While I might be in the minority, I’m going to risk admitting that I believe for every positive benefit of social media there is likely a potential downside. Don’t get me wrong, I liked seeing Aunt Pat’s photos from her road trip to Alaska this summer and Skyping with my friends from around the world is a great way to stay in touch. The problem is that spending too much time with social media can sometimes get in the way of true interpersonal relationships and real life experiences.
A quick online search revealed a number of possible negative consequences from overuse of social media. Of greatest concern to me is Nature Deficit Disorder where children are completely disengaged from the natural world as they spend increasing time online, texting, gaming, and watching TV. The results can lead to poorer interpersonal skills, inability to focus, and decreased physical fitness. The blog Nature on Demand by clinical psychotherapist Patricia Hasbach makes a compelling case for this point. See: http://www.childrenandnature.org/blog/2012/08/15/nature-on-demand-a-leading-ecopsychologist-compares-real-nature-to-tech-nature/
Social media stress also seems to be occurring more readily with some as people struggle to keep up with their ever-expanding profiles and contacts. Social Media Stress? There’s an app for that! by Jeremy Wagstaff comments on an app created by Nestle that is designed to give young social media users a break from the stress of posting updates. Yes, this is a real app. See: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/net-us-kitkat-idUSBRE8470CX20120508
Finally, there are some who suggest that while social media might keep us connected to friends and family, it might also provide a false perception of close interpersonal relationships and, in some situations, lead to even greater feelings of isolation. See: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-ways-social-media-is-changing-your-relationships/#more-3898
These are only a few of the potential negatives consequences of social media. As with any vice, a little balance and moderation can prevent the negative and enhance the positive aspects of this medium. The following videos demonstrate a lighter look at what happens when things go too far. Enjoy!