Advertising

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

10 Negative Effects of Social Media That Can Harm Your Life

Advertising
10 Negative Effects of Social Media That Can Harm Your Life

Social media is, arguably, one of the most exciting developments in recent history. It helps families and friends stay connected, offers a useful tool to look back on positive memories, and even helps those who are struggling find support among strangers. However, while there are many benefits of social media, there are also many negative effects of social media that you need to be aware of.

The occasional post on Twitter or a few minutes scrolling through your Facebook feed can be a relaxing addition to your day. However, when you feel the need to post every ten minutes, check any and all updates during your break times at work, and feel that your life isn’t living up to those you see on your friends’ pages, it has become detrimental to your mental health.

As much as you may love your Instagram followers, is there adoration really worth the toll it takes on your mental and physical health? That’s for you to decide after you read about some of the negative effects of social media.

1. Reduces Face-to-Face Interaction

When you are on social media more often, not only do you spend less quality time with people who are physically present in your life, but they will quickly get annoyed when you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media platforms instead of paying attention to them.

Social media can be great for finding support when you aren’t able to interact face-to-face with those around you, but being physically present with someone offers a level of comfort and support that social media will never be able to rival.

When we speak with someone face-to-face, non-verbal cues are just as important as what we’re saying. On social media, non-verbal cues are eliminated, making communication more complicated and causing misunderstandings, even between the best of friends.

Advertising

The best thing you can do (when possible) is to put down your phone and go out with friends or family.

2. Increases Cravings for Attention

If you’re wondering why social media is bad, the cravings for attention it causes is one big reason. Posting vague statuses on Facebook to grab others attention could easily become a nasty habit for people who use social media frequently. The never ending competition for likes and notifications can consume you.

The need for the type of attention known as belonging is a natural human phenomenon. It developed as a way to survive in groups. According to Dr. Geoff MacDonald, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, “Attention is one of the most valuable resources in existence for social animals.” It ensures that we have a safe place to land if we ever need it.

Unfortunately, social media sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, have taken this need for attention to the extreme by allowing us to request attention at any given moment by posting updates and photos. Unfortunately, as MacDonald points out, “When you present a curated version of yourself to the world, any approval that you get is not for your full and whole self.”[1]

On social media, we are getting attention for being a constructed version of ourselves, not our genuine selves. This leaves us receiving lots of attention and yet feeling more lonely and isolated than before, creating many negative effects of social media in our lives.

3. Distracts From Life Goals

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in social media that people will neglect their real life goals. Instead of aiming for the dream job by obtaining useful skills, people tend to strive for internet stardom.

Advertising

Achieving goals takes hard work and a good deal of motivation. Social media allows an easy outlet to distract us when we don’t feel like putting in the hard work, and we can end up going down a path where we simply don’t get things done because it becomes too easy to find a distraction.

If you find you’re having this particular problem, you can check out Lifehack’s Foolproof Guide to Reaching Goals This Year to get you back on track.

4. Can Lead to a Higher Risk of Depression

According to recent studies, the more people use social media, the more negative feelings they experience, including depression[2]. This could be particularly harmful to people who have been previously diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

It has been suggested that these negative feelings and depressive symptoms come from increased social comparisons and a lack of social interaction caused by spending more time on social media. If you’re beginning to notice that you’re feeling down on a regular basis, recognize that this is one of the negative effects of social media and that it’s probably time to take a break.

5. Relationships Are More Likely to Fail

No good comes out of online displays of jealousy and snooping. It may seem like an easy option when it comes to dealing with relationships, but in reality, it does more damage than good. In fact, studies show that the more a person uses Facebook, the more likely they will be to monitor their partner, which leads to arguments and crumbling relationships.[3]

If you genuinely value your relationship, stop constantly checking your Facebook, and plan a date night out—and maybe leave your phones at home.

Advertising

6. Stunts Creativity

I can speak from personal experience that social media is the easiest way to stunt, or even kill, the creative process. Surfing social media sites has a numbing effect on the mind that is similar to mindlessly watching television.

Creativity often requires intense focus or a relatively clear, relaxed mind. Social media gets in the way of both. If you’re looking for a creative solution to a problem, try going for a walk, meditating, or even discussing the problem with a friend. All of these will provide better results than taking to social media.

7. Encountering Cyberbullies

People feel too comfortable on the web and say things they wouldn’t normally say in real life. If you’re not the one saying horrible things, you’re still inevitably going to be exposed to it, which is one of the many negative effects of social media.

Cyberbullying, whether it’s directed at you or not, will lead to more negative thoughts and likely a more negative perspective on humanity as a whole. Getting out in the world and seeing the random acts of kindness that people offer in real life is the perfect antidote to this.

