Social Media Day

Dear World

We have Social Media Day on 30th June to celebrate the impact that social media has on global communication. (1)

So what on earth is Social Media?

Are we in the know about all this stuff?

Who invented this booming business?

Do we really understand the ins and outs?
Do we know what a huge effect it is having?

Has social media overtaken every part of our lives?

Are we equipped to deal with this form of communication?
Are we swept away with all that social media offers?
Are we able to keep up with social media?
Are we hooked into social media?

Are we happy bunnies because of social media?
Are we using social media because we are lonely?
Are we using social media to hide from real life?

Are we using social media to up our moods as we don’t like what we feel?
Are we using social media because it makes us feel connected?
Are we using social media without discerning who these strangers are?

Are we using social media because we want to fit in with the crowd?
Are we using social media to be popular with friends?
Are we using social media because everyone else is?
Are we using social media to compare ourselves with others?

Are we using social media because we want to be recognised?
Are we using social media to one day become famous?
Are we using social media to make sure others know what we do?
Are we using social media to become something we are not?

Are we using social media to vent our stuff?
Are we using social media to display our extreme behaviour?
Are we using social media to network our outrageous fantasies?

Are we using social media to make fools out of other people?
Are we using social media to say ugly stuff about others?
Are we using social media under different names to vilify others?

Are we using social media to bad mouth others who we don’t like?
Are we using social media to say vile things because we are jealous?
Are we using social media to hurl abuse because the world hurt us?
Are we using social media to make fun out of others?

Are we using social media to add to the cruelty in our world today?
Are we using social media to bring down others who do make a difference?
Are we using social media to cut n paste other people’s stuff online?

Are we using social media to share obscene images of others?
Are we using social media to stalk and make life hell for someone?
Are we using social media to threaten others for no reason?

Are we using social media without giving it much thought?
Are we using social media loosely without realising the repercussions?
Are we using social media with no real focus or purpose?
Are we using social media with any respect or decency?

Are we using social media to simply keep our minds stimulated?
Are we using social media because we are bored with everyday life?
Are we using social media to fill in the empty gaps in our day?
Are we using social media as our daily fix as if it were a drug?

Are we using social media to escape the responsibilities of life?
Are we using social media just simply to make money because we can?
Are we using social media under the guise of doing good?
Are we using social media to do illegal business?

Are we using social media because we know we can get away with it?
Are we using social media to not cause harm?
Are we using social media to bring about real change?
Are we using social media to inspire others or preach to others?

Are we using social media to leave a digital footprint for future generations?

Have we wondered what the consequences of our posting might do?
Have we stopped long enough to realise that what we write is out there forever?
Have we taken into account that we are leaving a digital footprint online that can never be erased in Truth, even if we think it’s removed?

Have we thought that what we write could have an impact on someone else’s life?
Have we thought before posting an image of someone, what it could do to them?

“what goes online stays online.” (2)

The digital footprint is a permanent trail that users of social media, indeed of the Internet itself, leave the moment they sign into any service. The digital footprint, by its permanence, can have serious repercussions in future, in both professional and personal areas of life. It is important to know that every activity online – posts on social media accounts, comments left on various sites, tweets, retweets and +1s through years can contribute to the digital footprint. (3)

So what exactly is Social Media?

Social relates to society and that means other people.
We meet people for pleasure through activities.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary says social media – websites and applications used for social networking. (4)

Dictionary.com
Websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts:
(5)

WhatIs.com
Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.

Websites and applications dedicated to –

Forums
Microblogging
Social Networking
Social Bookmarking
Social Curation
Wikis (6)

Social Networks

The leading social networks are usually available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political or economic borders. Approximately 2 billion Internet users are using social networks and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction.

Facebook is the market leader and was the 1st social network to surpass 1,000,000,000 registered accounts. (April 2017)

April 2017 – Most famous social networking sites with number of active users (7)

Facebook

WhatsApp

YouTube

Facebook Messenger

WeChat

QQ

Instagram

Qzone

Tumblr

Twitter

Sina Weibo

Baidu Tieba

Snapchat

Skype

Viber

LINE

Pinterest

YY

Linkedin

Telegram

BBM

Vkontakte

Kakaotalk

1.97 Billion

1.2 Billion

1 Billion

1 Billion

889 Million

868 Million

600 Million

595 Million

550 Million

319 Million

313 Million

300 Million

300 Million

300 Million

260 Million

220 Million

150 Million

122 Million

106 Million

100 Million

100 Million

95 Million

49 Million


1997 – First recognisable social media site was born.

It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users.

1999 – First blogging sites became popular. (8)

What is the reality of social media?
What is the impact of social media on our lives?

What is the difference between a social media addiction and a drug or alcohol addiction?

Social Media is as harmful as Alcohol and Drugs for Millennials.

Over past 20 years a new type of addiction has emerged
ADDICTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA.
(9)

It may not cause physical harm such as those caused by Tobacco and Alcohol but it does have the potential to cause long-term damage to our emotions, behaviour and relationships.

Older generations had alcohol and drugs as their vice and the millennials have social media.
Those born between 1984 and 2005 have embraced the digital age and social media is a big deal for them – a lifeline to the outside world. (9)

Would it be true to say that most of our Youth today are dependent and devoted to social media and they seek this for pleasure to get through the day?
Everything else seems to fall into insignificance? (9)

The real harm lies in their change of behaviour and their addiction means they spend an increasing amount of time online to produce the same pleasurable effect. This means social media is the main activity they engage in above all others. The knock-on effect is their attention is taken away from other tasks, experiencing unpleasant feelings from reducing or stopping interaction with social media and restarting the activity very soon after stopping completely.

