There are Hidden Dangers on Social Media “The Dark Web”.
I believe in the importance and role of social media in our lives today. At the click of a button we are anywhere in the world, connected to anyone and clinching business deals from the world over. It’s truly one connected concept that seems to be the winning formula in bridging gaps. I know many schools of thought may refute these statements but i believe;
there is nothing social about social media. Infact the general origin of social media itself is anti-social.
Fifteen years ago, many people questioned the need for social media but fast forward a few years and the question has changed to “How can you live without Social Media”?. It has become bound to our relationship DNA.
Not many people want to see the disadvantages of social media because of their dependence on it.That is somewhat similar to a particular addiction stage. Maybe the time to face those dangers for yourself is today because it could be your only chance to balance out your online experience. I understand the importance of social media and it has helped my business greatly but i also see many marriages, homes, relationships, businesses and more crumble by the day due to social media abuse.
I have created a list that will help you understand what you are dealing with online and better manage it for yourself, your health, family and business. There are hidden dangers on social media “The Dark Web” and here are some of them.
1. More Likes, Views,Tweets and Shares for Validation
The need for likes, shares and retweets go deeper in our psyche as humans than we understand. Humans are primarily described as social animals and in social groups, there is a need for validation by mates(spouse\partner/friends), social heads(boss/pastor/parents) etc. Social media tapped into our need for acceptance but seeking this validation online is dangerous. When you let go of your power to affirm yourself and hand it over to someone else, more external measurements will be used to determine your worth and as much as an Ouch! as this is, you will be hurt over and over again.
Solution: That post, picture, write-up that got 3 views, likes or re-tweets is in no sense a measure of how good or bad a writer you are or how much of a good looker you are. Stop letting social media validate you and go back to being your true self.
2. The Need to Compare
The worst place on earth to measure success today is on your social media home page because no one brings the worst or daily version of themselves to social media.
Understand this fact. You envy peoples high points because they also failed to share the mistakes, slip-up’s and errors that led to it. Now you are comparing your everyday journey and process to someone else’s finished product not understanding you are on the right path that can also lead to something great. School mates all seem to be living their best lives, exes seem to be at their happiest and every celebrity is happy.
Solution: Appreciate your life right now. Stop and see how well or badly you’ve done with the lot life gave you. If you want more, find out what it takes to get it. If no-one in your immediate circle can help with this, widen your circle. Join reading clubs, camping groups, dog-walking circles, a golf-club or anything it takes to meet new people. This will help you spend more time outside and healthily pursue what you need in the next level of your life. Most importantly, this helps you take back your power of self-worth.
3. Why Their’s and not Mine? Bitterness
I have spoken to clients who got angry because their friend liked a wig someone else had on and purposely refused to acknowledge theirs. A concept recently being referred to as “Shading”. Teenagers and grown folks have skipped school and avoided work because their BFF’s are now best buds with someone else. In a world where relationships aren’t based on physical interactions but reduced to digitized savagery, i daresay we need to re-visit relationship 101.
Solution: Any social media platform that fills you with hate and bitterness over what happened to another person rather than you is one to be avoided. Step back from it and heal. Engage yourself with other things.
4. Get Back to the Real Things
Remember when all that mattered were the genuinely real and authentic things? A time when how your relationship with others ranked high on the list. Going out to the park, playing a healthy game of soccer with mates. I mean simply living life. Today, this is almost gone except for a few of us who still manage to ensure we have BBQ parties, play water-gun with the kids or simply insist on meeting up with a “few” friends who you connect with on real levels and not superficially. Social media has robbed many of this joy rather priority is being given to how their image appears on social media, how crazy they can get to attract attention, what stunt to pull for the next 1k shares or what luxury location a video can be shot at for the next views.
Solution; The virtual world of social media will rob you of your joy if you consistently live in it Depression has been introduced into many lives, frustration in many relationships because of the overt exposure to social media and what comes with it. Take back your life and see life for what it truly is, “real”.
