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How Social Media Has Taken Over Our Lives - Home, Social, and Professional

11 March 2019

We’re all guilty of taking part in the mindless scrolling, tapping and swiping that is social media.

We’ve all been there one time or another with the sugar-coating, boasting and secret ex-stalking… After all, it’s just a bit of harmless fun, right?

I too spend a bit too much time with my eyes glued to a screen, blissfully unaware of the world around me, but are we completely oblivious to how much of our lives social media is consuming? How many of you are scrolling up and down LinkedIn right now and reading this article when you should be working? Are we using social media as a tool to procrastinate and escape reality or do we actually enjoy it?

Social media has brought us so much entertainment and inspiration over the years, however, we can’t just ignore the problems it has also caused. From cyber-bullying to ‘catfishing’, social media definitely isn’t without its flaws.

I’m interested to know how much social media is impacting our home, social and professional lives. There is evidence to suggest that social media is effecting our minds more than we realise! Psychologist Stephanie Lou spoke out about the impact it could be having on our physical well-being suggesting that many of us are ditching the books and opting to use technology as a tool to wind down before bed. This is having an impact on our sleep as many of us are ‘potentially addicted or using these devices too much’ the outcome being that this ‘will make you stay up late as well and stop you from getting quality sleep’ she says.

I know I’m definitely guilty of this - I decide to have a quick scroll before I close my eyes and before I know it, half an hour has passed and I’m 39 weeks down the Instagram page of a girl I ‘used to know’.

The whole point of social media is that we have a platform where we can stay in touch with our friends, keep people posted and even reach out to old acquaintances.. I mean the clue’s in the name, it’s supposed to improve our ‘social’ lives. Is this really the case though? I’m sure we can all think of that one person who documents their night out on their Snapchat story.. like you can literally press play, sit back and watch it unfold. But while they may look like they’re enjoying themselves, they were too busy trying to appear enviable to others that they too just watched their whole night through a screen.

..And sadly, somebody somewhere probably watched and felt a sense of emptiness over their Saturday night spent on the sofa.. with their loved one.. both glued to their phones in complete silence, too caught up in what everyone else was doing that they forgot to appreciate what was right there with them.

Doesn’t sound very ‘social’ to me.

Social media has also started making a bigger professional appearance with more and more of us using its power to discover opportunities, network and market products, and the impact it has had is remarkable. But just like everything else, it comes with baggage, with more and more professionals spending time joining online debates, scrolling up and down their home page and reading articles during their working day.

Social media could be stopping us from being the most effective versions of ourselves, and I’m not sure how many of us are even aware that there’s a problem.

Is social media something that we are lucky to have? Should we be appreciating what we have available to us as the tap of a screen, or should we be recognising the damage this could be causing to us? Research suggests that the average person will spend more than 5 years of their life on social media.. what if social media didn’t exist, what would you have done with your time? And if at the end of your life, you were offered those 5 years back, would you spend them on Facebook?

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