Millennials report compulsively checking social network profiles and updates. They can make riskier decisions and be open to online exploitation. They often mistakenly believe that if things go wrong, they will get help from their online community even if this community consists of strangers.

Spending time on social media now seems more desirable to this group of people than spending time in a pub drinking alcohol with friends. (9)

There is no recognised treatment for social media addiction.
Although we are starting to become aware of the problem, there is no classification of social media addiction as a mental disorder in the same way as substance misuse.

If we want this in the future then there will need to be a clear definition of the symptoms and progression over time.
We will need to answer some key questions –
Does it run in families?
Are there blood tests that can distinguish it from other mental disorders?
Will it respond to drugs or psychological therapies? (9)

Has the world found a drug that is harming us at a younger age but it is going under the radar as we cannot see the physical effects?

Are we sitting back allowing our youth to be living a life that is not real life?

Does it suit us to allow our children to entertain themselves in this online world?

Do we endorse and give our kids a licence to do what they want on social media?

Are we concerned or bothered what the impact is of this huge growing industry?

Are we really policing our children or do we think it is too late now?

WHY does our mood change if our social media post is not liked?

WHY does our mood change depending on the likes we get in one day?

Researchers at UCLA’s Brain Mapping Center found that when teenagers’ photos get lots of “likes” on social media apps, parts of the reward circuitry area of the brain respond in a similar way to seeing loved ones or winning money.

“Reward circuitry is thought to be particularly sensitive in adolescence…It could be explaining, at least in part, why teens are such avid social media users.
Before, if you were having a face to face interaction everything is qualitative. You use someone’s gestures or facial expressions, that sort of thing, to see how effective your message is.
Now if you go online, one of the ways that you gauge the effectiveness of your message is in the number of likes, favourites or retweets and this is something that is really different and unique about online interaction.”
Lauren Sherman – Lead Research Author (10)

What are we willing to tolerate online with social media?
What is our standard of decency with social media?
WHY do most of us have different standards for social media behaviour?

300% increase – number of sexual assault cases related to social media sites.

88% teens have seen someone be cruel to another on social networking site.

81% aged 9 to 17 visited a social networking website within past 3 months.

71% aged 9 to 17 visit these social networking sites weekly.

22% teenagers log onto their favourite social media site more than 10 times a day.

64% teens upload photos to social media sites.

55% teens given out personal information, including photos and physical descriptions to someone they don’t know.

42% teens are creating characters: avatars such as Meez or anime to express themselves across their personal profile.

41% teens had negative experience as a result of using a social networking site.

12% teens witnessed unpleasant behaviour “frequently” on social networking sites.

50% all sex crimes involved a social networking site.

33% of all Internet initiated sex crimes involve social networking sites.

26% online sex crimes against minors – offenders disseminated information and/or pictures of the victim through victim’s personal social networking sites.

25% had private information made public without their permission.

10% parents of children under age 10 talked about appropriate online behaviour.

67% teenagers know how to hide from their parents, what they do online.

43% teens say if their parents were watching, they would change their online behaviour.

39% tweens and teens think online activity is private from everyone.

20% children think their parents have no idea what they are doing online. (11)

Social Media and Crime

Have we ever stopped and taken the time to pause before posting something?
Have we ever bothered to take Responsibility for what we put out there?

1000 Americans surveyed
50% divulged too much personal data online (3)

Indiscriminate Internet activity can make children and teenagers easier for marketers and fraudsters to target. (2)

Falsifying age online has become common practice by some preadolescents and some parents. (2)

Social Media Crimes include

Racist Abuse
Incidents of Homophobia
Incidents of Grooming
Incidents of Stalking

These take place alongside the general background noise of “generally abusive behaviour,” click-jacking, doxxing, pharming, and other devices designed to steal personal information. (12)

Millions of Social Media crimes evidently go unreported. (12)

Performance Crime

There has been an influx of people posting on social media right before committing a crime. (13)

The advent of Social Media in the past decade has led to a new type of ‘performance crime’ where people create accounts of their law breaking through text, images and video, which are then digitally distributed to the public on a large scale.

The growth of performance crime is tied to celebrity culture that emerged in the 20th century when celebrities became a focus of public interest and becoming a celebrity a career goal.

Feeding off of this celebrity culture, social media has resulted in offenders posting pre-crime confessions, videos of themselves committing offences and post-crime footage holding evidence and bragging about their criminal acts. In the process, these crime performers often generate evidence used for their conviction. (14)

Law enforcement agencies have developed social media based counter performances, a common one being to pose as paedophiles to attract and capture sex offenders.
Professor Ray Surette – Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida (14)

Livestreaming

Recording live an alleged gang rape and live-streaming to a closed group of a few thousand members on a social media platform is going on in our world today. (15)

Social Media – Police Investigations & Court Proceedings

Social media posts can be provided as evidence in court e.g. as a defence or an alibi.

You can go into social media and find out almost anything about anybody.
An officer is assigned to scour social media for clues in any major investigation.
Supt. Dave Haye – Saskatoon Police Service, Canada (13)

Depending on privacy settings, anyone can trace our movements or access our photos and posts, which could even be presented in court.

Social media can provide both an alibi at times and great assistance in a defence case.
But it can also provide corroboration to a Crown theory that could cause difficulty in defending yourself.
Brian Pfefferie – Criminal Defence Lawyer (13)

Lawyers have to be very careful that they are not advising clients to delete or destroy evidence that is already existing online. (13)

Trolling

A “troll” in Internet terminology is someone who is deliberately provocative, upsetting others by starting arguments or posting inflammatory messages on online comment sections. (16)

An internet troll is someone who anonymously post malicious or provocative messages on the Internet with the sole purpose of upsetting or harming others and inciting emotional reactions. (17)

45% American adults have heard of the term troll.
28% admitted malicious online activity directed at somebody they did not know.
Millennials are twice likely to engage in trolling behaviour than those aged 55+.

