Do you believe that there is no benefit of social media usage other than wasting time and energy? This article is the right one for you. Late teens and those in the 20s use at least one type of social media. 79% of individuals between 30 and 49 years use social media, and even the Golden Generation is into this platform. So, beyond communication, what is the benefit of social media usage?
The dopamine benefit of social media
Our brain gets stimulated by several triggers like sound, light, appreciation, and more. According to the Brains of Adolescents study, researchers found that watching photos on Instagram creates such a trigger that induces dopamine receptors. The brain considers this as a reward, attention, and others. Such a stimulus can help to improve emotional processing function and decision-making ability.
Satisfying motivational needs
According to Maslow’s law, an individual has five motivational needs, and all those needs get satisfied using social media. Physiological needs, safety needs, the feel of belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization can get met using social media.
People announce a goal and get positive comments on it, which satisfies the physiological need, the basic needs. The positive emotional support when the progress towards the goal is not moving as expected would give a feel of safety. Social media helps them to connect with people with a similar plan. There are social media groups for weight loss, first-time moms, kindergarten teachers, depressed individuals, divorcees, and more. Thus, you can quickly get the feel of belonging in social media.
When you realize the goal, you can post it in the media and get positive appreciation, which improves self-esteem. These motivations would, in turn, strengthen your self-worth leading to self-actualization.
Identity benefit of social media
Children and adolescents can use social media as an alternative to traditional communication. It allows the kids to present themselves to the world and create an identity. Such an identity helps them to grow and develop in the genres of their choice with clarity.
The self-perception benefit
One can put their image or character under a social microscope, which leads them to compare and engage. Although people consider this a malicious behavior, experts recommend adolescents make these comparisons to sharpen the identity. A healthier self-perception can lead to better confidence in this image-focused world.
Communication benefit of social media
If an individual involves in social media, the loneliness factor decreases. Hence, depression and social anxiety can get reduced by these chats. However, individuals might get comfortable with non-physical communication, which might affect their day-to-day communication. For instance, a child who spends hours chatting on social media might not showcase the same ability while communicating with actual people in real life.
However, kids can generate stronger friendships, create a social group, and increase autonomy or independence through these connections. The feeling of self-worth increases when they are a part of a social group.
Every child and adult crave attention. Suppose they lack this attention, their emotional stability plummets. The main benefit of social media is the attention abundance. People like, share, and comment on each other posts and pictures. This culture gives the attention that people need. However, constant craving for such attention can cause problems. On the other hand, it can develop confidence in many.
A platform for voice
A student getting bullied needs a platform to share his side of the story. A divorcee who lost the child custody battle should have a platform to showcase her loss. When such a channel to outburst is not available, the pain starts to accumulate over time, which would lead to stress, drug usage, and more. A support group is easy to form on social media with anonymity. Beyond support ground, it is a platform to vent. One can post his passion, anger, desire, and even pain for the world to hear. Social media allows them to become a social animal instead of a wallflower.
On the receiving side, an individual gets to know the different perceptions of individuals. He would have to listen to a parent who lost a custody battle and a single parent struggling with two jobs and kids. This diverse exposure increases empathy and emotional quotient.
Difference between addiction and benefits of social media
Unfortunately, the benefit of social media could quickly turn into an addiction. Addiction to such social media platforms can cause anxiety and reduce self-esteem. The FOMO culture is also growing in today’s younger generation. FOMO – fear of missing out shows how much people want to be a part of a group, which could induce them to do anything to get included. This inclined behavior can lead to behavioral problems, social problems, and even other misdirection.
When does the benefit of social media turn into problems? Too much of anything, even the best elixir, is poison. The attention benefit of the media could turn into self-pity when there are no likes. Do you know that 22% of individuals feel worthless when people do not like their social media photos? Although social media is a platform for voice, 27% of individuals are getting more stressed because of how others perceive them or their ideas. Thus, comes the Facebook Imaginary Personality.
The imaginary personality is the façade that a person creates to make himself likable, and this alternative ego can disrupt the self-esteem needs and might reduce his confidence in real-life scenarios. Beyond these, health problems like sleep deprivation, exposure to blue light, risk-taking behavior, lack of academic growth, and more become common.
It is essential to keep a threshold or time limit for social media exposure. If you are a parent, be a part of your child’s social media. It is essential to know what the media and the businesses expose your child to and what he is learning from it. After all, the internet is both good and bad. And it is up to us to pick the good and learn from the bad.