Coursework Assessment on Social Media Addiction

Causes and Effects of Social Media Addiction on People and Society

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Introduction of Coursework Assessment Sample

The modern world has many attributes that describe dynamism and evolutionary changes that take place in society. The modern world has various aspects that make it modern, for instance, social media, technological advancement, artificial intelligence, and many more. Social media among others has been considered one of the most important parts of this modern world. It is a platform, which is essentially digital and is for the reason of sharing the content of various topics to the audience. Social media is now a way to connect with people across boundaries, borders, and spaces without any restrictions. Very often the terms internet and social media are used interchangeably. (Blackwell et al., 2017). However, the platform as it consists of information emerging from various sources must be used with caution (Anderson, and Jiang, 2018). Information in social media or interchangeably on the internet is often not truly authentic. Not only this but the current generation is addicted to social media. Addiction is the unlawful, unjustified, and uncontrolled want or dependency over anything, which is the longer term is harmful to people. Addiction is something that is considered a negative habit, and social media contributes to the increased habit of addiction.

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Discussion

People across the globe feel interconnected and close with the help and contribution of social media. Through this platform, people acquire knowledge and sharpen their skills. However, with all the positive factors social media brings about certain negative aspects like the spreading of fabricated information. But the most significant issue that the modern world is facing in the current times regarding social media is the factor of addiction relating to it. Social media addiction is considered a disease that many people, especially the youth face (Griffiths, and Kuss, 2017). The addiction is centred around social media, and the people addicted to the media perceive that it is quite impossible to sustain without using the applications and the internet.

There are innumerable causes behind the phenomenon of social media addiction, and scholars, psychiatrists, and physicians have researched decades past decades to understand the exact causes behind the addiction to social media. The main reasons behind the addiction can be traced back to the psychological issues of an individual or a group of people. A group of people or an individual experiencing the same cognitive problems might be addicted to social media. The cognitive issues include the low-self esteem problem, discontent of an individual in their personal and professional life, serious issue of depression and general anxiety disorder, and also hyperactivity (Keles, McCrae, and Grealish, 2020). All these reasons conglomerate and make an individual detached from the real world, and when they are unable to find solace and peace in the reality, often they turn towards an escape. Studies show that many individuals suffering from all the issues mentioned above have described social media platforms as their space of escape from reality. They tend to spend more time in the media platforms, watching videos, shorts and contents that provide them an escape from their haunting reality. Youtube forms a platform that is considered to be the most addictive by many. Victims spend hours after hours watching videos in the platform. Videos uploaded in the Youtube are definitely of educational value, but if an individual watches them without limit then that might be confirmed as addiction (Balakrishnan, and Griffiths, 2017). Many psychologists have concluded that individuals with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, find their safe space on social media. To search for a sense of peace and sanity they miss out in the reality, individuals seek to be present in the online world. From this addictions take birth and form a great problem to deal with (Savci, and Aysan, 2017). 

Sociologists have made research and concluded that younger people are at higher risk of this addiction and it has also got various reasons. Younger generations are impulsive, often suffering from depression, and become easy victims of this addiction (Murat, 2017). Young people desires to become famous and different among their peers and they use the easiest method to do so, that is, by using social media. To achieve their dream of becoming famous, very often the young generation loses the line and fall victim to the addiction. However, the main cause behind this addiction is the unresolved past traumas, depression, and stress individual experiences. To cope with such problems an individual escapes their hurtful reality by compulsively and uncontrollably indulging themselves in the online world. Another reason might be the need for individuals to be able to catch up with the fast world (Sahin, 2017). The modern world is undoubtedly fast-paced and social media is one of the contributors. People often get overwhelmed by its speed and complexities, but many to keep themselves up to date and to catch up with the fast world, unknowingly fall prey to the predator of social media addiction.

