The significant change in our time comes from the hand of the internet. New technologies have led to all of us being connected and informed through Smartphone and computers.
At first sight this greater access to information and communications, the truth is that there are also people who lose control and maintain a problematic relationship with these technologies, to the point of developing clinical pictures derived from their misuse.
What is social media?
In essence, social media defines a series of Internet sites that enable people from all over the world to interact. It can do through discussions, photos, video and audio.
Facebook is the top social network site, with over 1.2 billion monthly active users. The sites popularity follows by MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and Bebo.
How do social networks affect us?
As we saw in an article a few months ago, social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are a great way to maintain contact with people who are far away, but at the same time, it has led to disorders, such as FOMO Syndrome. It seems that we are so connected to the networks that we have lost the ability to focus on ourselves, our well-being and the present moment.
But this is not the only problem derived from social networks. In consultation also come people addicted to the reward that causes them to have more followers or more ‘likes’ in their photographs. Even the spiritual retreats in which dozens of people take advantage of the weekend to free themselves from the toxic burden generated by dependence on new technologies are fashionable.
How have interpersonal relationships changed since we used platforms like Facebook or Instagram?
These social networks have as one of their positive points that allow maintaining relationships, meeting the latest news from friends etc.. Hence, they help keep the feeling of belonging, something necessary for the human being.
However, it is also essential to reflect on the fact that, sometimes we have contacts in social networks with whom we did not stay for years, is it necessary then to know aspects about your life or vice versa?
What kind of problems arises from the use of these online platforms?
Problems arise, especially concerning jealousy. There are noticeable uptick consultations in the centre for issues of type “has given a picture of another girl. Follow her social partners on social networks. Does not answer WhatsApp at the moment talk to another guy …” These are phrases that we hear every day and that, contrary to what we can think, are not just a young thing. I think the problem is not the social network, there is a problem of jealousy and distrust and the social network, or the use of instant messaging is serving as a catalyst.
Another type of similar problem is that the couple is together, but one or both are more aware of the mobile, looking at other things or even pending uploading photos about what they do. In these cases, I would say the same as in the previous example, there is already a fundamental problem that is not the social network itself.
Are we being educated to compete in the number of likes, retweets and comments in the photos?
People realize it’s useless, and many people choose to eliminate social networks from their lives,
However, this is especially worrying for young people and adolescents, because at an elementary age, to develop sufficient self-esteem, it should be encouraged based on the perception of others and their reaction to our image.
Which social networks keep us glued to the screen?
People are curious about what the people around them do, it is natural, but, that can happen to be “gossip” and, that is why, social networks, as well as television realities, are so successful. We usually like to look out the window and see what the neighbor does, and the social network allows this instantaneously. However, following the metaphor, it is a window with many filters in which we do not see the total reality of the neighbor, but that, generally, its most positive part, which can reduce our self-esteem by the blissful social comparison.
Has it affected our self-image?
I think there is no doubt that yes. We started using social networks in which, although the image was important, it was not the main thing, or it didn’t have to be. We shared texts and others, but this has reached the point where the dominant social network is base on the image as a strong point, so we have reached an end where it is affecting excessively.
Do we tend to underestimate this disadvantage?
On the other hand, the use of these digital resources comes with the cost of some loss of privacy. It is what we commented that we have contacts that we have not seen for years and that is up to date with our life. We are subtracting value from intimacy, something that is a value of the first order and that, I think; we should take care of much more.
Is this reflected in cases seen in therapy?
Possibly people with anxiety problems do not carry the torrent of information that platforms like Facebook or Twitter throw at us.
What worse people have with anxiety, or even without it, is the feeling of having to be available and reachable at any time that is something that prevents disconnecting.
On the other hand, overstimulation is very harmful to anxiety, and we must relearn to watch a movie, listen to music, go out with friends enjoying only that task and not looking at the mobile.
Who decides not to use social networks?
They are harm by the lack of ability to meet new people. As we have to know, I perceive that it is an upward trend. However, it is still strange to meet people who have decided to do without social networks and those who do, tend to feel more excluded and, when it comes to meeting new people; it begins to be indispensable, even, to establish relationships.