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Social Media....the good, the bad....the unhealthy?

2015. Entertainment, electronics and social media. I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy a little Facebook scrolling from time to time. Who doesn’t, right? Seriously, how else would we know who is having a baby, getting married, making a career change, what everyone is having for breakfast, what the weather is doing, where our kids are at??? 15 years ago I was waiting by my landline telephone in my bedroom, hoping for my friends to call, just so my dad could pick up the other line and antagonize my conversations!  What is a landline?  Parent interaction, huh? In the last decade, social media/electronics have taken over society.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  Many of us have our own opinions of the effects of being consumed by our computers and cell phones, but what real effects are actually taking place? Let’s weigh in…

Mental Health:

Cyber bullying, not only do we, as parents, have to worry about our children in their daily atmospheres of being bullied by their peers, but now it is a major concern as to what and who they are exposed to on the internet! Adults and children are more likely to mask their real lives in place of their “idealistic” life to maintain a certain level of social acceptance. What is this teaching our youth? In recent studies, a team of researchers found that social interaction on social media sites, specifically Facebook, may have a negative impact on face-to-face encounters for individuals who already have high levels of anxiety. Of course, I could go on and on about the downside to burring our faces into our phones and tablets, but mostly it concerns me the way our youth have become so  dependent on their devices and it is causing higher emotional insecurities and a rise of low self-esteem and anxiety.  Children should not suffer from these things, they are children! The article below has some amazing points and statistics about the everyday effects of overusing social media sites.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275361.php

 

Politics:

“Since the rise of the Internet in the early 1990s, the world's networked population has grown from the low millions to the low billions. Over the same period, social media have become a fact of life for civil society worldwide, involving many actors -- regular citizens, activists, nongovernmental organizations, telecommunications firms, software providers, governments. “

Many businesses today rely on their social media sites to promote their products. Why not? It is mostly free and will hit billions of people within minutes.  Today, I had someone tell me how social media could have negatively impacted their reputation and success, if they allowed it.  One review could cause the downfall for anybody.  How did this person surpass the negativity and carry on with their positive accomplishments?  They ignored it. They let their customers speak for themselves and refer others to a good experience. We cannot fight back online, otherwise you will be shamed or acting overly defensive if the accusations are not true. So we must hold back, or overreact.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67038/clay-shirky/the-political-power-of-social-media

 

Weight and happiness:

Many studies have shown how indulging in hours of media scrolling can lead to a weight gain, but not because you are being inactive, but because you are watching others being anti-physical.  Just like when you gain pregnancy weight, your husband seems to as well. Or when you gain the freshman 15 in college, everyone is doing it. A lot of weight gain can be caused by your surroundings.  We perceive it as a natural part of life.  That is just insane if you ask me!!  On the other hand, social media can be a healthy hand in building knowledge or respect for being health conscious. Watching friends post or tweet about their awesome new workout, a great new recipe they tried or even an exciting and trendy new workout outfit they purchased, will boost interest in those that see it.  So maybe, socializing over the internet may someday mainstream the growing rate of obesity and create a world of health and fitness? Only time and ambition will tell on that!

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/social-networks-can-affect-weight-happiness-201112163983