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To like or not to like – that is the question, and the solution

Social media shaped the world and forced changes in ways that traditional media couldn’t because they lacked access. The capability of social media to spread news and information instantly and without limits resulted in its increased power to influence public opinion.

By giving people the ability to share ideas, opinions and other content, social media became a trusted, familiar and convenient tool in today’s communication and networking. We are voluntarily participating in sharing an indecent amount of personal information for the sake of socialising in this new cultural environment.

Unfortunately, the bad effects of social media are all too real for a lot of us. The type of content produced has created unrealistic lifestyle and beauty standards for teens and young adults. Heavily edited photos in lavish destinations, living an easy life and enjoying amazing products is not the reality many of us face. Behind the photo is an average person, but on the other end, someone else may start to compare their life to what is portrayed. This creates a disconnect from our own life which can lead to depression, lower self-esteem and the fear of missing out on the experience and lifestyle seen.

Social media lets you see the carefully selected best parts of everyone else’s lives. Comparing yourself to other people is a sure path to anxiety and unhappiness. Social media makes it easier to meet new people and make friends however, it also enables cruel people to tear into others without little effort. Perpetrators of bullying can use the anonymity that social networks provide to gain people’s trust and then terrorise them in front of their peers.

As most people are aware, social media forms unrealistic expectations of life and friendship in our minds. Most social media sites have a severe lack of online authenticity. But in reality, you have no way of knowing whether this is all a farce. While it looks great on the surface, that person could be in massive debt, on bad terms with their family and friends, and just desperate for Instagram likes as a form of validation.

One simple way out of this mess is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram influencers and YouTubers who earn millions from being inauthentic, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Good and bad are just two sides of the same coin. Discussed are some of the negative impacts social media has for many, but you’re the one who must decide whether there’s more help or harm in it for you.