How Social Media Motivates and Demotivates

By Yash Raj Mishra

Social Media has changed Information and communication technology rapidly over the past 20 years.The pace of change is accelerating.

The development of mobile technology has played an essential role in shaping the impact of social media.

Social media is the enemy of motivation, right? I mean, that’s what everybody keeps saying. It’s become a bit of a knee-jerk reaction really. Just like they say computer games are bad for you. And when that happens warning bells should start ringing.

Can social media be used as a source of motivation ? You might as well remove the question mark. Because it can. And here’s how.

You can connect with your niche through social media

Social media has changed. It’s easy to reach out and find people who share our views and to share our ideas with them especially through platforms like Hobo.Video.

Often all we’re looking for is acceptance. Without it we feel lonely – and that is immensely unhealthy for us.  With it we feel loved – and that is incredibly motivating.

You can connect with your Network when you need to

It’s not the fault of your social media what crowd you have on there. That’s something you have to determine. And we all know we have to avoid the bad people.

Because if you can make sure your social media network is loaded with good people, then it can be beneficial.

It can even be better than having people physically around you, in fact. Because your social media network doesn’t go out of town, visit other countries, or go fishing. It is there wherever you go.

You can find information you otherwise wouldn’t have

Don’t like searching for articles, reading every newspaper, or scanning all the health sites for the latest findings? If you have the right social media you don’t need to. Being attached to the right groups is like having a thousand extra eyes looking out for information for you. Some of them are bound to like doing that searching (and getting the kudos they do for finding something meaningful).

Social media can keep you in the loop and well informed about the findings in whatever area you work in. And having your curiosity constantly satisfied and tweaked by your social network is something that is immensely motivating.

They can support you when times are dark

You have your ups, you have your down. That’s life. The thing is, our down are much less likely to be severe when we have people around us that can. support us, help us and offer us guidance and often that’s exactly what we need when we’ve just hit one of life’s speed bumps – people who are there for us and ready to help us.

In that way social media doesn’t just motivate us and keep us going, it also protects us from ending up unmotivated and depressed. And sometimes that’s just as valuable. In fact, often it is even more so.

They are full of inspirational stories

One of the great ways that social media helps us is by providing us with stories that get under our skin and make us appreciate our life, our ambition, and our friends. In fact, there is no better tool that I can think of for spreading inspirational quotes, ideas, stories, and articles than social media.

Feeling a little bit down? Then all you need to do is go onto social media for an hour and read the stories about other people and other lives. Within no time you’ll find some person who you can emulate, or who has things worse than you, or who awakens your empathy. And with that in your head and heart, you can once again find the energy to keep going.

You can get answers to your questions

Sometimes when you’re working on a project, you need to find something out and despite several tries at Google, you just can’t get the bots there to understand what it is you’re looking for. That can be immensely frustrating as you either have to find a way around this impasse, which might require you to redo a whole chunk of what you’re working on. Or you’ve got to find some other way to get the information.

Social media can most certainly help with the latter. Human intelligence still outstrips that of bots and so if you ask your question there, people will often be able to give you the information you need and away by the impasse.

In fact, quite often people will volunteer information that you didn’t even know was out there and you can turn what you were doing something good into something great, just by making little tweaks. That wasn’t possible before social media and that can be immensely motivating.

You can post your goals on social media

Making your goals public is a fantastic way to make it more likely that you’ll live up to them, as now you’re using not just your own desire to accomplish your goals, but also your own embarrassment if you don’t succeed as motivation to get them done.

And since we all have negative emotions, why not use them to push us to do something positive?

So publicize your goals on social media and discuss them with your friends. You might get motivated in your private life, you might get motivated at work.Heck, you might even end up inspiring other people to pursue their own goals and end up thanking you for it. And there is probably no better way to become motivated than to feel that you’re an inspiration to other people.

You can use it to recharge

And finally, it can help you keep going by distracting you. What did I just say? Yes, I just said that distractions are good for motivation. Don’t listen to people that tell you otherwise. The reason is simple. We’re not machines. We all need to allow our brains to drift off topic occasionally so that our batteries can recharge.

In this way,research has shown, our mental stamina lasts a great deal longer. And that means that at the end of the day we’ll have gotten more done, will still have energy left to stay active in our private life and aren’t at a constant risk of burnout.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it’s time to pause and reflect.”  

– Mark Twain 

Negative impacts of social media

In all senses, I have that feeling that social media has multiplied the risk for insecurity. Indeed, with social media, there is more and more the need to show, not necessarily show-off but at least show. The natural reflex remains to hide your flaws and show the best of you.