8. Social Comparison Reduces Self-Esteem

It’s easy to present a certain persona on social media. Many choose to post gorgeous vacation photos or a post about their new baby, but what you don’t see is all the messy stuff in between. As we only see the good stuff, it can lead to social comparison.

One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[4]. What this means is that when we see others’ lives that we deem to be better than ours, our self-esteem goes down.

Advertising

If you’re still not clear on why social media is bad for mental health, the answer is that social media exacerbates the above problem by forcing us into constant social comparison, which will inevitably cause mental health problems and social anxiety, especially in young people.

9. Loss of Sleep

The light emitted from your various screens tricks your mind into thinking it’s not time for you to sleep, which can cause one of the most common negative effects of social media: sleep deprivation. Getting enough sleep each night is already difficult enough without extra complications.

One study on teenagers found that those “heavier social media use was associated with poorer sleep patterns”[5]. The same is often true for adults who come home, crash on the couch, and spend the rest of the evening surfing social media only to find that midnight has come and gone.

10. Lack of Privacy

Between social media websites saving (and selling) your personal data and the whole NSA mess involving unsolicited government access of personal data[6], including email, Skype calls, and so much more, it’s very clear that privacy and the internet don’t mix well.

More and more, employers are taking to social media to review potential hires’ pages. Posting each and every thought could lead them to develop a negative perception, causing you to lose out on opportunities.

The Bottom Line

When used correctly and sparingly, social media can be a great way to connect with others when face-to-face interactions are impossible. However, it’s important to know about the negative effects of social media and to limit the time you spend in the digital world in order to avoid getting lost there. Try cutting back on your online time, and get out into the world again.

Advertising

More on Avoiding Social Media

Featured photo credit: Tim Mossholder via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

10 Negative Effects of Social Media That Can Harm Your Life golden clock 11 Pieces of Early Bird Advice to Stop Snoozing Every Morning coupons 9 Mobile Coupon Apps You Should Have To Save Money While Shopping at home office 10 Ways Blogging Boosts Self Esteem

Trending in Focus

1 The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work 2 The Careful Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Effectively 3 How the Flow State Helps You Stay Productive and Concentrate 4 What Is A Flow State And How To Achieve It For Productivity 5 The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 9, 2021

The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work

Advertising
The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work

Everyone has their favorite habits for boosting productivity. Your desk setup, morning routine, and diet all play a role. But there’s one thing that everyone agrees can make a difference: focus music.

Soothing beats can keep distractions at bay, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re trying to drown out mowers or simply get into a groove, put on a pair of headphones. Music can make all the difference in your focus.

With that said, not all music is equally conducive to productivity. You need to be careful about what you listen to. Getting work done calls for very different sounds than getting a workout in.

If you need a little more help to get rid of distractions, check out Lifehack’s free guide End Distraction And Find Your Focus. In this guide you’ll learn the simple techniques to stay focused and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

This article will walk you through selecting the best music for productivity, as well as a list of tunes to help you get started.

How to Pick the Best Focus Music For Yourself

With so many genres and artists out there, there’s a lot of music to choose from. Before you press play, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Stick With Instrumental

Songs without words in them make it easier to focus. Lyrics can distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish because you might get the words mixed up with what you’re trying to read. If you’re writing something, you might find yourself typing the lyrics instead.

Intelligence and instrumental music are correlated, perhaps because instrumental music is less intrusive.[1] Instrumental music tends to fade into the background, giving you a rhythm without pulling your mind away from the task at hand.

Stay away from instrumental versions of songs you recognize. It’s easy to fill in the blanks with the lyrics if you’ve already committed them to memory.

Advertising

However, some exceptions can be made. Creatives who produce videos or audio might prefer tracks that get their creative juices going, lyrics and all. However, if you find lyrics to be distracting, switch back to instrumental tunes.

2. Take It Easy

Not all instrumental music is calm and relaxing. Focus music should be, however. So, beware of instrumental songs that are too loud and stimulating. High volumes and tempos can work you up when you need to stay calm.

Again, some roles can make exceptions. Physical laborers can use more rambunctious tunes to keep them energized. While calm tunes work best for those in desk-based roles, don’t go too extreme. Something that’s too soothing might make you feel tired, and yawning all day isn’t exactly the path to productivity.

3. Pick Music You Enjoy

At the end of the day, the best focus music is what you enjoy. If you hate classical music, don’t put together a classical playlist just because you stumbled on a study about its benefits.[2] Your dislike of the music will take away the productivity you’d otherwise get out of listening to it.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’ve never worked while listening to jazz before, why not? Save songs you like for later listening. Over time, you’ll build a playlist of tried-and-true focus music.

