Tech - Internet
By: - at June 9, 2013

15 Ways That Social Media is Killing You

Social Media is Killing Us!When social networking websites first debuted on the information superhighway a little over a decade ago, many people heavily criticized them overall and felt that they were simply passing fads. Most critics and online analysts felt that these websites would eventually fade away just like every other temporary fad of pop culture and lose their overall relevance. However, those assumptions and conclusions have clearly been proven wrong in a monumental way.

Social networking websites have drastically changed the Internet in more ways than one and completely altered the way that hundreds of millions of people have communicated with each other as well as how hundreds of thousands of companies around the world are able to connect to their past and prospective customers. Even though the average person could come up with an extensive list of benefits that are experienced through social media overall, it is vital that the same person also pays close attention to a list of ways that social media is killing them.

15)  Killing Your Blood Pressure and Stress Levels
Strssed out from Social MediaStudies have confirmed that you can raise your blood pressure by viewing something on the television or computer screen that causes you to react either mentally or emotionally. Many people believe that they can only experience high blood pressure and eventually become diagnosed with hypertension primarily because of their dietary choices and family medical history. That is actually not the case whatsoever. Even though those two factors do play a significant role in this diagnosis, life choices and certain activities throughout the day can also lead to you suffering from these types of problems.

When you see a status message posted on Facebook that makes you angry or frustrated, for example, this can cause your blood pressure to rise. If an online friend says something that disturbs you or you end up having an argument with a close friend or co-worker through Twitter, your stress levels can skyrocket and cause you to suffer from anxiety attacks, nausea, dizziness and other adverse physical reactions. Medical studies have proven over the years that high blood pressure and excessive stress levels can lead to much more severe health problems, including heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and death.

14)  Killing Your Self-Esteem and Confidence
Self Image and Social MediaAnother way that the world of social media is killing you is through the decreasing levels of self-esteem and overall confidence that can quickly occur because of the cyber-bullying and overall negativity that is directed toward people online. For example, you might decide to post a picture of yourself during a past beach vacation and automatically become bombarded by comments from your friends, coworkers and relatives about how unflattering you look in that particular picture.

Even if they are joking, these types of negative comments cause people to become more self-conscious about their appearance to the point where they are skeptical about posting any other pictures of themselves. In more extreme cases, this major deficiency in self-image and overall confidence can force a person to live an introverted lifestyle, feeling that they would probably just be better off not exposing themselves to other people at all instead of just through online pictures. Studies have proven that a key reason why many people would rather post pictures of other people, viral images and other objects instead of pictures of themselves is primarily because they are ashamed of the way that they look and are afraid about how other people may react if they were to see those pictures.

13)  Killing Your Chances of Getting a Great Job
Job Hunting with LinkedInThe Internet overall has drastically changed the way many people search for jobs around the world today. Before the information superhighway was developed, the traditional method that was used in order to find jobs consisted of searching through the classified ads of newspapers and physically going into stores and businesses that had "Help Wanted" posters publicly displayed in the window or signs of their building. Nowadays, millions of people are relying on the Internet to be able to search for available job postings and listings in their local areas as well as throughout their respective countries.

There are specific social media websites, such as LinkedIn, that allow people to create professional profiles that will allow them to apply for online job postings and search through the online network to try and connect to different companies that might be hiring. However, what many people fail to realize is that not all job postings can be found on the Internet. For instance, a recent study confirms that, in the United States, 72% of the most recently available job postings are not found posted on any website. In order to gain access to that abundance of available listings, you have to be able to use traditional means (i.e. classified ads, physical job hunts, etc.) in order to apply. Therefore, the world of social media just might be killing your chances of being able to apply for a great job that you never knew was even available.

12)  Killing Your Chances of Keeping a Great Job
Fired because of FaceBookAnother downside to the world of social media and further proof that social networking websites are negatively affecting your life is the fact that they can be killing your changes of keeping the job that you already have. Millions of people use their computers and mobile devices that are designated specifically for work purposes in order to check their social media profiles and update their social networking sites. However, in most cases, this is a violation of the policies of a wide range of companies and corporations that could lead to immediate termination.

In less severe cases, social media pages will cause a substantial decrease in the overall productivity of the average employee. Instead of being focused on giving their all to their work throughout the day, many employees are doing just enough to get by while they use their personal cell phones and mobile devices to stay tuned in to what their online friends are doing and posting on Facebook, Instagram and other social media websites. Even if their company does not have a specific policy against accessing social media websites on the clock, this overall decrease in productivity can still have an adverse effect on their job security. Most companies are not going to want to pay their employees any sort of wages to spend time scanning through Facebook, so those are the employees that will, in most cases, end up on the chopping block.

11)  Killing Your Daily Physical Activity
Fat Guy at ComputerWith the rampant increases of obesity and the prevalence of obesity-related health conditions (including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer), millions of people and thousands of different organizations around the globe are promoting the need to stay physically active on a daily basis. This message is primarily directed to children, since studies have confirmed that the average child will spend more time engaged in online and electronic activities throughout the day than they will with actual physical activities. This type of inactivity can lead to many different health problems in people of all ages, but can cause severe impairments in a child's physical development.

