Social media has become an integral part of our life. The online content available in social media is powerful enough to influence our thinking, social conduct, and even behavior. The impact of social media on our everyday life has become profound. Human behavior changes when it is stricken with repeated stimuli and now in the digital era, social media platforms work as a stimulus and it has changed human behavior for both good and the bad. For instance, due to the not-so-urgent mode of communication, people prefer sending instant messages. Similarly, if someone is feeling low, instead of sharing their feelings with a friend offline, most of the social media users instantly post a Sad Status. In addition to changing human behavior, social media has also changed how governments and organizations function. In short, the impact of social media, both good and bad, has started influencing human behavior.
Positive Impact Of Social Media On Human Behavior
Social media platforms act like an open platform for many users to express their opinions, views, and perspectives. It further allows the users to showcase their talent by uploading posts and statuses of their creations. For instance, a designer can upload the Mehndi Design that they have created into numerous social media platforms and attract new clients. Social media further has changed how one interacts with their loved ones. After the creation of social media platforms, individuals prefer to interact and stay in touch with each other by liking and commenting on statuses and posts instead of direct communication.
Social media platforms have also successfully started many digital activists that have brought positive impact. For instance #MeToo and #TimesUp was started on the social media platform to fight misogyny and sexual harassment and it was a successful movement that has helped many people. Further, there are plenty of online groups on platforms like Instagram and Facebook that can be joined for finding jobs, exploring one’s passion, and many other things. Users who prefer writing can join groups like NaNoWriMo for joining other like minded people to write a novel and similarly, freelancing groups can be joined for getting writing gigs.
Negative Impact Of Social Media On Human Behavior
Mostly considered negative but can also be the opposite, the truth is that social media has highly reduced the face-to-face interaction amongst people until and unless absolutely necessary. This has a negative impact as it makes offline socialization for many people difficult.
Additionally, most of the statuses and posts that are uploaded on social media platforms present a rosy picture of reality. This results in a comparison of one’s life with another which results in negative emotions like jealousy, envy, and dissatisfaction with one’s life. Few users, especially youngsters, further go one step ahead to post distorted reality to keep up with the trend. When the internet came into existence, cyberbullying was also initiated and it has extended its evil grip in social media forms of both cyberbullying and trolling. Cyberbullying and trolling have a strong negative impact on the mental health of the victim.
The impact of social media on human behavior cannot be generalized and it differs from one individual to another. Most of the time, the impact that social media has on someone’s behavior is directly proportional to the type of content that one is consuming on social media platforms. For example, someone who is following multiple feministic posts on social media platforms will try to advocate similar ideas in the offline world too. Similarly, if someone is consuming misogynistic content online, they will find that misogyny as such is normal. In short, human behavior depends on the environment and the type of content that is being consumed. It, therefore, becomes vital to ensure that one is consuming positive content to see a positive impact on their behavior.
Online behavior is not much different from offline behavior. Online behavior is the manifestation of offline behavior and vice-versa. Therefore, even though social media impacts the behavior of an individual, the offline environment of an individual also impacts the way they use social media platforms. More studies are being carried out on the impact of social media on human behavior and it would be interesting to know better insights on this subject.