The effects of social media addiction are surely negative, like all other addictions. Addictions are in general bad and unhealthy for the mind and bodies of the victims. People who are addicted suffer from cognitive, psychological, and physiological problems. Similarly, social media has proved to be emanating negative impacts on people if only they are addicted to the platform. Limited and restricted usage of social media does not result in addiction and turn does not reap any negative results whereas addiction impacts negatively. A person with social media addiction often behaves the way a drug addict would behave, in an illogical and unstable manner. As any kind of addiction strips a person of their logical and rational mind thus consuming illegal substances and getting addicted to social media might result in the same cognitive impact disabling a person to think with logic and understanding (Brooks, Longstreet, and Califf, 2017). Social media is a coping mechanism that produces an immense amount of pleasure by releasing dopamine in the brain, however, as it is not coming from a normal source of pleasure it might cloud one's judgement abilities and make them irrational. This might affect a person mentally and physically by deteriorating their already bad condition. As social media takes a person away from the real world, they often result in becoming a delusional individual with no connection with reality making their daily life a hassle. This has increased the rate of crimes, suicides, and other violent activities. Individuals tend to become more and more isolated socially and emotionally as they increase their dependency on the platforms with no real human interactions (Balakrishnan, and Griffiths, 2017). 

Another impact of social media addiction on individuals is the failure to differentiate between real and fake information. People with social media addiction fail to recognise the fake and fabricated information that roams the platforms, and wholeheartedly consider them to be true. This increases the risk of producing damage and atrocity toward individuals and communities. Judgement already shrouded with addiction, individuals tend to believe whatever is there in the media, which often proves to be destructive and damaging to the unity of society and others. For instance, in the recent pandemic years, many young adults refused to take anti-covid vaccines as they got to know that the concerned vaccines contain tracking devices from the government and if they take their shot, from that moment onwards the government will be able to supervise the individuals (Puri et al., 2020). Another rumour that got spread easily during this time was the over the debate on whether to wear masks or not to contain the spread of the cpvod virus. The social media has various opinions, and some of them were unscientific and illogical. However, the social media addicts fell prey to those rumours during the pandemic times (Puri et al., 2020). 

Conclusion: 

This essay provided an overview and a systematic discussion regarding the topic of social media, the causes of addiction to it, and also the impact it has on the individuals suffering from it and society in general. The essay emphasises the definition of social media and how it is an integral part of the modern world now. The modern world revolves around social media and the whole human community is dependent on it for the sake of communication and connectivity. This essay then gradually focused on the incidence of addiction that is connected with the compulsive and uncontrolled connection and dependency of individuals on social media.  Emphasis has been made on the real causes behind the rise of such addiction among individuals, and a conclusion can be drawn that the reasons can be broadly divided into three fundamental factors, one is psychological and the other will be social (Blackwell et al., 2017). Psychological reasons for trauma and depression which results in addiction, and the social reasons constitute the pressure individuals, especially young people face to catch up with this fast-paced world. The impacts of such addiction have been traced here as well, focused mainly on cognitive and societal factors. A person with addiction gradually becomes illogical and ultimately insane, whereas society might face destruction due to uncontrolled addiction that makes any news on the online platform, true.

References:

Anderson, M. and Jiang, J., 2018. Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center, 31(2018), pp.1673-1689.

Balakrishnan, J. and Griffiths, M.D., 2017. Social media addiction: What is the role of content in YouTube?. Journal of behavioral addictions, 6(3), pp.364-377.

Blackwell, D., Leaman, C., Tramposch, R., Osborne, C. and Liss, M., 2017. Extraversion, neuroticism, attachment style and fear of missing out as predictors of social media use and addiction. Personality and Individual Differences, 116, pp.69-72.

Brooks, S., Longstreet, P. and Califf, C., 2017. Social media induced technostress and its impact on Internet addiction: A distraction-conflict theory perspective. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 9(2), pp.99-122.

Griffiths, M.D. and Kuss, D., 2017. Adolescent social media addiction (revisited). Education and Health, 35(3), pp.49-52.

Keles, B., McCrae, N. and Grealish, A., 2020. A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), pp.79-93.

Murat, A.K.I.N., 2017. A research on the impacts of the young people’s Internet addiction levels and their social media preferences. International Review of Management and Marketing, 7(2), pp.256-262.

Puri, N., Coomes, E.A., Haghbayan, H. and Gunaratne, K., 2020. Social media and vaccine hesitancy: new updates for the era of COVID-19 and globalized infectious diseases. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(11), pp.2586-2593.

Sahin, C., 2017. The Predictive Level of Social Media Addiction for Life Satisfaction: A Study on University Students. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 16(4), pp.120-125.

Savci, M. and Aysan, F., 2017. Technological addictions and social connectedness: predictor effect of internet addiction, social media addiction, digital game addiction and smartphone addiction on social connectedness. Dusunen Adam: Journal of Psychiatry & Neurological Sciences, 30(3), pp.202-216.

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