“The founders of many of the social media platforms in use today do NOT use it as heavily as you do”. If you loose the concept of reality and live in this virtual world, you will become anti-social like millions who do not know it yet.
5. Short Attention Spans
Many years ago, people enjoyed reading but this culture is dying. This has gradually seeped into the world of business. We bid for a big government job and sent in a 10-page presentation but got tipped off by a Samaritan that no-one was going to read it. Instead we were advised to change it to a 4-minute video with nice pictures and colorful words to give us a leg in. This was wrong on all levels. No one wants to read instead social media has made it acceptable to glance through lists , watch videos that have text with no audio etc. This is due to the noise on social media and the “brain-lazy” effect that has us looking for easier ways to consume more content.
Solution: Simply place a filtering system in everything you do on social media. You can classify it by category. Science, Tech, Food, Travel, Relationships, Business etc. After this categorization, you can further make a list of whose content you would ingest for these categories. This simply keeps you away from all the noise on social media.
6. Friends in a “Convenient” Box
Social media has taken away the “hard-work” element in relationship building. It’s a good thing right? WRONG. Today you would rather look at your elder brother’s profile to see his last post and then deduce that he and his family are okay. Young teenagers with amazing pictures attract partners online who love their pictures. However, when you put these same couples together in the same room, it becomes a socially awkward meeting. Zero communication skills, zero connection. Many marriages are on the rocks because they met on facebook and developed a relationship on facebook. Ideals were built on lies and deception and real live meet-up’s or in some sad cases marriages revealed these flaws.
Solution: Never make friendship, courtship, business or marriage decisions based on perceived ideals from social media. This usually leads to disappointments as people put up a cleaner, better version of their lives on SM. Always push to know people on a personal deeper level as this is the true bed-rock of amazing relationships.
7. It’s a Battle for Your Time
Every activity you carry out on social media is all about your time. Unfortunately, time is something your are already in short supply of at every waking moment. A valuable resource you need to manage carefully.
“Stop letting people waste your time. That video you just watched is making money for the person who created it in time currency, that photoshopped image you just viewed has taken time you will never have back. Have some respect for your time”
Solution: Make a conscious decision to invest time in things that give you, your family, friends and the world in general value. The more respect you have for your time, the more you will achieve.
8. The Island Called Isolation
Social Media users most times erroneously believe that the likes , follows, connections, shares and more are pointers to their like-ability index. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Your 1 Million followers are only there to celebrate what you do more than who you are. Which is the same reason a celebrity who makes a mistake will have their followers attack them or simply unfollow. The moment you stop or someone else better than you shows up on the scene, they will move. It’s not you, it’s simply one of the harshest realities of our current existence. If i ask again, is this not a form of isolation. Having so many fans yet walking on glass and always putting out your best, making sure you tell them of not-so-good news first before someone else does it for you, ensuring that you keep out people who truly know you so they do not simply put out information that isn’t screened. That in my opinion is isolation.
“How many times do you walk past someone on your social media friends list and don’t even recognise them?” How many times do you step into a business meeting and sit across people connected to you on LinkedIn only to recognize them 6 months later when you visited your LinkedIn page again?”.
Solution: Take your offline relationships seriously. It doesn’t have to be many but the fewer they are, the more chances you have to make them more meaningful. You can have a million followers on SM yet be lonely. Search for social media activities that allow you get more into the world rather than away from it.
Lastly, i would want to re-iterate that this is not an anti social media campaign but a call for balance. Staying on social media is as dangerous as staying away from social media in today’s world. However, if you are on SM, understand the inherent risks involved and this by itself keeps you balanced.
As a licensed counselor i enjoy working with logic and facts but as a believer in God’s word, there is one guiding principle i have come to live by online and i draw it from Philippians 4:8 –
New Living Translation
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Written by Obike Temple
Counsellor | Brand-sage | Entrepreneur
For more information on relationship related issues and to schedule an appointment with “Temple’s Counsel” visit our counseling page, chat us up via our website or send a whatsapp message to +2347066663071. Appointments are scheduled within 24 hours.