We can’t deny that social media is part of everyday life—both personal and professional dimensions of it. And it's much more so for you living in the social media capital of the world. But hard it is to admit, social media can be bad for you. We’re not talking about how scrolling through your feed while crossing the street can lead you to an unfortunate accident. It goes beyond that, with social media inclined to tire you mentally, encourage unhealthy habits, and put your security on the line.
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First, there's stress. Trying to keep up with all your friends' goings-on 24/7 will surely stress you out, stimulating an increase in the stress hormone called cortisol. That, in turn, can cause you to be in a state of disorientation, then leading to short-term memory loss or depression. Ma. Teresa Gustilo-Villasor, PhD of Allied Mental Health and Lovie Hope O. Go-Chu, M.D., Chief of Makati Medical Center Section of Psychiatry, who recognize links between social media use and increased occurrence of mental health issues, said, “Indeed, increased social media use has been associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress, particularly in children, adolescents, and young adults." Plus, social media has also been shown to mess with your sleep patterns with some people spening one to two hours going through their social media accounts right before bedtime.
Going online and seeing everyone curate the best of their lives can also trigger a sense of dissatisfaction. Dr. Gustilo-Villasor and Dr. Go-Chu added this can cause people to develop “a perceived lack in the quality or quantity of social support systems; a predilection for upward social comparison with seemingly superior others, leading to poor self-esteem and negative self-evaluation; a constant desire for positive peer feedback; and a susceptibility to cyber-bullying and online harassment.” This, they agreed, may later progress into a mental illness.
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That said, social media also simulates an isolated world that differs greatly from reality so much so that you end up in stationary positions rather than literally walking around and exploring the world around. Hence, its negative effects on your health.
Lastly, social media makes your profile an open book. While it's beneficial to an extent, this fact also allows easier tracking that then puts your privacy and security on the line.
So what then is a better alternative to something as useful and efficient as social media, you ask? Top messaging app brand Viber declared in a statement that it's any of its likes. "Messaging apps are a great alternative for keeping communication lines open, since they let you chat with your contacts while insulating you from all the hazards of social media," it said.
In the same statement, Viber said messaging apps can foster the same level of connectivity between you and your family and friends with community features such as group chats. "Share photos, polls, news articles, and more without any of your private info being compromised," it said.
When it comes to privacy issues, the brand acknowledged the likes now have "secret chat" features that require a pin to be unlocked.
Viber said all these features work toward "a healthier, less demanding—and most importantly—more private way of keeping in touch." What a promise, but of course it's always going to be up to you to feel that.
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