The dark-side of social media

Recently my partner at work complained that I spend too much time on phone doing nothing (or so he said), chit-chatting with my friends and thus dedicating less and less time to the work load before me. After a very ‘long’ talk with him I realized that what began as a way of spending my free time was in fact turning into an addiction. I couldn’t spend less than 10 minutes without touching my phone.

I happen to be a member of more than 10 whatsapp groups and very active via my other social media networks i.e. Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram.

So I asked myself one important question; Is it worth it? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are time consuming and nearly addictive. People find themselves staying up late making changes to their profiles, posting new pictures or tweeting. This is sometimes done at the cost of sleep. I believe there are many students who update statuses and tweet while in the middle of a lecture forgetting the saying ‘you can either have good grades and sleep but no social life, a social life and good grades but no sleep or sleep and a social life but bad grades’

Much as we all like to keep in touch with our friends via social media we should in fact keep in mind that we never earn from there. Apart from the social satisfaction, no one earns monetarily from social media except of-course for a few bright individuals who use social media for business and marketing their products while the rest of us, it is a way of passing valuable time.

We have all heard stories of people who fall into trenches or walk into trees and other obstacles because they’re tweeting while walking and that is to mention but a few some of the accidents that occur because the victims are on their phones and give less attention to the surroundings

Here are some disadvantages of social networking

  1. Lacks Emotional Connection

Social media conversations today are filled with “haha”, “lol”, and other exclamations that are meant to represent laughter. This shorthand has become second nature and is often used when the sender is not even smiling.

  1. Diminishes Understanding and Thoughtfulness

Since the inception of social networking, the quality of conversations has dropped. When you talk to someone through a message or even a voice, you can’t always fully understand them. I once met a couple in a fancy restaurant but they weren’t talking to each other, they were both glued to their phones and I kept on wondering if that was even a date. (it must’ve been a tweetup)

  1. Facilitates Laziness

The new socially active era causes laziness because instead of running to your friends you can message them. Or instead of walking to the rolex stand to make an order, you can send a whatsapp message.

  1. Creates a Skewed Self-Image

We tell ourselves lies about ourselves and develop something we are not. We post pictures of us looking perfect (filters) and share the good news.

  1. Reduces Family Closeness

Well on the other hand social media also reduces family closeness, instead of catching up with the family, a light-skin won’t stop herself from constantly checking her phone when at a family dinner table

  1. Causes Distractions

Some people use social media as a way to feel popular, important, and also just to fit in. Friends always compare themselves to each other, wondering who has more Facebook friends or Twitter followers. You’ve all seen those babes who go to club but keep their fingers glued to their phones all the goddamn time and only move when ordering another beer.

  1. It’s also a great barrier between those people who have access to the internet and those who don’t have.
  2. Social media can be used to promote crime.
  3. It is a perfect venue for act of bullying which is very evident these days. The regulars on Ugandan Twitter can testify to this.
  4. It can become a vector to ruin the structure of a particular language.

Social media also has advantages to mention but a few say it is a perfect way of promoting products and services and a good way to help charitable works. That is a topic for another time though

Till we meet again…

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