The good and bad of social media

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Today is Social Media Day! Yeah, really. That’s a thing.

Mashable launched #SMDay back in 2010 (the same year Instagram launched, fact fans), and now in its sixth year, there are events taking place all over the shop to celebrate the wonder of all thing social media.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube… Basically, any platform which allows you to share ‘content’ with your network is considered social media. It’s totally transformed the way we communicate and even socialise – and, like anything, it has its good and bad sides.

Let’s take a look at the thumbs up and thumbs down moments social media has brought into our lives…

 

Like

You’ve got all these friends!

With your 1,643 Instagram followers you’ve never been more popular. Facebook’s the place to catch up with that kid from primary school you lost touch with, you’ve met some great friends with similar interests on Twitter… Social media is where it’s AT for socialising in the 21st century. Who needs to leave the house?

You know what’s happening ALL THE TIME

From big news stories to the current state of Taylor Swift’s love life (also a big news story, lets face it), you’ve got all the latest news headlines, gossip and need-to-know information flashing up on your timeline as and when it happens. You don’t have to wait for a newspaper now.

Positive vibes only

Social media can be really empowering. If something good happens in your life – whether you’ve got great grades, you landed that brilliant summer job or you’re just really chuffed with your new haircut – posting about it on social media and seeing the likes pour in can be a real ego boost.

Finding you role models

The web is packed with brilliant people blogging, vlogging, photographing and tweeting their lives, and they can provide really positive role models. Whether it’s the health eating guru you follow on Instagram or the hard-working YouTuber who’s inspired you to set up your own business, we’re able to look beyond traditional celebs, teachers and family members to inspire ourselves to do good.

 

Unlike

You’ve got all these friends… you don’t even know

How many Facebook friends have you got? And how many do you actually see on a regular basis? We’re ditching real life interaction for Facebook chat, and that’s really, really sad. Get out with your pals, go bowling, grab a coffee – because no matter how brilliant your emoji exchanges are, nothing quite beats face to face interaction.

Accidental DMs

Did you see the nick of Kayleigh’s hair last night?! What is she thinking?

Aaaaand you accidentally sent it to Kayleigh rather than Mia as planned. Friendship = over. Social media has caused a raft of social faux pas, which could be avoided if you just, y’know, spoke to someone to their face.

The pressure

Sometimes, we feel the need to portray a certain life on social media. Saying the right thing, sharing the best stories, talking to the right people, posting the perfect selfie – it can become a bit much, and many people lose sight of what really matters.

Procrastination nation

Recent research showed that Brits spend 24 days a year procrastinating, and we’d imagine the bulk of that is spent refreshing your Insta to see how many likes you’ve got. Because we’re wasting so much time faffing about online, we’re missing deadlines, days out and ruining our productivity. Maybe it’s time to start limiting your social media use and start focusing on what matters in your life.

 

So for all the positives social media’s brought into our lives, remember it’s important to find that balance and not let it take over – real-life socialising is just as great, if not better.

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