Chatrooms and Forums have the most active trolls.
45% people who read comments on them, see malicious trolling behaviour.
39% see malicious trolling behaviour on social media sites.

77% think people more likely to engage in trolling behaviour under anonymity. (16)

Social Media provides hate crime perpetrators with a veil of anonymity, making it harder to bring them to justice and potentially impacting on a larger number of people.
London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) (18)

WHY is it so easy to bad mouth and abuse others under this name called Anonymous?
WHY do we allow people to use false names and accept what they say is true?
WHY are we so stimulated and excited watching videos of anything that takes us away from real life stuff?
WHY are we, the users of social media platforms accepting a lower standard of decency?WHY are we choosing to not be aware that our offline reality is the same as online?
In other words, there are no borders.

95% teenagers witnessed bullying on social media and ignored the behaviour. (19)

37% of adult victims think most effective way of stopping trolling is to ignore the trolls. (16)

Rhetoric utilised by trolls often echoes or directly replicates rhetoric of sensationalist news outlets, particularly around disaster narratives; that trolls are fetishizing a story, they are focusing on and exploiting the human interest angles to get attention and generate lols, a certain kind of laughter that trolls traded in essentially.

They were using these stories for their own benefit and although their benefit was laughter and was to just amuse themselves, it was really similar to the benefit generated by and pursued by these sensationalist media outlets…the same attempt to needle the audience to try to generate the strongest possible reaction, that was also there with sensationalist outlets, it is just that instead of being motivated by lols, by laughter, by amusement , they were motivated by advertising revenue and that’s a big difference. But the rhetorical similarities were often so striking that you could not tell the difference between what a troll made bit of content and then something that was actually said by an actual journalist on an actual website. It was very striking.

Trolls look at what they do and essentially think and often make the claim that they are actually helping people, because they are training people how to behave appropriately on the Internet. Many trolls believe that people that they target actually should be thanking them for teaching them how to be a person on the Internet.

Trolls are very attached to their own world views and to their own assumptions about the world and about how other people should behave and what is appropriate and what is not.
Whitney Phillips, Author of This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things –
Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture (20)

Disassociation

Another facet of Internet culture, exemplified through social media.
There is a dis-connection between actions and consequences and a disassociation with potential victim.

Perpetrators young and old commit crimes without hesitation online, whereas offline – IRL (in real life), we have to assume the power of consequences bears a heavier weight. (12)

Cyber Bullying

ALL RISE Say No to Cyber Abuse 2015 Global Survey.
12,556 participants on their experience of online abuse.
http://www.allrisesaynotocyberabuse.com/2015-global-survey-results/

There are two kinds of cyber bullies according to Stopbullying.gov –
The popular ones who resort to such activities to stay popular or to feel powerful.
Those on the fringes of society trolling to fit into society or to get back at a society that excludes them.

Cyber bullying ranges from direct threatening and unpleasant emails to anonymous activities such as trolling.

Cyber bullying appears easy to the bully because they do not see their victim’s reactions in person. In reality, the consequences can be life altering to the extent that the victims could go as far as taking their life or become psychologically distressed enough to require medical intervention. (3)

The individualistic nature of social networking activities makes it difficult to recognise a victim of cyber bullying but there are signs which include avoiding or being anxious around the computer or cell phone and sudden change in behaviour patterns. (3)

The number of children counselled by Childline about online bullying has doubled in last 5 years. (21)

Cyber bullying is the most common online risk for all teenagers.

Cyber bullying can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including –

Depression
Anxiety
Severe Isolation
Suicide (2)

Australia

25% children aged 8 to 15 experienced cyber bullying – 2014.

75% of all schools reported cyber bullying.

Research showed most cyber bullying takes place on Social Media. (22)

The Internet and social media in particular can make bullying behaviours more dangerous to victims.
The fact social media platforms can be slow to remove hurtful or abusive posts can exacerbate its devastating consequences.
Paul Fletcher – Parliamentary Secretary to Federal Minister for Communications (22)

Sexting

Sexting usually means sending or receiving:

Naked pictures of ‘nudes’
Underwear shots
Sexual or ‘dirty pics’
Rude text messages or videos (23)

Teenage boys resort to sending sexually explicit or suggestive messages.
Teenage girls more likely to send inappropriate photos of themselves. (24)

Spreading such information to the extent of getting viral –

17% sexters admitted sharing messages they receive with others.
55% of them share them with more than one person.
(24)

Beyond the personal trauma and humiliation, sexting may cause, there are judicial ramifications as well; some USA states consider such activities as misdemeanours while many group sexting under felony. (3)

WHY do we have Internet detox for children?

South Korea

South Korea have set up a network of boot camps across the nation to offer children a digital detox.

Psychiatrists are urging more action as they are finding evidence too much screen time is damaging developing brains.

It affects the frontal lobes which are important for critical analysis.
Professor Kang Seak Young – Dankook University (25)

How does social media affect our relationships offline?
Are we aware that there is actually no difference online and offline?
Do we realise that our social media life may have taken over our real life?
Do we use social media to escape the world and the pain it brings us?
Do we become different people on different social media platforms?
We have these so called ‘friends’ on social media and are we saying these are people we would talk one to one offline on the street?

WHY do we find it easier to chit chat to strangers on a screen than in real life?
What is this telling us about how we are choosing to live our lives?

