If someone was asked about how social media benefits their life, they may say that it allows them to connect to others. This is likely to be the kind of answer that a lot of people would give them.
And as it is so easy to connect with other people through using it, it is to be expected that this will be a common response. It no longer matters if their ‘friends’ live down the road, or if they live on the other side of the planet.
One way for them to connect to a ‘friend’ is through sending them a private message and not only can they use words, they can also send pictures and videos, for instance. Therefore, if they feel that words are not enough, they have plenty of other ways to get their point across.
And if they have other things to do, they can leave the conversion and come back to it later; it is not going to disappear. In this case, it can mean that they could have a conversation with someone that doesn’t really end.
However, one doesn’t need to have a private conversation with someone in order to stay in touch with them; the only thing they need to do is to see what they share. They can then ‘like’ and/or leave a comment on what they see.
Through being exposed to what another person shares, one can come to believe that they know what is going on in their life. Thus, they might not always feel the need to send them a private message in order to find out about what they have been doing.
It is also going to take a lot less time and effort for one to share a status than it would be for them to send a load of private messages. If one was in the real world, it could be seen as the equivalent of them talking to a group of people as opposed to just one person.
The upside is that this will be a lot easier, but the down side is that there could be people who don’t see what they share. Whereas if they were with these people, there is a strong chance that they would hear what one had to say.
A Busy World
While being with their ‘friends’ in person could be seen as the ideal, it is going to be lot harder for them to make this happen. For one thing, they could in another country, and if they are not, they could have other plans.
What this partly comes down to is how busy people are in today’s world and this is another reason why social media is so useful. Even if one is doing something, it might still be possible for them to reply to a comment or to send a private message, for instance.
It’s good to Connect
When one connects to others, it is likely to have a positive effect on their well-being, and this partly comes down to the fact that human beings are social animals. And even though one is behind a screen and not actually being social, their brain can still have a similar response.
Through having this response, it is going to cause them to have a certain inner experience and this can then cause them to feel good. So regardless of the fact that they are behind a screen, they can still feel how they would feel if they were with another person.
However, even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that the interactions one has online can replace real world interactions. This is why it has been said that social media is not meant to substitute face-to-face interactions.
The experience that one will have with a friend in the real world is going to be far more fulfilling than the experience that they would have with them over a screen. In the real world, they will be in each other’s presence, and this means they will be able to experience eye contact and human touch.
What this shows is that using social media will not only allow one to connect to their ‘friends’, it will also allow them to change their emotional state. As a result of this, it can also mean that one will have moments where they will only use social media in order to feel better.
This could then cause them to share a video or a picture, for instance, and it could only be a matter of time before they begin to feel different. When this happens, their main priority will be to receive positive responses from other people.
Now And Then
If this was something that was to take place on the odd occasion, it might not have much of an effect on their life. Yet if this was the only way for them to feel good about themselves, they could end up being emotionally dependent on social media.
So unless they are able to use it, they could end up having withdrawal symptoms and this is to be expected. Social media is then like a drug that one needs in order to regulate their emotions.
It would be easy to blame social media here, but that wouldn’t take into account the reason as to why one ended up in this position to begin with. This could be a sign that they are unable to regulate their own emotions.
Through not having this ability, it can then be normal for them to reach for their device whenever they feel anxious or down. Based on this, social media could be seen as an adult’s version of a dummy or a blanket.
If one is in a position where they are unable to regulate their emotions, it might be necessary for them to reach out for support. It might be possible for them to develop this ability with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.