Social Media Use Has Severely Different Outcomes Depending On Whom Is Using
Why is it that some people can go hours without being in the same room as their phone while others experience anxiety if they have not checked their social media within the last ten minutes? Unfortunately for most, the second scenario is the case. A new Pew Center Research Survey done in 2018 of the U.S on social media demographics found that 78% of 18-24 year olds use Snapchat and within that same group, 71% of them check the social platform multiple times a day. That sure seems excessive, but that same study revealed that 68% of adults (25+) in the U.S. belong to Facbook and more than half of those adults “admitted” to at least going on the site at least once a day. This causes confusion on what is considered immoderate; checking your facebook once a day is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s normal in this day and age. So, what seperates the group of people that can control their social media use and those who are completely indulged?
Let’s first take a look different personalities and how they may affect one’s social media use. Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism are all factors to help measure one’s personality. In a research study done by Isaac Vaghefi and Hamed Qahri-Saremi using these five factors, found that people who experience anxiety and stress more often than others (neuroticism) are highly more likely to become addicted to social media. People who are more dedicated and focused (conscientiousness,) are apparently far less likely to become so engufled in their social platforms. Howevever, you can not just lump everyone in these two categories to decipher if they could have a social media problem, it really is not that simple. Being more dedicated than most doesn’t necessarily keep you safe from becoming hypnotized by your phone. The same research found that people who are generally focused and dedicated could still fall into social media addiction if they also experience stress and anxiety. The same goes for agreeablness and conscientiousness; when a person is empathetic and friendly, they are more likely to use social media in excess and mixed with high levels of dediation, this could vastly increase the likelihood of a person becoming addicted to social media.
If you’re one of the lucky few that do not fall victim to the false world of social media, than the chances of you experincing negative outcomes from the use of your phone are slim to none. Unfortunately for the rest of us neurotics, our mental health could very likey be at stake. Research has found that Facebook has been linked straight to cause sadness and overall low life satisfaction to its heavy users, and this could surely be said for phone applications such as instagram and twitter. Comparing your life to others is something that is done unintentionally when using social media so, when it is happening every day twenty, thirty times a day this can lead a person in to depression. The worst part is, the lives that we are envious of on social media are not true in reality. We only post what we want the world to see; an instagram model may post a selfie every day looking flawless, dressed in the most doiley fashions, but what she may not be posting about is her eating disorder Facebook has been linked straight to cause sadness and overall low life satisfaction to its heavy users, and this could surely bet or the fact that her pictures are highly filtered. This can affect one’s mental health because since they are not seeing the truth, they can not grasp why they can not reach these frankly, untangable standards.
4 thoughts on “Causal–NamasteBean”
I like the approach you’re taking here, Bean. Instead of pretending that the extremes of “internet addiction” are the norm, and that therefore “something must be done to end this scourge,” a more rational search for the differences in people that make some casual and others fanatical in their use of social media is much more fruitful.
There’s also a tendency in “the research” as reported by the popular press (trying as usual to create panic and reader interest) to frame “goes on facebook” once a day as something that has to be “admitted.” If you’ve seen enough movies from the 80s and 90s that feature phone message voice recorders, you know that the phenomenon of “checking my messages” was around long before the internet.
What’s more, the fact that we use the same devices to do homework, send birthday wishes to friends, order pizza, check our stock portfolios, watch video, and actually make phone calls means there is NO BARRIER between ourselves and social media. No special effort is required. The service is there; it’s in our hand; and—like the blinking lights on those voice recorders of decades ago—a little indicator lets us know that little prizes await us if only we click the icon.
That doesn’t sound to me like obsession, even if we’re “checking several times a day.” So a reasoned approach that examines this pervasive social phenomenon seems the best course.
And why some of us do become truly overwhelmed is a very interesting topic. Not THAT some of us do, but WHY some of us do, and WHICH ONES of us do.
(Hint: if you want to train a dog well, you don’t give a snack for every good behavior. You give one every three or four times, then every seven or eight times, then every ten times. He’ll still perform the task for the possibility of reward. How often do we check to see what our media have to offer us before we get a choice piece of whatever?)
This is meant to be a conversation, Bean. Your response, please.
Thank you for the insight! I’m happy you seem content with my approach on analyzing how depending on the person, there will be differences on the impact social media has on their life and why this is so.
“What’s more, the fact that we use the same devices to do homework, send birthday wishes to friends, order pizza, check our stock portfolios, watch video, and actually make phone calls means there is NO BARRIER between ourselves and social media. ”
Yeah! Our phones are an extension of ourslves; this concept is key to my paper. So..it isn’t an obsession, you’re right. It’s far more than that.
I see what you mean about the facebook thing. Admitting to using it once a day strikes fear in the reader that they also may have a social media problem when really, once a day is nothing. I’ll get rid of that and be more careful with including more beneficial research. I don’t want my readers confused.
What does fanatical mean? 🙂
Out of context, of course, fanatical means to act like a fan. To root for the home team whether it’s better or more deserving or not. To be blind to the benefits and worthiness of any other team.
In context, it means to be an unrestrained user who can’t find the boundary between reasonable and excessive use of the device or platform.
Or were you pulling my leg and knew the meaning all along? 🙂
You might hang on to that remark about Facebook users who “check in once a day!” but attribute the observation correctly to prejudice. It indicates how far we will go to try to marginalize and blame simple reasonable behaviors as if they were symptomatic of some insidious social trend.