Influence of Social Media: Facebook

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA

The first time I created a Facebook account, I was very thrilled that I had finally set up what my friends would brag about as the coolest “thing” in their phones. To this moment, I nevertheless had no idea what I had signed in until I realized that it was a device that was used for socialization purposes. I could hardly manage my excitement when I became a regular person of Facebook oblivious to the fact that had gotten myself into one of the most addictive sites on the internet that would alternate my life for the later part of my academics. I believe that whilst social media has a positive effect, the adverse effects associated to social alienation and time-wasting effects mask any potential benefits that I have realized on the site.

The most apparent outcome I have apprehended since I started engaging on Facebook is that my grades have dropped substantially over the last few semesters. The excitement that accompanied the use of social media meant that I spend most of my time connected to the internet making friends and checking others updates. The outcome was that I ended up wasting a lot of time because any moment when I would be free, I often found myself glued to the screen of my phone. I remember my best friend saying that I had become addicted to my phone all of a sudden oblivious to the fact that I was busying myself with an addictive site that was draining all my energy and attention. The dip in my grades has since made me realize that as opposed to what I thought it was, social media has adverse effects on a user especially if there is no plan on the usage patterns and limits to avoid overindulgence as in my case.

I also deliberate that social media has affected how I interact with others because I found myself being depressed and moody many times. It was difficult to relate the manner in which I was behaving to the fact that I was becoming addicted to the internet and my phone because I hardly realized that my behavior had changed. It took me a deep self-evaluation into the manner in which I was relating to others to recognize that I was becoming a nuisance with the way I was reacting to minor issues. At one time, I remember getting so angry at my mother when she said that I was disrespecting her and preferring to focus on my phone. After two days, I did a self-assessment and realized that indeed, I was giving my phone more attention that those who cared for me. I immediately correlated my mother’s reaction to the response I had received from my best friend and realized that I had been socially been affected because of Facebook.

I also think that the experience I had online engaging in a personal argument with a stranger has affected how I think of people around me. I remember that after the heated argument, I was feeling so much pain inside me considering the foul language that was used n abusing and defaming my personality over an argument we had about soccer. I was trying to defend my opinion about my referred team, but I noticed that the argument was becoming too personal. When I tried suggesting that we end it, the tormentor took advantage of my weakness to say that I was as useless as the debate I was trying to support. I would say that the statement is the most hurting insult I can ever recall receiving from a stranger. I shared the experience with my best friend who laughed it off immediately and described how common it is to meet people online who engage in abusive language. Ever since the ordeal, I have become very sensitive when am making friends or meeting stranger because I always feel that they could end up insulting me because they have nothing to lose considering that we shared little in common.        

I also realized that nowadays I am attracted to explicit content possible because of the casual manner in which the content is shared on my social timeline. A month after getting accustomed to my Facebook account, I came across an explicit image that really got me interested. Despite the fact that I was alone, I remember looking around to check if at all anyone else was looking at me with the nude woman in my hands. Of course there was no one. In fact, hardly did I notice that just by looking around, I was confirming that I was engaging with inappropriate content and I was checking whether anyone was seeing me break the code. Since I landed on the image, I followed it up and ended up in a closed group where all the filth I could ever imagine was piled. I cannot remember a single day that I would log into my Facebook account and fail to visit the site because it had become a part of me.

Lastly, social media has worsened my social skills because lately, I find it more appropriate to chat with someone that engage with them physically. Nowadays I can hardly sustain a conversation for five minutes without becoming so bored. In fact, the moment I become uninterested, my phone is always the next option where I would end up sending a random message to anyone. I think that the social media has played a key role in my unique social behavior because previously, I would be free with virtually anyone who was around provided I had the time to waste. The extreme case happened when I found myself answering my mother twice through text after walking away from her citing being annoyed by her constant checking up on me. I think that I am losing on social media because my social skills have declined at an alarming rate recently.

In summary, I believe that the social media has had adverse effects on my life lately than I could have imagined before joining. I have seen myself drop academically and become a social dwarf within no time thanks to my overindulgence on the social networking site. My best friend and my mother can attest to the fact that I have lost it online despite the excitement I had the first time I registered myself to the online world. I think that the addiction to sexually explicit content caps it all and is proof that I have been adversely affected. While I cannot guarantee that I will close my Facebook account, I can confirm that I will engage with moderation and avoid explicit sites while giving more attention to my academics and social ties.  

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