(Photo : Drew Angerer via Getty Images)
Avid users of social media expose themselves not only to possible addiction but also to long-term mental consequences due to prolonged stress and possible depression. A study from the University of Missouri reveals that Facebook and social network use -- now a daily activity among students and tech-savvy workers and businesses -- potentially introduces feelings of envy and stress when viewing posts that trigger these emotions at a prolonged pace.
According to the University's News Bureau, Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Margaret Duffy said Facebook is a "fun and healthy activity" if users want only to stay connected with family and old friends. Duffy stresses that envy is triggered each time people see photos of old friends happy with relationships or financial achievements.
According to The Star, Georgetown University Associated Professor of Computer Science Cal Newport said it may be time to break away from social networks because it introduces "corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness." He pointed out that it could cause career damages in the future. The report also cited Dallas Clinical Psychologist Anne Miller Morris who encouraged the "right balance" in using social media, echoing Duffy's idea that social media has people "stuck up on the social comparison" of themselves to others.
Social media is truly useful for anyone looking for a job -- it can be easy to stand out with the proper credentials attached to your name on LinkedIn. Facebook allows potential employer "friends" to see potential individuals' "attitude and outlook towards life" and create proper judgements on hiring the individual.
When used efficiently, social media is a great way to connect with people and share our ideas and thoughts. But the image-centralized social media networks of today makes it easy for people to see our "fat" or unfashionable photos -- creating stress that we must always look our best as it can trigger self-esteem troubles. It would be wise to lay off from social media from time to time and detach from the culture into our own world.