Ideally, there’s a point in your life (sooner than later, hopefully) when you reflect upon your achievements and feel really good about yourself. Was it getting into a career you enjoy? Was it having a child and giving them a great start to life? Maybe volunteering regularly or donating money to causes you believe in has been a highlight. Whatever it may be, the idea is to see it, acknowledge it, be grateful for it, and lastly feel good about it. The problem is, that’s never good enough; and it’s because you’re likely comparing to everyone else around you who seemingly always have more. As you’ll see, that’s one of the biggest disadvantages of social media; the art of comparison.
In a nutshell, you likely spend the majority of life chasing a goal (or a few goals) you somehow believe are just outside arm’s reach. Money. The perfect wife or husband. The ideal career. Validation. The list goes on. And at the same time you chase these goals, you’re really just running away from what’s in front of you. What’s exactly in front of you, then?
Your life is.
Subconsciously (or even consciously), you probably refuse to accept what your life is right now when you factor in the good, the bad, and the ugly. If running away from your life was an Olympic sport, you’d be representing your birth country proudly.
Again, why is that? Social media. As good as apps like Facebook and Instagram can be, there’s tangible shortcomings to social media. Yes, there are some good parts, especially if you run a business: the networking opportunities, exposure to different viewpoints, customer reach, and the rich content. But there’s glaring problems, too.
Here’s a list of the six worst disadvantages of social media.
You Waste Time
In a society dominated by the rat race of going to a job you don’t like, just to go home and repeat the cycle the very next day, you’re naturally looking for a little escape from reality.
Logging into Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat are part of the cure. Why face the monotony of a boring existence when you can get immersed in other people? Sounds cool, almost like 2048 Blade Runner virtual reality. Except it’s not.
Social media was created for one purpose: to spend time on.
You Risk Some Form of Addiction
Realize one very important thing.
Social media apps, like anything else, are a business. At its core, any business needs to make money to survive. How does a business make money? They attract customers or clients. How do you bring in customers or clients? You provide them with a service that’s enticing.
In the case of social media, that service is providing engrossing content. It’s this engrossing content which hooks you in and leads to a lot of time spent on the app, which translates to higher metrics for the app, which in turn translates to advertisement revenue.
Make no mistake — social media apps are engineered, literally, for your addiction.
Ever find it funny how opening a social media app icon on your phone is so second nature that you’ll sometimes close the app just to open it right back up? Yeah, maybe not so funny when you realize what’s at stake.
You Compare And Likely End Up Hating Yourself
As cool as social media influencers (this word is annoying) look, it’s fake. It’s a methodical attempt to present a carefully crafted version of “life”. Has it been mentioned the term “influencer” needs a quick death? An influencer’s photos and videos are three things:
a) Unrealistic to sustain on a daily basis in real life,
b) gets them the most likes and followers possible, and piggybacking off that,
c) gets them the most validation possible.
The popular traveling account of some 35 year old showing you the undiscovered corners of the world is not going to post a picture of anything outside really cool, really unique, and really badass travel content. Not like they should, anyway. Remember, they’re technically a business. You don’t see a car manufacturer making bedsheets.
Yet people somehow consider social media to be real life. The people you know will post their best pictures. The people you don’t know will also post their best pictures. The other 99% of their life, the boring parts, will not be posted.
But you’ll still compare the 99% of your life with the 1% of theirs. If you start comparing your own life’s 99% to the carefully crafted 1%, you can see how you become toast.
You Suddenly Become Judge Judy
How easy is it to spot the stuff you like and don’t like on social media? Very easy. That’s why you follow or don’t follow accounts.
What’s even easier is passing judgement on it all, from the very comfort of your nice, warm, and broken in sofa.
“Oh that’s fake as fuck!”
“Come on, you’re stooping to that level for the likes?”
One after the other, the judgements come flying out, about as fast as Judge Judy dishes them out on reality TV. You’re quick to pull the trigger on judging what’s wrong with everyone else’s life… except your own.
How about you start worrying about what’s wrong with yours? Yes, you have problems. Everyone does. Stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying about how you plan to improve your own life.
You Open Yourself Up To Criticism And Lose Privacy
In the previous disadvantage of social media (you judge), it comes from the viewpoint of you: you’re the one judging. Let’s not forget the flip side: everyone else judging you.
The second you put any content out there, you open yourself up to good and bad. Your privacy takes a little hit; after all, you’re exposing yourself.
On one hand, you may get a positive response (the whole reason you put it out there). On the other, you may get a really negative response. More than likely, you’ll get a mixture of both. If your skin is about as thick as the thinnest parchment paper, you might want to reconsider putting content out there. Or you better prepare for what’s to come.
Either way, you’re opening yourself up on what’s to come.
You’re A Potential Victim Of Crappy Products Or Services
Take a second and revisit the part about businesses. Remember, social media apps are a business at the end of the day, and their goal is two-fold: to attract customers and make money off of them.
An influencer (again, this word needs a quick death) is also in the same game. They’re a business, and their end game is the exact same: they want to attract more followers and make money off them. If they have enough followers at some point, it’s easy to see why you’d try to make money off it.
Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of them repping really crappy products or services that look good at first glance. That is, until you process the payment and receive the goods. At that point, you’re out of luck. Pretty sure most influencers don’t have a section on their profile about refunds.
The other way influencers make money is getting paid directly by a company in exchange for promoting their product. So while the influencer isn’t making money directly off their followers, they’re still repping a product they probably wouldn’t use, only because that company is paying them for the privilege. And unfortunately, the followers bear the brunt.
The only saving grace is the FCC issuing guidance last year on advertisements via social media. It became glaringly obvious it was getting deceptive and out of control. The rules, though, are still fuzzy.
The Bottom Line
There will always be someone smarter, better looking, wealthier, more intelligent, funnier, more successful, and all around better than you at everything. And the best part is, some people were handed all that without even trying. Sounds depressing, but the faster you realize it, the better position you’re in.
Now that you see the disadvantages of social media, try using it to your advantage.