4. Update Your Setup

Before jamming out to your productivity tunes, make sure you have the right equipment. Invest in a music streaming service so you don’t have to listen to ads. Purchase noise-canceling headphones to avoid distracting your co-workers.

Focus music is all about ambience. Anything that interrupts your flow—whether that’s poor sound quality or glitchy streaming—needs to go.

Expect to spend at least $100 on headphones or speakers. For the streaming service itself, Spotify Premium is the standard at $9.99 per month. Slacker, Apple Music, and YouTube Music are also popular.

Building Your Perfect Playlist of Focus Music (With Recommendations)

Now that you know what to look for in focus music and how to listen, it’s time to build your playlist. Get started with these smooth, instrumental genres, artists, and songs.

Advertising

1. Chillhop Music

This YouTube channel has almost 3 million subscribers. Its music videos run 24/7 and feature driving yet relaxing beats.

Most songs on this channel fall into a category called “lofi hip hop,” a type of electronic R&B. Unlike traditional hip hop, lofi hip hop songs follow a slow, steady pattern that induces focus and relaxation.

Chillhop playlists can also be streamed on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp. Popular artists include nymano, No Signal, and Sleepy Fish.

2. Andy McKee

Andy McKee is an acoustic guitarist who became famous after “Drifting,” one of his early songs, went viral on YouTube. “Drifting” exemplifies the creative, quiet guitar techniques found in the rest of McKee’s music.

Today, McKee has six albums of primarily acoustic guitar. One of McKee’s most popular pieces, “Rylynn,” is a perfect example of his soothing yet upbeat sound.

3. John Butler Trio

The band John Butler Trio became popular after releasing “Ocean,” a 2012 hit with more than 50 million listens on YouTube.[3] Heavy on acoustic guitar, “Ocean” is an intricate ballad that ebbs and flows like the ocean itself.

Advertising

Known for flowing changes in key and mood, the John Butler Trio proves that fast songs can stand in as great focus music. The group’s long songs—“Ocean” is 12 minutes long—are less disruptive for long projects. Two other favorites by John Butler Trio are “Betterman” and “Spring to Come.”

4. Classical Radio on Pandora

Classical music has long been a staple for music lovers looking to get work done. Pandora’s classical station features a great mix, from Beethoven to modern artists like Maria Callas and Jorge Bolet.

Pandora has radio stations for every genre imaginable. You can generate playlists based on genre, artist, or even a specific song.

Other music apps offer similar playlists and radio stations you can turn to for your classical music fix. From piano-heavy tunes to violin concertos, you’ll find plenty to perk up your ears.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack

Movie soundtracks are full of amazing focus music. One of my favorites is the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which is lively and adventurous but not in your face.

If you like what you hear, Hans Zimmer, the mastermind behind the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, has worked on a huge array of films. Zimmer also put together the soundtracks for The Dark Knight, Interstellar, and Inception.

One thing to watch out for with cinematic music is associations. As iconic as the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack is, if you’re thinking about Jack Sparrow instead of balancing spreadsheets, you should probably switch to a new song.

6. Legend of Zelda Soundtrack

Advertising

Another hotspot for instrumental music is video games. If you’re not sure where to start, check out selections from The Legend of Zelda.

Anyone who’s played The Legend of Zelda games will immediately recognize what they hear. The soundtrack is light, airy, and full of awe. Keyboards, harps, and flutes feature prominently.

Although you could spend hours listening to The Legend of Zelda music, don’t forget about fan-produced songs in this genre. The video-gaming community is robust, and instrumental re-creations of your favorite games’ soundtracks can be found all over the internet.

7. Nature Sounds and White Noise

This genre may be too relaxing for some, but others prefer less structured focus music. Sounds like thunder, wind, and rushing water can transport you to a quiet, idyllic place to get work done.

One type of white noise to avoid is city-related sounds. Even without lyrics, honking horns or chattering crowds can be distracting.

An advantage of this type of focus music is that it can be set on a loop. If you find a track you like, go ahead and put it on repeat. When it starts over, you won’t even notice.

Ready, Set, Play

The best part about focus music is that nothing is off-limits. Some people work better listening to Tom Petty tunes than instrumental music, and that’s okay. What’s important is that it’s motivating without being distracting.

To unlock your next tier of productivity, spend a couple of hours clicking around on your favorite streaming music site. You’ll get more done, and best of all, you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

More Tips to Improve Your Focus

Featured photo credit: Lala Azizli via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] New York Post: Smarter people listen to instrumental music: study
[2] Forbes: Does Classical Music Help Our Productivity?
[3] YouTube: Ocean – John Butler – 2012 Studio Version

Read Next