Could we agree that the virtual reality world of social media is totally dis-connected from the world, which fosters a false life?
Is it really a separate world where we accept words and images as normal, when we know deep down they are not?

Have we ever considered the real impact of social media on our lives?

How is social media affecting sleep?
How is social media affecting our work?
How is social media affecting our relationships?

WHY is social media linked to depression?
WHY is social media associated with loneliness?
WHY is social media easier than face to face?
WHY are we checking our social media constantly?
WHY are we using social media to avoid real life contact?

WHY do we rely on social media to pep us up?
WHY do we think it is ok to do things on social media but not in real life?
WHY do we see social media as another world, so we can do what we want?

WHY are we not able to live a see through life so we are transparent on ALL social media platforms?

WHY do we change our behaviour when we get attacked on social media?
WHY do we sometimes lash out and attack others because we got hurt?
WHY do we think we can get away with it on social media as it’s not real life?
WHY do we do nothing and allow the bar to drop?
In other words, let the standard drop so others then drop the bar too.

Could it be possible that we prefer the virtual reality world that social media gives us because our real-life world sucks?

Could it be possible we think social media is a fun way of getting through our days because we find life very boring?

Could it be possible we like to think we can make strangers we never met our friends and that gives us a sense of belonging?

Could it be possible that our followers on social media are really important to us as we have zero self-worth?

Could it be possible we have set goals and made it our mission to be popular on social media?

Could it be possible that we feel pressure to be something we are clearly not and social media is the way to keep that false life going?

Could it be possible we want others to see us in a certain way and that is easy to do with social media?

Could it be possible that all our dreams and fantasies can be lived through social media?

“You can create your own lifestyle online, so you can have a fake lifestyle.”
Young person surveyed by Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement (26)

Could it be possible that we never ever need to feel lonely as social media takes care of that for us?

Could it be possible that social media consumes us so much we find it very hard to keep away, even for an hour?

Could it be possible that we use social media to stay up late and forget that our body needs sleep to function?

Could it be possible we deny the fact that social media could be harming us and other people?

Could it be possible that social media has supported us to not engage in society?
In other words, we find it easier to form relationships with strangers on a screen than in real life with those we live with and in our community.

Could it be possible that we get sucked into the lies that are spread on social media?

Could it be possible we jump on the bandwagon of what social media is saying without checking or discerning if it is the Truth?

Could it be possible that social media is damaging us in a big way but we are simply not aware of it?

Could it be possible that we like the anonymity that we can have on social media, so we can live out stuff we would never do offline?

Could it be possible we have hundreds of social media platforms because we as consumers demand more and more?

Could it be possible that social media has become our priority in life – even though we know it is not helping us?

Could it be possible that we feel normal, lying on social media, as everyone else is doing the same?

Could it be possible we like the feeling of smashing others down on social media as they don’t know who we really are?

Could it be possible we give ourselves permission to bad mouth anyone we want on social media, because we can get away with it?

Could it be possible we are completely two different people online and offline when it comes to social media?

Could it be possible we have made it our hobby to troll others online and create propaganda on social media?

Could it be possible our only motive for social media is to get money from others because we know how to?

Generation Y

Have we all heard of Generation Y?

This is the generation born in the 1980’s and 1990’s and typically perceived as increasingly familiar with digital and electronic technology. (27)

Generation Y is unconsciously addicted to social media and as a result they feel a constant societal pressure to be connected with their peers through maintaining a continuous connection with technology. The connectedness is creating new kinds of peer-to-peer relationships that are considerable different from previous generations. (28)

Are we aware of how big bucks are paid depending on the number of followers we have and so this means our famous people can make even more money on social media?

UK

50% age 11-16 say easier to be on Internet with people than face to face.

65% age 15 admit sending naked photo of self at least once.

33% age 12-15 seen hateful content in 2016 directed at a particular group. (21)

Again and again, children and young people say that they have no idea how the internet works, either in ways that may be of interest to them or ways that disempower them.

They feel overwhelmed by the demands of their devices and social networks, angered by the lack of choice over the spread of their data – both visible (through pictures and posts) and invisible (through profiling and data gathering) – and bewildered by the lack of social rules.
Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, 5Rights (21)

The supposedly ‘public space’ of the internet is almost entirely controlled by a series of global private companies with too little responsibility towards children, operating significantly beyond the reach of national laws. (21)

In order to explore how fully children understand their rights in relation to social media companies today, the Children’s Commissioner tested the Terms and Conditions of Instagram used by

56% aged 12 – 15
43% aged 8 – 11

who have a social media account, with a group of young people.

The Terms and Conditions currently run to 17 pages and 5,000 words with language and sentence structure only a postgraduate could be expected to understand. (21)

Children must understand that to use many popular apps they accept the following:

1. Fundamental Privacy is waived

2. App can track even when it is not in use

3. Personal data could be bought and sold

4. Terms could change at any time without notice

5. App could terminate account at its sole discretion

Note – other social media services have similar restrictions and waivers. (21)

I would use Direct Messaging a lot less if I knew they could read them.
They must know no one reads the Terms and Conditions.
If they made it easy then people would actually read it and think twice about the app.
Amy – aged 13

Many social networks leave the user with very little information to exercise their rights of any genuine privacy. (21)

The situation is serious. Young people are unwittingly giving away personal information with no real understanding of who is holding that information, where they are holding it and what they are going to do with it.
Jenny Afia – Schillings Law Firm (21)

Much of the behaviour children complain about online – bullying, sexting, harassment is illegal.

