social networks and benefit from the opportunities it provides. The research states that social media should be mainly used on desktop computers rather than phones. Also, one should limit his/herself to only one social media app and make it customized to reduce any stress-provoking consequences. However, the most important insight is to stay educated about the importance of separating real-life activity and social media engagement.

The moderate social media usage substantially contributes to the resilience and improved well-being of the younger generation. It is, therefore, the best option for the modern online user to take advantage of the opportunities that social networks give. According to clinical psychologists, many individuals “experience huge benefits from taking a social media break” (Hatcher). The main concern remains the confusion between the true self and online identity and its responsible cultivation. Sometimes, one’s social media identity can subtly replace an authentic connection with the actual version of self. Therefore, the well-balanced control over social network usage implies a deep-rooted connection with one’s authentic value as a human being. This way, an individual is less likely to be adversely impacted by social media. Thus, knowing the truthful and complex depth of personal value will make a person a social media resilient user.

Conclusion

Within a modern technology-savvy society, social media has gained immense popularity worldwide and currently plays a fundamental role in online users’ daily lives and leading business industries. Following its gradual development, social media networks are considered inherent to the contemporary process of living, working, educating, understanding, and evolving. However, various online networking platforms are commonly presented as a controversial topic due to their broad range of both positive and negative effects on the users. Only with the moderate use of social networks, one can fully grasp the importance and opportunities that this online tool can bring to modern lives.

Works Cited

“Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society?” ProCon.org, 2020, Web.

Akram, Waseem. “A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society.” International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, vol. 5, no. 10, 2018, pp. 347–354.

Amedie, Jacob. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Advanced Writing: Pop Culture Intersections, vol. 2, 2015, pp. 1–19.

Hatcher, John Patrick. “20 pros and cons of Social Media Use.” Success, 2017, Web.

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Moreau, Elise. “The Pros and Cons of Social Networking.” Lifewire, 2021, Web.

The Good, Bad, and In-between of Social Media. Carrier Clinic, 2019, Web.

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