Social Media, like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, etc, etc, have both positive and negatives in people’s lives. How can you tell what the effects of social media and/or time spent on the internet generally are in your own life? It is important to take into account the balance or lack thereof in the time you engage in social media or online in general and the time you spend in your life, face-to-face real life. If they are in a healthy balance, you might find your life, over-all is in balance. That’s great.
Many people take to Twitter and/or Facebook to try and cope with or distract themselves from real-life important feelings that can be very uncomfortable like:
- Mental Health Challenges
- Difficulty in relating in real life
- Lack of connections in real life
- Frustration with people in real life
For a higher percentage of people, however, the balance is lost and the effects begin to really fall more to the negative side, even so far as addiction, than any type of balance. For a higher percentage of people they turn to Twitter or Facebook, other places online, to try to find relief from stress, depression, loneliness, shame, anxiety, social phobia, mental health challenges etc, as listed above. This is dangerous for many people. They end up not knowing how to cope effectively with the emotions they feel when inevitably for many they tend to see others are “okay” and then judge themselves as “not okay” in unrealistic comparisons without the full picture. Too many people are invested in some area or other of social media or the internet as a direct result of feeling isolated, or not engaging socially in “real life” off-line life.
Many people being effected in this way, may or may not realize it. They spend too much time using the internet generally or more specifically social media and only to end up feeling more of the negative feelings as a result – the very feelings they may have for a time felt some relief from online. If something is a problem in your real life, it’s likely to become an issue in any “online social media life”.
Too many people are using social media and the internet as a replacement for what is lacking in their own actual off-line real lives. Trying to find relationships, friendships, and feel that these are as “real” as face-to-face old fashioned real life connections. Are they or aren’t they? What do you think the inherent risks in thinking an online life can take the place of an actual real off-line life are?
The central issue really is balance. If balance is not maintained then people’s experienced negative effects of social media or the internet generally exponentially increase whether they are aware of it or not.
For too many people, they are so tuned in to Twitter or Facebook they are getting or are addicted to likes and re-tweets and feedback and even the seeming attention of it all. As someone who has worked online and continues to work online I know only too well the value of off-line time and my off-line life. It is so very important. Without being very aware of that delicate balance self-care, well-being and just being in our everyday “here-and-now’s” can be lost.
Too many people have lost touch really with most, if not all of their former “real off-line lives” and are living in, on, through, and for, Twitter, Facebook, and/or the internet generally. Numbers, followers, influence, an overwhelming abundance of information on every topic known to humankind over-focused on and given too much importance can cause issues to people’s mental and/or physical well-being – to say nothing of all the addictions to playing games and losing total touch with off-line real life.
There is so much that is so positive when posting to Facebook or tweeting to Twitter and so forth. But that positive can be lost easily by anyone not well aware of keeping themselves in a healthy balance between online and off-line life.
It’s important to check in with yourself about that regularly. It’s important to take part online, enjoy it, find information, and so forth but without losing the valuable time that your off-line real life and you and your authentic self, life, beingness, health, mental health, and spiritual wholeness really need to keep you in a healthy balanced lifestyle that keeps things going in a healthy direction in your life.
In too many ways so much tries to pull us from our “human beingness” to “human-doing”. If you are always doing and not taking time in just being, ask yourself, what is lost? What are missing? What happened to this most important and necessary balance for a healthy well-rounded life?
© A.J. Mahari, October 10, 2014 – All rights reserved.