Despite most social media networks having strict community guidelines and defined reporting structures, children and teenagers still say they struggle to get content relating to them removed from the internet.
This is particularly troubling in online bullying cases where the record of abuse is public and permanent. (21)

20% aged 7 – 11 did not know how to report content online or what a report is.
They did not think it would help.

When the Children’s Commissioner requested information from Google and Facebook about the number and types of requests it receives from minors to remove content, neither was able to provide it. (21)

50% aged 14 to 24 said some social media platforms exacerbated feelings of anxiety.

70% users of app for photos and videos felt worse about their body image.

70% have experienced cyber bullying.

91% aged 16 to 24 use the Internet for social media.

51% aged 55 to 64 use the Internet for social media.

23% aged 65 plus use the Internet for social media.

70% increase in young people – past 25 years for Anxiety and Depression. (26)

Social Media is linked with increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep.

Social Media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
Report by The Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement (26)

Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement are calling for

1. A pop up notification when you have spent a certain period of time online.

2. A watermark on photos to indicate that they have been digitally manipulated.

3. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons in school to advise on how to use social media in a healthy way.

4. Intelligent analysis to identify those who may be at risk from poor mental health and discreetly direct them towards help. (26)

16 – 24 age group have the highest incidence of social media use.
Shirley Cranmer CBE – Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health
Dr. Becky Inkster – Cambridge Neuroscience, University of Cambridge.

1 in 4 people worldwide now use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (26)
Whiteman, H. 2015. Social Media: How Does It Affect Our Mental Wellbeing? [Accessed Feb 17].
Available from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275361.php

The platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fuelling a mental health crisis. (26)
Collishaw, S., Maughan, B., Goodman, R., & Pickles, A. Time Trends in Adolescent Mental Health [Accessed Apr 17]
Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15482496

Mental Health

It is not easy to be a child and teenager in today’s society.
There are lots of pressures…
Social Media is also a problem in that children compare themselves unfavourably to images they see online.
Dr. Jon Goldin – Vice Chairman of The Child and Adolescent Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists. (29)

WHY do we go online to check another person’s status?
WHY do we limit our talking on social media so we don’t really find out more about the person?
WHY do we reduce our speech on social media platforms?
WHY do we say much less than we could because it is online?
WHY do we not bother to ring and chat to them and find out about them?

WHY are we making social media a priority before the daily responsibility of life?
WHY are we putting social media before the quality of our sleep rhythm?
WHY do we wake up and check our social media first thing?
WHY do we have a constant habit of checking our social media all day long?

WHY do we need to fill up the void in our real life with social media?
WHY do we go to social media to seek some form of connection?
WHY do we use social media to escape something in our life?
WHY are we no longer able to commit to life because social media has taken over all areas of our life?

WHY are we not asking questions like this with everyone on the street in real life?

GLOBAL

January 2017

21% growth in last 12 months for number of monthly active social media users.

33% + world population uses social media each month.

30% growth each year for mobile social media active users. (30)

World Population – 7.476 billion people.

2.789 billion active social media users.
2.549 billion active mobile social media users. (30)

East Asia and South-East Asia

Highest percentage of active social media accounts.
Highest number of mobile social media accounts. (30)

Asia Pacific

54% of the world’s social media users.
56% of the world’s mobile social media users.

62% growth in global social media users.
64% growth in global mobile social media users. (31)

Saudi Arabia

73% – highest country of people using social media. (30)

United Arab Emirates

46% – increase in the number of people using social media.

Philippines

4 hours 17 mins – average hours on social media each day.

Brazil

3 hours 43 mins users spending on social media each day.

Argentina and Mexico

3 hours and 32 minutes. (30)

Traditional Websites are becoming less relevant as social networks become “walled gardens”, encouraging users to stay with the app for all online activities, purchases and engagements.

Africa

50% growth in mobile social media use during 2016. (31)

New Social Media Users

482,000,000 new social media users signing up in 2016.

5 countries accounted for more than half that growth:
(31)

China +134 million new social media users
India +55 million
Indonesia +27 million
USA +22 million
Brazil +19 million

April 2017

2.91 billion people were active social media users.

2.7 billion people were active mobile social media users. (32)

Dear World

Can we all agree that social media has changed our lives forever?

WHY do we think we can make an ugly comment and get away with it?
WHY on earth do we think slagging off others is fun and ok to do?
WHY do we go around hurting people deliberately on social media?

WHY are we hell bent on finding out the ins and outs of another person’s life?
WHY do we poke our nose into what others are up to on a daily basis?
WHY are we so interested in what other people choose to post online?

WHY do we need others to like us?
What is missing in our lives that we need the constant approval of others?
WHY do we base our self-worth on how many social media friends we have?
WHY do we think it is important to make friends with people we have never met?

What if we each had to have a RESPONSIBILITY online consistently?

What if we had to ensure that we respect others and have a level of decency towards each other on all social media platforms?

What if we had to meet and connect with others on the street and then do the same on social media?

What if we stopped endorsing others in their ill behaviour online?

What if we were more honest when someone posted something that we know is harmfull?

What if we expressed and told another to tell us something about the image they just posted?

What if we told our new social media ‘friend’ that we are not interested in what they get up to in their private life?

What if we were deeply honest enough to say to our group of friends, on social media that daily postings and attacking each other is hurting us All?

What if by reducing our own expression when we talk on social media, it lowers the bar for everything and that includes online abuse?

What if saying nothing and just accepting the abuse that goes on in social media is adding to the global social media issues that we face today?

WHY are we not willing to ask questions about our online behaviour?

Are we aware that there are millions and millions of fake profiles on our social media platforms?
In other words, they are NOT the people we think they are?

