Why it’s hard to find a balance between social media and well-being

Image by Julia Sifuentes

With social media apps becoming somewhat of a necessity to build relationships (online and IRL), finding a balance between our online social presence and our well-being can be hard. 

Over the last decade, the number of social platforms seems to have grown exponentially. With this growth, their purpose and the way their used has also evolved. At its beginning, social media made it easy to connect to your various social circles. As their use and their importance in society kept growing, they’ve also become a way to meet new individuals based on shared and similar interests and social characteristics.   

Today, there are various categories and use of these medias. The specificity of each platform and the multiplication of subcategories of social media creates a feeling of need for young adult. While apps like Tinder and Bumble are meant for dating purposes, and LinkedIn for professional growth and connections, the main platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become news sources for millions of people worldwide. 

From dating, to professional connections, social platforms are now a way to build and maintain various relationships. This simple access and connectivity have answered various needs of the new digital era. These platforms have made communication and contact simpler, whether it is for business opportunities, finding a life partner and friends, or simply the easy access to your circle. 

On the flip side, their omnipresence has also become addictive. Many studies are starting to see some of the negative effects they can have on our lives. A study from the University of Pennsylvania, has found that reducing social media apps to 30 minutes per day can bring a “significant improvement in well-being”. Furthermore, earlier this year researchers have concluded that negative experiences on social medias are linked to a higher feeling of social loneliness in young adults. The opposite isn’t necessarily true, as they found that positive experiences isn’t associated with lower loneliness or better connections. The impacts can affect different spheres of our lives depending on the platform of choice. When it comes to online dating, the variety of choice and access makes it harder for millennials to commit and find happiness in a relationship  The University of Wisconsin conducted an experiment where they noted that daters who were only given 24 options were less satisfied in their choice than participants who were only given 6 options.

In many ways, an online presence has become a requirement of life in society, but millennials are faced with finding a balance between their online presence and their media use.

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