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As, we as a society have accepted social media as an integral part of our life, we need to understand its role and effects on our relationships and physical as well as mental health. Social networking activity is becoming more spearheading in society and yet little is known about how the social comparisons, involvement occurring in this process, affects perceptions, psychology of relationships and overall health of an individual. What’s interesting is social media is changing the foundation of the ways we relate. This paper will examine how social media is changing our interpersonal psychology and what we can do about it. According to Maslow’s hierarchy theory man always like to build up relationships, develop social linkages, promote networking through interactions which improves his Self-esteem which is an important part of its personality , But in the quest of becoming more popular or having surge of followers we are indirectly getting addicted towards it and which is indirectly having a deep impact on our relationships and health with depression, anxiety, fear, loss of appetite etc. emerging as common health issues. As every coin has two sides, in similar way this addiction can also be consciously converted into a healthy way of managing social life e.g. by reducing the number of hours we spend on social media, scheduling our work and leisure and have a positive impact on our life. The above research paper is an attempt to understand the impact of social media on relationship and health, the findings of which can help us developing and designing techniques and corrective measures to find equilibrium between our social life and personal life.
Major research analysis was based on primary data which we collected through online questionnaire method where our sample size was 200 out of which we got 133 respondents. The sample audience were from different background viz-a-viz students, teachers, housewives, professionals, Doctors etc. In order to get a holistic view of things we did a lot of literature review and referred to various published articles and research papers for secondary data.
Introduction : Recent Study on social media shows the scary picture or the other side of immensely popular media amongst all. It says that social use has been linked to depression, especially in the teenage girls. The research involved interviews with almost 10000 children between the age group of 13 to 16. Researchers found that social media may harm girls mental health by increasing their exposure to bullying and reducing their sleep and physical exercise. Though the research result, look that simple but in reality they are quite complex. This was the trigger point for our research study on the effects of social media on relationship s and health.
Sociology is the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction and culture of everyday life using the principles of psychology neuroscience and network science. The quest to understand society is urgent and important, for if we cannot understand the social world, we are more likely to be overwhelmed by it. We also need to understand social processes if we want to influence them. Sociology can help us to understand ourselves better, since it examines how the social world influences the way we think, feel, and act. It can also help with decision-making, both our own and that of larger organizations. Sociologists can gather systematic information from which to make a decision, provide insights into what is going on in a situation, and present alternatives.
As we say “Man is Social Animal”, the very basic existence of mankind lies in social interactions or symbiosis where there is mutual give and take of various things. Human being can never live in isolation, since time and again it is proved that different human colonies were the reason for the basic development in different areas of human life. With the invention of computers or extreme use of information technology is our everyday life has changed the whole way of communication as well as relationship building. The need of meeting a person in “reality” has been replaced by meeting him or her in “Virtual reality”. The human psychology plays a very crucial role here where human mind is deriving satisfaction from inhuman (IT) ways and means. The reasons or motivating factors behind people using social media will give the real picture of the alarming situation.
We all use social media nowadays. Well, maybe not everyone, but at least a huge amount of the population does. The question is no longer if we use it, but why. And this is exactly what Global Web Index looked into. So what is your main reason for being active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network?
The Top 10 Reasons for Using Social Media are as follows:
1. To stay in touch with what friends are doing (42%)
2. To stay up-to-date with news and current events (41%)
3. To fill up spare time (39%)
4. To find funny or entertaining content (37%)
5. General networking with other people (34%)
6. Because friends are already on them (33%)
7. To share photos or videos with others (32%)
8. To share my opinion (30%)
9. To research new products to buy (29%)
10. To meet new people (27%)
Findings and suggestions :
“Our results suggest that social media itself doesn’t cause harm, but that frequent use of many disrupt activities that have a positive impact on mental health such as sleeping and exercising while increasing exposure of young people to harmful content, particularly the negative experience or cyber bullying”. This research paper is an attempt to understand how excessive use of social media is changing the lifestyle of human beings which is indirectly related to causes of various life threatening diseases and disorders. It has turned into a serious problem of addiction where the user though aware of the different side effects of using excessive social media is getting entangled in it like an irreversible route. This survey projects data of round about 133 respondents from various age groups and professions.
Though the Global web index shows apparently, most of the people use them to stay in touch with others, but also to stay updated on what is going on in the world around us. The primary study we conducted shows a little different picture and shows that in rural areas like us (palghar district) the main usage of social sites is for communication, Entertainment and to gain knowledge. Here while doing survey an interesting element was highlighted (fig.4) where we found out that many people were using social media not only for the above mentioned reasons but also to remove stress or loneliness from their lives. Few are using it for making new friends, acquaintances and to expand business.
Social media addiction is a real phenomenon. As more people carry around smartphones and other devices wherever they go, it becomes harder to escape the internet. And people increasingly spend their online time on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of the Research on Social media shows that it can contribute to the development of heart disease and diabetes. Technically the real problem is the amount of time you spend sitting at your computer, but given that social media is one of the most popular activities on the web, you’ve got good cause to be worried. Just two hours a day sitting in front of the computer increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 20%, and your risk of getting heart disease by 15%.
As we know that social media has become an evitable part of our life and will stay with us for years to come, we need to find a permanent solution in order to reduce the negative impact of social media on our relationships and health. As every coin has two sides the negative aspects are quite empowering the positive aspects of social media. We have heard lot in the recent months about the dark side of social media – excessive use to the point of addiction, lack of privacy and data capture without informed consent but in all of this melee, now is the time to remember that the way of use social media is up to us. In other words, it may be convinent to believe that social media applications are thrust upon us and we do not have much choice in the matter- but that is not entirely true. It is time we should remember why we use these application in the first place – to enrich our relationships and not to have them our lives in a dysfunctional way. Here are some of the suggestions, we will like to give:
1. Accepting the fact that we are using social media excessively without setting any usage limits to it, which in turn converts into social media addiction.
2. Setting time limits
3. Discipline yourself by taking enough breaks while surfing on various social networking sites, which will not induce health related issues like neck stiffness, eyesight problems etc.
4. Remember reality that social media is fine for sharing picture and brief updates but when you want to share really important in your life with those you care about, there is hardly a substitute for real one-to-one conversation. Human empathy is very important aspect of social life but a lot is lost between you and your family or friends when social media is primary or only means of communications.
5. Spending quality time with family and friends by going for a walk or a run, having a meal together, watching a movie, talking about your jobs and kids, seeking support in difficult life situations- all these things are what make your relationships warm, alive and real.
6. Be selective about the post you respond to. If a friend is posting 100 times a day you don’t have to respond to all or any of them because anyone who is doing that amount of posting is not keeping tabs on who is responding any way.
7. According to the various reports many persons has been killed and incidents of mob lynching spark by rumors spreaded through social media and networking sites. As a responsible citizen we should not forward messages or rumors which are sensitive and can create unstable environment in the society.
8. Stop worrying about missing out. It’s a human nature to check frequently messages and posts by your friends and family in the fear of FOMO (fear of missing out) which is pointless. One should understand that there will always be things one will miss no matter how frequently he/she checks.
From the about research study we can conclude that social media has taken over our life like a storm creating a havoc in everybody life unless and until we acknowledge it. Too much usage of social media can lower down our self esteem and can induce depression which can negatively impact your life. Through research we have already proved that it is definitely affecting our relationships and health which should be major cause of concern in longer period of time. If one implements the above suggestions we have given as rescue measures one can definitely enjoy the positive side or the advantages of social networking sites.
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