Social media requires absolutely no physical activity whatsoever. You can literally sit down in front of your computer or lie on your bed with a mobile device in your hands and spend countless hours chatting, posting and playing on different social media websites. Even though the detrimental damage that is being done to your body because of this high level of physical inactivity may not be apparently clear at first, studies have proven that it will become apparently clear if this type of behavior becomes repetitious and prolonged over time. However, by the time you realize that it is a serious problem it might already be too late.

10)  Killing Your Communication Skills
Bad CommunicationBefore the digital age of advancing technology completely dominated and revolutionized the way that people communicate with each other, people actually enjoyed having and hosting conversations. Young children were able to develop their communication skills through applying them in the real world as they shared their thoughts with their friends, family members, schoolmates and teachers. However, the world of social media picked up where text messaging left off when it comes to impairing an individual's communication skills overall.

Instead of having great conversations face-to-face with the people that are close to you, it may be more convenient to just send them a quick text message or even post a quick message on their social media profile page. Even though it may seem far-fetched and unrealistic, it is very possible to communicate with people for many years without actually talking to them or seeing them face to face because of social networking websites and technology overall. This type of convenience can quickly become an inconvenience in other areas, because it completely changes the way that people connect with other people in many different ways.

Children will never be able to learn how to properly and efficiently communicate their thoughts and feelings in an open environment because of not having the chance to fully develop their communication skills. Adults will end up losing many of the communication skills that they may have spent years developing primarily because of allowing the crutch of technology and social media to have this adverse effect on their lives.

9)  Killing Your Personal Space and Privacy
Social Media PrivacyRegardless of age or gender, everyone is entitled to and enjoys experiencing a certain extent of privacy. This is one of the reasons why the average homeowner will use the locks on the doors, limit the number of windows that are built within their home and make sure that they use curtains and blinds as much as possible to cover the windows that they do have. However, personal space and privacy are two things that are compromised, jeopardized and sacrificed through social media. Even without a social media page or social networking profile, the Internet may already have an extensive amount of your personal information posted and publicly accessible. For example, by choosing to have your phone number listed in the phone book, your name, address and home phone number can quickly be accessed online within a matter of a few seconds.

By having a social media page, you will only be making more of your private information public for people all over the world to be able to find and explore. When Google was first released, many people would spend countless hours searching for any type of information that they could find on their friends, family members, co-workers and even people that they may have recently met for the first time. Soon after Facebook and MySpace were developed, this same practice was expanded into the realm of social media. Even though you might think your page is private, your name and profile picture is more than likely still available for public viewing worldwide just from having a social media website set up and activated in the first place.

8)  Killing Your Social Skills
Shy Teen due to social mediaAlong with killing your communication skills, studies show that getting involved with any type of social media and social networking website can also kill your social skills in general. Many people struggle to remember how they were able to communicate with their friends and family members before these websites were developed. Relatives that hadn't spoken to each other in decades were finally able to connect as online friends and still have not been able to meet each other face-to-face for a physical conversation.

Before the Internet revolutionized communication in general with chat rooms and instant messaging, people were required to muster up the boldness and courage in order to make the effort to connect with others and socialize with them. This courageous sacrifice benefited them in a number of ways, especially when it came to being able to develop their social skills and eliminate any shyness or timid mentality that may have plagued them for years. Nowadays, millions of people would rather just communicate with people that live in the same city as them through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram then they would pick up the phone and choose to give them a quick call.

7)  Killing Your Time Management Skills
Social media creates bad time managementAs mentioned earlier, social networking websites are major time traps that can easily remove countless hours on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. People of all ages can quickly lose chunks of time throughout the day simply by commenting, posting, updating and upgrading their social media profiles and pages. This is one of the major time wasters of college students. Keep in mind that there are still just 24 hours in the day and there is still an extensive list of more productive things that people of all ages can be doing with their time besides keeping their eyes glued to the screens of their electronic devices and social networking websites. However, time management overall seems to take a backseat when social media is involved. This means that developing effective time management skills, regardless if you are a child or an adult, quickly becomes highly improbable and nearly impossible because of allowing social networking websites and profile pages to kill off the vast majority of your available time each day.

6)  Killing Your Daily Productivity
Facebook is wasting my timeAlong with killing your time management skills, social media has also been able to effectively kill off your productivity overall and what people are able to get done during the day. Many people and professionals have used themselves in trial experiments to see exactly how much more they would be able to get done during the day if they deactivated their social media accounts or chose to spend a specified period of time away from these websites. The vast majority of the people that have tried these types of experiments quickly realized just how little they were able to accomplish each day when they were constantly involved and engaged with supporting their addiction to social media websites and networking profiles.