What are we choosing to do with our time?
Would it be wise to stop and at least consider if we are taking true RESPONSIBILITY in the way we live offline – in the real world?

WHY as a world have we chosen to think that Freedom of Speech means that we have Freedom to Abuse whoever we want?

Where is our human decency and respect for other fellow humans?

Are we using social media to truly support our lives?
Are we using social media to have a reality that is clearly not true?

Are we simply using social media as our drug of choice?
In other words, it supports us to alter our natural state of being.

Can we join the dots and say that online and offline are EXACTLY the same?

Can we be honest enough to say that our standard of decency has dropped way below common respect and human decency?

Could it be possible that how we choose to use social media today will have an impact on the future of social media?

Could it be possible that it is time we all added the word RESPONSIBILITY into our daily life activities and that includes social media?

Could it be possible that with the word RESPONSIBILITY at the core of our social media, we have a chance to stop the mis-use and ill behaviour that is currently running our world?

Could it be possible that we do not need to wait for the world to change as it starts with us as individuals, as we are part of the whole world?

Could it be that simple?

References

(1) (2017). Mashable – Social Media Day. Mashable. Retrieved June 28, 2017 from
http://mashable.com/smday/

(2) Schurgin O’Keeffe, G., Clarke-Pearson, K., & Council on Communications and Media. (2011). The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents and Families. American Academy of Pediatrics, 127(4), 801 – 803. Retrieved June 28, 2017 from
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/4/800.full

(3) Ramasubbu, S. (2016, May 26). Influence of Social Media on Teenagers. Huffington Post. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/influence-of-social-media-on-teenagers_b_7427740.html

(4) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011

(5) (n.d). Dictionary.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-media

(6) (2016, September). WhatIs.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-media

(7) (2017). Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions). Statista. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/

(8) Hendricks, D. (2013, May 8). Complete History of Social Media: Then and Now. Small Business Trends. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/the-complete-history-of-social-media-infographic.html

(9) Rao, T. (2017, June 12). Social Media is as Harmful as Alcohol and Drugs for Millennials. The Conversation. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
https://theconversation.com/social-media-is-as-harmful-as-alcohol-and-drugs-for-millennials-78418

(10) East, S. (2016, August 1). Teens: This is How Social Media Affects Your Brain. CNN. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/12/health/social-media-brain/index.html

(11) (n.d). Social Media Statistics. GuardChild. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
https://www.guardchild.com/social-media-statistics-2/

(12) Phillips, G. (2016, October 31). Crime, Terrorism and Security: The Dark Side of Social Media. MakeUseOf.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/crime-terrorism-security-dark-side-social-media/

(13) Craig, M. (2017, March 9). How Social Media is Changing Police Investigations and Court Proceedings. Global News. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://globalnews.ca/news/3300102/brittney-gargol-fb-post-law-court/

(14) Surette, R. (2016, January 28). How Social Media is Changing the Way People Commit Crimes and Police Fight Them. LSE US Centre. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2016/01/28/how-social-media-is-changing-the-way-people-commit-crimes-and-police-fight-them/

(15) (2017) Facebook “Rape”. The Week. (Issue 1109) p.7

(16) Gammon, J. (2014, October 20). Over a Quarter of Americans Have Made Malicious Online Comments. YouGov US. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/10/20/over-quarter-americans-admit-malicious-online-comm/

(17) (n.d). Exposing the Internet Troll. The Facts About Universal Medicine. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
http://universalmedicinefacts.com/exposing-the-internet-troll/

(18) (2016, August 14). Metropolitan Police to Target Online Hate Crime and Abuse. BBC News. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37076995

(19) (2017, June 12). Cyber Bullying Statistics. NOBullying.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
https://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-2014/

(20) Phillips, W. (2015, April). This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Interview. Episode 71. MIT Press Podcast. Retrieved June 26, 2017 from
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/why-we-cant-have-nice-things

(21) (2017, January). Growing Up Digital – A Report of the Growing Up Digital Taskforce. Children’s Commissioner for England. (p.5, p.6, p.8, p.11, p12, p.13, p.15)

(22) MamaMia Team. (2014, August 15). 1 in 5 Australian Kids Have Experienced This. And the Consequences Can Be Devastating. MamaMia. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
http://www.mamamia.com.au/cyberbullying-statistics-in-australia/

(23) (n.d). Sexting. Childline. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/sexting/

(24) (n.d). 11 Facts About Sexting. DoSomething.org.  Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-sexting

(25) Carney, M. (2015, September 15). Internet-Addicted South Korean Children Sent to Digital Detox Boot Camp. ABC News. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-13/south-korean-children-seek-help-at-digital-detox-boot-camp/6769766

(26) (2017). #Status of Mind: Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health. Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement. (VIDEO and report p. 3 and pp. 5-6). Retrieved June 16, 2017 from
https://www.rsph.org.uk/our-work/policy/social-media-and-young-people-s-mental-health-and-wellbeing.html

(27) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/generation_y

(28) Cabral, J. (2011). Is Generation Y Addicted to Social Media? The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications. 2(1) 6. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/42a4/bc48d2c4a9b4bf828533199d29954bcf1858.pdf

(29) Marsh, S. (2017, June 18). Number of Under-18s on Antidepressants in England Rises by 12%. The Guardian. Retrieved June 20, 2017 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/18/number-of-under-18s-on-antidepressants-in-england-rises-by-12

(30) Digital in 2017 – Global Overview Report. We Are Social and Hootsuite. (Slides 3, 6, 43, 45, 57, 63). Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
https://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/digital-in-2017-global-overview

(31) Kemp, S. (2017, January 24). Digital in 2017: Global Overview. We Are Social. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
https://wearesocial.com/uk/special-reports/digital-in-2017-global-overview

(32) (2017). Global Digital Population as of April 2017 (in Millions). Statista. Retrieved June 28, 2017 from
https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

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Comments 41

  1. Did anyone really decide whether social media was a good thing for our world, or was it all about just another way to make money?

