Social media turns into personal diaries

Social media turns into personal diaries

Vina Cristobal

This should be reported to the police, not to Facebook!

A student had a rough week. She failed her pop quiz in her sociology class. Her boyfriend suddenly calls it quits. None of the workplaces that she applied to gave her the time of day. She wants an outlet to express her feelings of resentment, anger and frustration.

She comes home and immediately logs onto her computer and begins to write a long paragraph on her Facebook timeline about her misfortunes. She then uses the extra steam to vent her frustrations on a Tumblr post.

Admit it. We’ve all been there, ranting on the Internet at least one point in our lives.

Popular social media networking sites – intended for sharing photos and videos with friends and family – have unfortunately become places for people to share almost every second, and I repeat, EVERY second, of their lives and their stories.

According to a May 2013 data table from the official Pew Research website, 89 percent of young adults, which includes college students, utilize social media.

Some college students use social media for its intended use, especially if they’re away from home. These students post videos, photos and tidbits about their college life to share with their loved ones in their hometowns.

On the other hand, it may do more harm than help to other students.

Certain students will regularly post every second of their lives on any social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Whether it is detailing a funny inside joke between friends or nagging about a not-so-favorable class, these social media networks become one’s personal outlets to express their current mood.

For instance, I have a family friend on Facebook who posts almost every hour of every day. He posts his location on Facebook via a Foursquare app (like who will post about their trip to Home Depot? Really? Really) or shares a picture he posted on Instagram (McDonald’s? We’ve all been there. I know what the food looks like). Often times, he goes into detail about a bad day at work in hopes that someone will listen to him. This may be OK to post every once in a while but not all the time.

An excessive use of social media as a “diary” rather than its intended purpose can lead to serious consequences. Feelings of depression and anxiety may occur as a result of this misuse of social media.

People will tend to compare their own social lives to others, and begin to belittle themselves. In a January 2013 article on “Time” Magazine’s official website, this feeling of low-self esteem results from “users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.”

The overuse of Facebook even leads to death. Some teenagers develop self-esteem issues due to seeing pictures and videos of others, or being the victim of cyberbullying. In turn, they commit suicide or impose some form of self-harm.

In a March 2013 article on Media Bistro’s website, 67 percent of women are Facebook users, which could be linked to the fact that we see more female suicide victims than male victims.

People who also use Facebook too much will find themselves in unfortunate predicaments with those around them. Some divorces or breakups result from tense Facebook statuses or flirty messages from other people. Other people risk their friendships just by one typo on a message. An individual’s career can be ruined as a result of a drunken party picture or a profane outburst about another person or situation.

It’s the sad truth, but it is unfortunately true.

So what’s the solution to this digital dilemma?

It may be easier said than done, but in order to prevent social media-related problems, the obvious solution would be to limit the use of social media itself.

But does simply decreasing the use of social media make this situation better or turn it completely for the worst?