From the surface, it may seem like the amount of time that is spent on social media websites and online applications is insignificant and short. This is primarily because of the fact that it only takes a few seconds to post a message, reply to a post or upload a picture. However, what people fail to realize is that these moments quickly add up and accumulate just like snowballs leading into an avalanche. If you were to take the time to calculate all of the "moments" that are spent sending these messages and uploading those pictures, you would quickly be able to see that several hours can easily be wasted at least every week through these websites. Think about all of the things that you could be doing within those blocks of time and you will be able to see clearly just how quickly social media kills off those opportunities.

5)  Killing Your Academic Growth and Development
Social Media BlameOne of the primary ways that social media is hindering young children and adolescents today is through their overall academic growth and development. Studies have confirmed that many students spend more time exploring their friend's social networking profiles and updating their own each night than they do with completing their homework and studying for upcoming tests and quizzes. In many cases, there are actually more students talking about the things that happened at school on their Facebook pages and Twitter profiles than actually focusing while they are in the classroom.

Even though being involved with social media websites may not hinder adults in the same way as they do children when it comes to this specific area, they are still affected by it as well. There are so many other things that adults can be spending their time exercising their brains and retaining within their minds each day in order to better themselves and improving their mental abilities instead of keeping up the gossip and viral videos that are being shared between their online friends and relatives.

4)  Killing Your Attention Span
Social Media is Killing Your Attention SpanOne specific facet of life that has been killed off by the world of technology overall, but primarily through social media, is the average attention span. Within only a few seconds, the average social media user can have access to all of the information that they need online. For example, they can find out exactly how their friends and family members are feeling by reading their 140-character messages that are posted on their Facebook page. This makes it much more difficult for people to pay attention and focus during extensive conversations, even with the people that live under the same roof as them. Viral videos allow people to be able to receive a sufficient amount of entertainment within only a few minutes at a time, which makes it hard to pay attention to extensive movies and television shows or to be entertained through various social activities with others. The average human brain is only able to process so much information in a short span of time already, but social media and the Internet overall are drastically killing off the little bit of attention that most people still have to spare.

3)  Killing Your Intimate Relationships
Social Media and RelationshipsEven though you may not know it, social media and social networking websites are also killing your intimate relationships with significant others. In order for a relationship to work, you need to be able to spend quality time with that person, maintain an open line of communication with them and continue to maintain a foundation of mutual trust and respect between the two of you. Social networking websites have effectively been able to compromise all three of those areas in thousands of relationships around the world within the last 10 years.

Countless hours of productivity and energy are dispensed through maintaining and exploring social networking profiles. Therefore, this greatly reduces the amount of quality time that you have to spend and share with your significant other. Even while many people are physically with their spouses and lovers, they might spend time on their cell phones checking status updates and posting pictures of their outings together. Communication skills are already greatly impaired through social media overall, but these websites can cause irreparable damage when it comes to communication within any type of relationship or close friendship.

It seems that more people are naturally inclined to and much more comfortable with talking about their relationship problems through online blog postings and cryptic tweet messages than they do through actual, private conversations with their significant others. Many people within a relationship do not see a problem with becoming online friends with past lovers and former spouses, which can quickly escalate into problems of infidelity within a current relationship and the lack of mutual respect and trust between two people.

2)  Killing Your Parent-Child Relationships
Cyber AddictionMany parents today are only able to find out about what their children are thinking about or feeling by reading the status messages that are featured and posted on their social media pages and profiles. There have been cases of children in recent years who have committed suicide due to bullying either at school or online. Many of the parents of these children say that they did not know their children were experiencing these problems, primarily because they did not ever talk about it. However, further investigations may show that the child expressed himself or herself through text messages with friends and online postings through social networking websites but they never allowed their parents to have access to those messages.

While parents lead extremely busy lives and sometimes spend more time trying to financially support their children, balancing that out with providing emotional and mental support can be challenging. Social networking websites do not make this monumental task any easier to overcome; some parents say those sites actually make it much more difficult to handle.

1)  Killing Your Business through Bad Publicity
Is Social Media Bad?Even though social networking tools are proven effective as a marketing tool for businesses, these sites can also be key reasons why many businesses are struggling and eventually having to shut down. Social networking websites are specifically designed to reach hundreds of millions of people worldwide. This is great exposure for a business when the comments and feedback that they are receiving from their customers and clients are positive.

However, this can also be detrimental when those comments and overall feedback is not positive. Studies have proven that more people respond to negativity than they do positivity in every aspect of their lives, especially when it has to do with the companies that they invest their hard-earned money into. A viral attack on a business can take down an entire company or severely damage its bottom line.

Final Words
There are many enjoyable aspects of social networking that are beneficial, fun and entertaining. That is one of the main reasons why there are hundreds of millions of people all around the world who collectively spend billions of hours each year logged into these different websites. However, spending too much time on these sites can have adverse effects. It's like anything in life: Moderation is key.

When used properly and in moderation, it is evidently clear that social media and social networking websites can become great online tools that improve the quality of your life. On the other hand, becoming addicted and obsessed with using these social networking websites on a daily basis can eat away at your life, lead to unhappiness or restlessness and serve as an unproductive time killer.





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