Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, LinkedIn… the vast majority of us will have profiles on at least half of these social media platforms. And most of us will spend a minimum of an hour a day scrolling through our newsfeeds.
Did you know that 16 million South Africans are now using Facebook? A further 8 million South Africans are on Twitter and 6.1 million are active on LinkedIn. It’s safe to say that even as a developing country, the age of the selfie definitely hasn’t eluded us!
How Social Media Affects the Student
Undoubtedly, it is us – the students, the younger generation – who are really embracing the power of social media… and feeling it’s full effects, both positive and negative.
For those of us who are staying in Student Digz close to campus, it makes it easier to stay in touch with the family back home. But how many of us are willing to confess that we have decided to spend an evening perfecting a selfie on SnapChat to use as our profile pic on Facebook instead of revising for exams? Or chatting to a friend on Facebook messenger into the early hours of the morning despite knowing that we had a big test at 8am? While not many of us will admit it, the fact of the matter is that we have all done it.
Social Media Platform envy
With so many photo editing apps and glamourous Instagrammers who we can’t help but follow, social media also doesn’t do us any favours from a self-confidence perspective. How does that fashion blogger get her make-up to look so perfect, anyway? It’s called Instagram filters, girl!
We all need to stop looking to social media for inspiration regarding how we’re supposed to look. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have been depressed because they have felt worthless and ‘ugly’ after comparing themselves to people they’ve seen on social media.
I’ve also noticed that we tend to derive our self-worth from the number of people who follow us on Insta, how many Facebook friends we have, and how many retweets we get. Why, guys? That stuff ain’t real. Instead of checking our phones to see if our popularity has increased online, we should be paying attention to working on the special relationships that we have in real life.
Why not get to know your roomie a bit better instead of trying to impress that beauty YouTuber from the other side of the world with your take on her latest winged eye-liner trend?
The ultimate negative effect of social media? It stops us from being social in real life. It stops us embracing our own realness. If any of the above rings true to you, it’s time for a social media detox. It’s time to get real…