Is Social Media Controlling Our Minds?

Cellphones and social media are a major part of our society; some students would consider it to be a necessity. These deceiving devices are one of the first things some students look at in the morning and one of the last things their eyes witness before they fall asleep. By connecting to Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and many other social media platforms, does that disconnect you from reality?

Social media is websites and apps that allow users to create and share content or to actively participate in social networking. Although, not a lot of people know the true risks of clicking onto social media platforms and divulging into the endless stream. Some of the risks are: paranoia because of fear of rejection or dislike from your post, impatience due to slow networking, and many other symptoms that can build over time. By clicking onto an app, you are allowing their entire network to access your device, singling it out from the rest.

When you hear a sound come from your computer, cell phone, or other electronic device, you can’t help but check to see either who it is from or what it is about, right? This is called “nomophobia” which is a combination of the two words “no” and “mobile.” Larry Rosen, a professor from the psychology department at California State University says, “the anxiety of getting up to check your phone can affect your health, as it leads directly to getting a bad nights sleep.” The study that he ran also said that three-quarters of the participants said they left their phones on ring or vibrate to see if any messages would come in.

Another name for this is called FOMO, which is an acronym for “fear of missing out.” Some people are thought to believe that social media has a positive impact on their mental health and stability. The ongoing argument that staying connected with family and friends who are far in distance is one of the advantages to social media.

I am sure you are wondering, how can I stop the habit of social media from controlling your next move? You can do this by taking your cell phone or device away from where you sleep at night about an hour before you go to sleep, as it will help with your sleeping pattern. Rosen said, “we told them to tell their phones to forget their passwords and to take their phones out of their room an hour before they go to sleep. We also gave them alternatives. Use a meditation app to relax, or select ‘Do not Disturb’ for about thirty minutes so they could concentrate on their studies.”

Social media can be a toxic place, filled with bullying, gaslighting, and many other forms of face-to-phone torture. However, there are some positive impacts to social media, by staying connected with your friends and family and meeting new people from around the globe. Is social media controlling our minds?

It is up to the user to decide.