By Linda Cameron
Social media has many benefits. Marketing and advertising (MARCOM) pros, aware of social media’s influence, deploy every SOM, SEO and SEM strategy to promote their brands. Young people and adults easily link with strangers who become friends, mentors and marital partners. Even children who play with a touch screen, keyboard or keypad can virtually connect to friends instead of imagining them. Through social media, a social recluse can have millions of friends and followers.
So what’s the downside of SOM? There are several. The upside of SOM obsession is that you can stop being under the influence if you really want to.
Gluing yourself to a cell phone or computer screen can be worse than sitting before HDTV for hours. When scrolling, you’re always looking up close. At some point, you’ll be scrolling for an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and vision care provider. It’s a shame to lose your 20/20 before age 20 because of cataracts, damaged optical nerves, and defective eye lenses. Corrective eyewear and visits to an eye doctor are expensive. Deteriorated vision is real and not virtual. Hopefully, eye researchers will someday enable vision recovery through transplants.
As much as we love to tweet, post and text, studies show that the medium that spreads the message raises anxiety levels. “OMG! Do my BFFs think I’m overweight? FYI, I’m in a wt. loss pgm. Hoping 2 look HOT at the beach.” Fears of being judged, usually because of one’s appearance, are rampant on social media. Offline, you can find unconditional love. But on social media, for subconsciously inexplicable reasons, unconditional love just isn’t. Furthermore, your anxiety will exponentiate if you become an ID theft victim.
Free Speech not Always Liked
Exercising the First Amendment is an inalienable right. But this right can backfire if your post is construed to be wrong. An unwanted post or comment on Facebook or Twitter can net you a lawsuit for libel and slander. Would your online friends be willing to cover your legal expenses through GoFundMe? What’s more, your account can get deleted and you’ll no longer be LinkedIn. Say “Bye!” to a promising career. Also, would you be able to deal with the negative barrage of backlash responses, and even threats, for seemingly alt FAQs the media is accused of?
A Reclusive Backlash
Famous recluses Greta Garbo and J.D. Salinger, both painfully shy, would have embraced SOM as a true friend had it been around during their lifetimes. Ironically, the virtual world of social media has distracted many from the real world. We ignore the exciting things around us, and the chance to really meet people, because we’re too engaged in social media. That mobile device you tote and the PC where you sit for hours have interrupted many relationships. You discover yourself wanting to be alone, even if you tend to be sociable.
The Joy of SOM Disengaging
We all need a vacation or time off to recharge. Consider taking an internet break. No cell phones, e-mail, e-commerce and no social media. Rediscover the real world and yourself through reading, strolling or jogging, an activity or hobby you enjoy, or just chilling without IOT. Be generous to your peace of mind and sign off once in a while. But before the logoff, read Disadvantages of Social Media. More than a mere social media cleansing dissertation, this is online reading you might want to stash under Favorites.