When social media became a big deal on the internet, many people were excited to connect with others who shared similar interests and views as them. But it didn’t take long for things to go sour as some of the worst of the worst found others like them. Groupthink, self-righteousness, identity crisis and lack of tolerance are just some of the issues that have spawned in the past decade or so. Below are a couple of items that outline the ways that social media is ruining the world.
1. Shortened Attention Spans
There have always been people who were easily distracted but they were few and in between. Nowadays, many people can’t seem to carry a conversation for more than a few minutes without glancing at their phone. In fact, it is no longer just a figure of speech to say that someone has the attention span of a goldfish. This was proven true by a Microsoft study which revealed the average person has an attention span of eight seconds, a whole second less than a goldfish. And it’s been on a steady decline since social media.
2. Cyber Bullies and Cowards
The anonymity of social media brings out the true colors in a lot of people who are too chicken to air their true thoughts in “real life.” It gives them a sort of power trip, as they take out their anger and frustration on innocent people or even lure others into unnecessary debates with their troll posts. Then there are the tough guys who hurl threats around like candies and bully others into submission, all from the comfort of their parents’ basement. The best way to retain your sanity is by making full use of the ignore function.
3. Addicted To “Likes”
The need to be accepted and valued are normal human traits. But it becomes a problem when people seek validation from mere strangers by posting revealing photos or repeating something that has been said a thousand times, just to see their likes and follower-count rise. Many even engage in trends just for the sake of it and because they don’t want to feel left out. Every “like” floods their brains with dopamine, making the feeling addictive.
4. Woke-ism and Extremism
While it is true that some people take it too far with bullying and cyber-stalking, there are also those who make it their job to monitor your every thought and opinion because it might offend somebody else. An innocent comment could be easily construed as something damaging, which could hurt the commenter’s job, image and livelihood. It’s to the point where certain people prefer to not say anything at all than to have a conversation online.
5. Lack of Discernment
Social media is filled with fake news and even more “fake” people who post some very questionable things. It is estimated by researchers that up to 15% of users on some platforms are bots designed to manipulate markets and to spread certain topics and stories. This makes it hard to discern fact from fiction and many people fall for it. Some don’t even bother to read past the headline and instantly go into a frenzy due to a triggering comment. People are getting more gullible by the day and social media just isn’t helping.
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