    This blog exposes some of effects of social media on the world. We have to take individual responsibility, that everyone who uses social media has created what we have, good and bad.

    Like everything in our world, it is there because we feel we need it. So why do we feel we need social media? What does it give us that we feel we did not have? Is it really giving us what we want?

    These are the questions we need to ask, to go deeper and decide whether something is good for us.

    No one else will do this for us, we need to take charge of our own lives. This is the start of bringing true change to our world.

  2. Until this epic and historical blog/document, which is now a record of statistics and questions which need to be asked in the height of the social media frenzy, I have come across very little information or deeply honest conversation about social media, how it is effecting us and the addictive nature of it.

    Let every one of us continue this in depth conversation everywhere between everyone about what we are doing, allowing and cultivating by using social media as a form of ever increasing self medication which may be taking us further away from dealing with and correcting what is not working in our real life situations.

  3. Imagine the chaos, in our world, if computers, cell phones and the internet suddenly did not work.

    That is what I would call an addiction.
    But do we want to be honest enough to admit that?

  4. I know people who still show up to family gatherings but spend half the time (or more) escaping into social media. I know parents who are heavily addicted to social media.

    I know entire families who spend as much time as seems possible with their faces buried in their personal distraction devices.

    I recently observed a neighboring mother and son move from the porch into the house without taking their eyes off of their personal devices after having been buried in their screens until night time fell. As they made their way into the house only their faces stayed lighted by the screens.

    We ache because we miss our selves, we ache because we feel alone, we feel separate from our families and others and it is clear to me that so called “social” media when used to avoid being aware of this discomfort only makes it worse…

    The only thing that has ever truly resolved any issue of mine has been to start by allowing myself to get very honest and feel what is there to feel. When I do this the way out becomes quite clear as long as I am willing to move away from my ‘false comforts’ to try something different.

  5. I’m kind of speechless at this blog.

    It offers a big wake up call.

    I saw a news story this morning about a Dad who suddenly saw how social media had taken over his family’s life – 4 kids. He described how they had totally lost their connection with one another.

    They now have a set social media hour on a weekend and no phones at night.

    He described how everyone’s phone is downstairs and after midnight when he goes to bed, his kid’s phones are beeping with messages from friends who don’t have the night ban.

    There is much here for us to look at.

  6. Social media is the ultimate kind of gossip, saying things that you think no one can make you take responsibility for.
    But the crazy thing that people do not understand, is that what you say is being recorded.

    We all need to understand that we do not get away with anything.
    Everything we do has an effect on our world, even if we choose to ignore that fact.

  7. “Are we using social media to leave a digital footprint for future generations?”

    How many of us think of social media this way?

    If we did, would we take greater care over what we post?

  8. I was just reading about a new piece of law being introduced in Virginia, USA, in response to teenage suicides resulting from cyber abuse.

    The stories about anxiety, depression and other mental health issues associated with social media use are only too common. We all know it is happening. Do we need some hard hitting research on the human toll or do we already know the truth?

    How much worse does it have to get before we realise something needs to change? How many more teenage suicides?

  9. Medical News Today – 3rd July 2017

    The online newspaper reports that the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America Survey showed that between 2005 – 2015

    The percentage of adults using social media went from 7% – 65%.
    Young adults aged 18 – 29 using social media went from 12% – 90%.

    13 – 17 year olds are most likely to use Snapchat and Instagram.

    Text messaging and social media communications are more likely than in person interactions for teenagers and young adults.

    Constant checkers – those who are almost obsessively constantly checking emails, texts and social media accounts have higher stress levels than those that don’t engage with technology and social media as frequently.

    Constant checkers worry about their mental health and more constant checkers than non-constant checkers say they feel disconnected from their family, even when they are in the same room.

    ‘Many studies have observed that more time spent on social media is associated with an increased risk of loneliness and depression’.

    The paper then poses the question of – ‘Does social media affect happiness or are unhappy people using social media?

    The article than mentions various pieces of research that highlights the link between social media use and

    Isolation
    Depression

    Constant checkers are 2.7 times more likely to develop depression.

    More than 25% of participants of a study by Pitts School of Medicine were found to have high indicators of depression.

    Whilst the article points to some benefits with the use of social media and some weak associations to health problems, overall it presents that our use of social media is having a detrimental effect on our health, well-being and relationships.

    Hannah Nicol’s author of the article in Medical News Today closes her piece by saying –

    ‘ … striking a balance between online and real-word social relationships, going forward, may help to keep our mental health in check.’

    The question arises – is social media causing our ill health or did we develop this form of technology out of the divide that we were already living in with each other?

    What I mean by this is that the majority of relationships that we have with each other are not truly good and so out of a demand to further separate and not unite, have we created social media so that we can further live in isolation under the guise that we are more connected as we can connect with anyone in the world within seconds?

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318230.php

  10. I am astounded the DISTRACTION social media and in general the IT world has on people. You only have to walk the streets to see people walking and texting without noticing what is going on in front of them. I know many many people who cannot Live without their fix of Social Media.

    The ethos of the internet is supposed to connect us to the world. Does it? I would say it has had the opposite effect. Why are our children spending large amounts of time on social media and parents not taking the time to check what their children are up to?

    Where is our RESPONSBILITY in what we write and share on Facebook or on any other social media site?

