The Cost of Social Media

The author wants to remain anonymous.

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook; all of these are said to be life changing – but is it for the better or for the worse? Social media is said to connect people, however while doing that it causes anxiety, depression, and wastes precious time. Social media is costing people a happier life.

I used to be a big fan of apps like Instagram and Snapchat, and would spend around three hours on them per day. I was addicted to it. These apps made it easier for me to compare myself to others and be upset with the life I live. I was so consumed with people’s stories on Snapchat, or their post on Instagram with all their new friends, I forgot to actually live my life. The three hours a day I spent on social media could have been spent learning a new hobby, reading, or bonding with my family and friends.

One day, I stumbled onto a video titled, I Gave Up Social Media for 30 Days. This video showed me just how bad social media is, it explained how social media is designed the same way that slot machines in Las Vegas are designed – to be addictive. He continued to talk about all the things he got accomplished without social media, and how his anxiety was lifted off his shoulders with the absence of the pressure of social media.

That video inspired me to give up social media and youtube for 30 days. I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to get accomplished now that I had three more hours to spend doing things instead of endlessly scrolling. I have noe been 10 days without social media, and I have noticed a major difference. I feel more fulfilled doing hobbies such as playing guitar and golfing, and I have been happier with the life I live. After the 30 days of my challenge is over, I will never go back to spending three hours on social media, instead I will live my life.

If my experience didn’t convince you on the effects of social media, maybe some statistics will. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety rates rose by 5% in 2018. Each year anxiety rates are growing, and many doctors claim that social media is the culprit of this. Social media is also one of the culprits of depression. Depression rates are at an all time high with 16.1 million adults in the US having it. Not only is social media causing illnesses, it is also causing people to waste their lives. According to Market Watch, the average adult spends 11 hours a day on social media. That means the average person spends 44,044 hours on social media a year! Think about all the things people could be doing with that time! They could have been connecting wit their family, learning a new hobby, or going outside. Social media is wasting people’s lives away and they don’t even realize it.

In conclusion, social media is causing mental health problems, unhappiness, and people to waste the precious time of their life. People need to be more cautious with how they are spending their time. I challenge every person to assess what social media is doing to their lives. Everyone needs to ask themselves, “What is social media costing me?”

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