Many stories, pictures always seem so fancy, neat, inspiring, that you wonder how easy it is for those others to succeed and so easy for you in contrast to fail.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Do you spend several hours per day browsing through social media? Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood. In fact, chronic users are more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

It doesn’t take much thinking to figure out why. Social media lets you see the carefully selected best parts of everyone else’s lives, which you compare to the negatives in your own life. Comparing yourself to other people is a sure path to anxiety, and social media has only made this easier to do.

So how do you use social media without causing yourself psychological distress? If you turn to the same research (and common sense), the recommended amount of time you should spend on social networks is around half an hour per day. As with many other potential ills in life, it’s all about moderation.

2. Cyberbullying

Before social media, bullying was something that was only possible to do face-to-face. However, now people can bully others online—anonymously or not. Today everyone knows what cyberbullying is, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person.

While social media makes it easier to meet new people and make friends, it also enables cruel people to tear into others with little effort . Perpetrators of bullying can use the anonymity that social networks provide to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers. For instance, they might create a fake profile and act friendly to a classmate, then later betray and embarrass them online.

These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases. And as it turns out, cyberbullying doesn’t just affect kids. Adults can become victims of online abuse, too. Since screens hide our faces, you can end up being a jerk on social media and other websites without even realizing it.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born around the same time as the rise of social media. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most widespread negative effects of social media on society.

FOMO is just what it sounds like: a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience that someone else is having. For example, you might constantly check your messages to see if anyone has invited you out, or focus on your Instagram feed all day to make sure that nobody is doing something cool without you.

This fear receives constant fuel from what you see on social media. With increased social network use, there’s a better chance for you to see that someone is having more fun that you are right now. And that’s exactly what causes FOMO.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

As most people probably know by now, social media forms unrealistic expectations of life and friendships in our minds.

Most social media sites have a severe lack of online authenticity. People use Snapchat to share their exciting adventures, post about how much they love their significant other on Facebook, and load up their Instagram page with heavily staged photos.

But in reality, you have no way of knowing whether this is all a farce. While it looks great on the surface, that person could be in massive debt, on bad terms with their significant other, and just desperate for Instagram likes as a form of validation.

One simple way out of this mess is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram influencers and YouTubers who earn millions from being inauthentic, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

5. Negative Body Image

Speaking of Instagram celebrities, if you look at popular Instagram accounts, you’ll find unbelievably beautiful people wearing expensive clothes on their perfectly shaped bodies.

Today, body image is an issue for everyone. Of course, seeing so many people who are supposedly perfect (according to society’s standards) on a daily basis makes you conscious about how different you look from those pictures. And not everyone comes to healthy conclusions in this situation.

It’s really important to remember that everybody is human. No one wakes up every day looking like a supermodel, and while many people have gone to great lengths to train their bodies, that’s not the case for everyone who looks fit. Many people, in search of social media fame, have definitely taken unhealthy routes to appear more attractive.

Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, and you won’t have to stress about Instagram beauty.

6. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

On top of increasing the incidents of anxiety and depression, spending too much time on social media can lead to poor sleep. Numerous studies have shown that increased use of social media has a negative effect on your sleep quality.

If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular and have led to a drop in productivity, try to cut down on the amount of time you browse social media.

This is especially the case when using your phone in bed at night. It’s all too easy to tell yourself that you’ll spend five minutes checking your Facebook notifications, only to realize an hour later that you’ve been mindlessly scrolling through Twitter content you don’t even care about. Don’t let social media algorithms steal your valuable sleep.

7. General Addiction

Social media can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. It has a powerful draw for many people that leads to them checking it all the time without even thinking about it.

At the end of the day, social media sites want to keep you scrolling for as long as possible so they can show you lots of ads and make more money. Because of the attention economy, these sites need your eyes on them for as long as possible.

Just because you’ve been going overboard on social media use doesn’t mean you necessarily need to wipe out all social networking platforms. However, if you think quitting is the best solution for you, it isn’t a bad idea. In fact, you can find out what it’s like to quit social media through a firsthand story.

So ignore that majority and their hissing at social media and how it’s dumbing down society. Social media is a tool and just like any other tool, it can be used for good and for bad. It’s just a matter of how you use it. You can use it to keep yourself from doing what you’re supposed to, or you can use it to motivate yourself to accomplish even more.

The choice is yours.

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