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Everyone reading this article must be using some of the other social media apps. Hey you! I guess you just checked your Instagram or you will be checking it after you read this. This is how hooked we are to social media. We do not realize it but we are actually puppets of these social media companies. There are myriads of social media apps that we use these days. Wait wait wait! Do we use these apps? The answer is a big NO! The sad truth is that these apps are using us! I guess we’ve acted too naive and have looked up to Social media as a great tool that is bringing the world closer & connecting people. But the other side of the coin is dark, VERY DARK! Below I’ll highlight a few points about how social media is impacting us & what are its negative effects that we don’t realize.

•The main aim of these Social Networking apps is to engage us more and more on their platform and increase our screen time. By doing so, they understand us better and their algorithm manipulates us accordingly.

•Revenue by showing advertisements is one of their major goals. Ever noticed that a product you search on Amazon or Google appears in your Facebook feed? That’s how smart the algorithm is & that’s how Artificial Intelligence works.

•Every single action, every single click, anything you searched years back, who are you engaging with, everything is being monitored by them. Also, your engagement time on a post while you scroll is recorded! And why do they do this? To understand you. These apps through Artificial Intelligence try to make a virtual model of you through your activity & this helps them to manipulate us through the algorithms to increase our screen time.

•And once they start manipulating you, they make changes in your behaviour, the way you think, the way you react. In short, they make a new, changed person out of you according to their needs.

•There are several conspiracy theories, negative content and false content circulating on these social media websites. According to a study, fake news spreads at a 6 times faster speed than the truth. Imagine what would such a fake world be!

•There are thousands & thousands of computers in Silicon Valley(global centre for high technology & innovation) as far as an eye can see, some underground, some in large rooms that are keeping a track of every single move you make on Social Media. They are highly precise and with every passing day, they become better and better in understanding us.

•The founders and experts of the social media apps themselves are not fully aware of the complex algorithm that manipulates us according to our activity. Also, there’s an irony here, most of these technology experts discourage their children from using social media as they believe it’s harmful to them

•Suicides, behavioural changes, brainwashing are some of the various impacts of social media.

I’ll just give an example of a condition called “Snapchat dysmorphia”. It was reported that the Snapchat face filters had become so widespread amongst the teens that they started liking their virtually filtered face to such an extent that they started undergoing plastic surgery for it. Yes, this is true and there are several such examples where social media has drastically impacted people.

So here above I’ve tried to shed light on the various harmful impacts of Social media. Man has created machines & have made them so powerful that they are manipulating us now. Technology is beautiful when utilised positively. And technology can be a thousand times harmful if it goes the wrong way. Don’t let these social media apps rule your life.

We still have this in hand. The fight is between our will to reduce screen time & these high tech companies who are trying to engage us more and more.

Pause, think over it, understand & REDUCE SCREEN TIME!

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