28 July 2021 (Wall Street International)* Many of us spend a lot of time on social networks, on phones or laptops updating status, posting pictures, liking stuff, and messaging back and forth with friends. It’s where we get updates about our friends (enemies) and family, share our experiences, and procrastinate a lot of time.

In very few specific cases, the effects of social media can be positive. For example, many people can use social media as a lifeline, allowing them to keep a connection with others who are physically far away.

However, people have concerns about how social media can negatively affect us. A study by the Royal Society of Public Health and the Young Health Movement explored how social media platforms affect mental health and wellbeing when looking at things like quality and amount of sleep, feelings of loneliness, bullying, fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and also how people spend so much time of their lives in creating things (and caring about them) that they will never see again. Never ever.

Google Photos statistics recovered that approximately 23,000 photos are stored each second in the hard drives of Silicon Valley, an amount of information so big and difficult to imagine but which is almost completely forgotten since 1 in 10 pics are only seen twice in a year after 1 year of being taken.


Many of us spend a lot of time on social networks | Image from Wall Street International

Google calls this the LOM, “The Limbo of Memories” a vast space of millions of gigas that is dead; pieces of human lives that only matter few seconds of existence, and that showed people which was more focused on sharing these memories than enjoying them.

Individuals sharing moments that are totally forgotten after few minutes. Instants that are only valuable because of the immediate effect they cause on others, not because of what they cause in the person who lives them. This is the absolute banalization of reality and the experiences, transforming every trip, every dinner, every party in a marketing spot. Showing only the best (or what people think is the best) of every moment hiding everything that is not worth it.

Life is getting far away, more than ever, from reality to become only retransmission. People now are mere puppets that have some value if they manage spectators. And those spectators will never meet these puppets at all. It is the saddest happiness in human history.


What you put on social media stays on social media, cannot be deleted at all  | Image from Wall Street International

Remember, social media has a negative impact on your life if:

  • social media is taking over from real-world, in-person communication: avoid this at all costs;
  • you are comparing yourself to others online and it is making you feel down or feel bad about yourself;
  • you have feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem;
  • you are experiencing bullying or harassment online;
  • you are seeing a lot of content that is upsetting or that feels inappropriate;
  • you are confused by information online or are being misled;
  • you would prefer to be on social media instead of doing other important things like eating, sleeping, spending time with others, or exercising;
  • you are using social media to distract yourself from how you’re feeling or to manage your emotions;
  • you have feelings of depression or anxiety whenever you go online;
  • you feel like you are always missing out when you see what other people are posting (also known as fear of missing out, or FOMO);
  • you are receiving unwanted sexts or images.

And finally: always remember what you put on social media stays on social media, it cannot be deleted at all, and if you wouldn’t say it to a person in real life then it’s probably not a good idea to say it online either.