    Why are people using social media as a weapon to bully and intimidate people behind a screen? is it Acceptable and why are the big Social Media companies not doing anything about it?

    This blog is spot on!

  11. Thank you Simple Living Global for presenting the reality of Social Media and our world, the addiction and abuse resulting from it.

    So often I hear conversations that are to do with something seen on social media, being the main topic of conversation…How at any moment a phone can come out to check to see whats new or the latest thing to gossip about, go into comparison over, aspire to be like.

    It is quite an eye opener reading this blog.. and the impact is has on our children, and so young. I will be re reading this as there is so much to deeply consider.

  12. Why has social media become so popular so fast?
    What is social media giving us that we feel we do not have?

    It is all about connection – Connection to people and also connection to self.

    The connection that we get from social media cannot take the place of this connection that I am taking about.

    Having a face to face conversation with someone is so much more powerful and satisfying than social media.

    Social media is allowing us to live in the world and not physically be with people.

    That cannot be a good thing and it is not a way I want to live.

  13. In a report from The Guardian dated 16th September 2015 it quotes ” Teens are so invested in social media that a fifth will wake up and log on at night to make sure they don’t miss out”.. it talks about the pressure teens feel to be available 24/7.

    The pressure to be ‘perfect perfect perfect ‘ creates ridiculously high standards leading to self loathing and bullying.

    This was 2015 so I am sure the statistics have risen since then.

    How long do we let this continue and worsen before we start to look at why this is happening? what is it that is missing in our lives that the need for social media is so?

  14. Some young children go to bed with their kindles like they would a teddy bear,
    I have observed these same children instantly going for the TV or the kindle games the instant any conflict arises between siblings.

    I ask, how will kids in this situation learn to work through things with other people?

    When will they get to practice expressing how they feel and listening to others so that understanding and harmony can be given a chance?

    These are children of educated parents such as professors of higher education.

    I observe a common theme in many families of rationalizing (wanting to believe the marketing) that these games designed for young children are educational… underneath this seemingly ‘better thing’ is there the same old TV ‘baby sitter’ syndrome going on?

    What will it take for us to question this experiment of raising little ones on screen time?

    I ask do we want intellectual education at any expense, at the expense of emotional and social development & quality of life?

  15. I feel how odd this might sound to the modern day person who lives for social media or cannot imagine life without it.

    I do not subscribe to checking any social media and I find it difficult to get going and motivated to get onto the big platforms that the world and its brothers seem to be doing these days.

    Yes I am the odd one but hey ho does that make me wrong?

    I see no purpose and that is what I have as a question in front of me everyday.
    WHY would I bother unless I can feel purpose?
    I do plan to learn and use it to promote great blogs like this as I see that as purpose.

    Posting what I ate for dinner and just chit chat for me holds no meaning or value, so I see no point. Instead that time could be spent studying or researching to write blogs like those on this website. That to me is purpose and time spent wisely.

    I also noticed that it does not drain me. In fact I feel more alive when writing and expressing from my Living way. In other words, walk the walk and talk the talk.

    If we started to use social media with the word RESPONSIBILITY things would be very different out there.

  16. Responsibility is the key word.

    Most parents feel they want to do what is right for their children.
    This blog presents what effect social media is having on our children.

    If we want to take responsibility for our children, our future, we need to educate them about social media. In order to do that we need get real about our own choices in using social media. Why are we using it? Is it really a good thing for our world just because everybody is doing it?

    We have to start to have real conversations about what is going on in our world.

    Everything in the world is there because we have created it.
    Again, RESPONSIBILITY is the key word.

  17. I listened to part of a radio conversation yesterday where they were discussing social media and how there is no truth on social media.

    http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/how-is-social-media-affecting-your-life
    Counselling directory says, under the title of ‘how is social media affecting your life’ ‘more and more clients are coming in because they feel inadequate. They compare and contrast their lives with the ‘electronic friends’ and don’t feel as exciting, as perfect, as fulfilled. Their lives are becoming stressful because of technology not better.

    This seems to me to be creating a huge amount of competitiveness between us. ‘Technology not better’ I have not heard this term. It spells out to me the responsibility we have with what we are posting, why we are looking at it and how we react.

    1. During this conversation they were saying we put fabricated versions of ourselves and our lives on social media, of how we want to come across. What are we doing to ourselves and each other when we do this? It seems to me the above link is showing the outcome of this… why are we doing this?

  18. I hear news stories of people wearing adult diapers so they don’t have to stop gaming, some of these addicts get blood clots from disregarding their bodies’ messages for such long periods of time and actually die… of gaming.
    Is this some futuristic sci-fi story of people who have chosen distraction from their unhappiness, misery and discordant lives, to the point that they are dying in front of the still-accepted-screens of fantasy or is this a real life situation we have all played a part in…?

    In the “What is Intelligence? Part 1” blog, I asked:
    “Can social media, in truth, quell the anxiety or inner ache we use it to avoid being aware of?”

    …but of course we all know the answer, so the question becomes “What will it take for us to change our choices to be ones which bring us not further away but back to a truth worth living?”

  19. Social media can and in many cases is being used to distract our awareness of what is going on in the world.

    It is like the virtual reality stuff, only you think you are part of real life. You feel like you have control of your life, because you are creating it. But is it the truth?

    Denial works for a while, but eventually it catches up with you.

    Like many wonderful things on our world, if we do not use them wisely they can do more harm then good. If we can use social media to bring up and discuss important issues in our world, it can be an amazing tool to bring about real change.

  20. Is calling it social media some kind of trick we like to fall for, being that it is ‘virtually social’ and yet we are hiding from the world of people?

    We can call it ‘social’ but does it not lack the real connection we, deep down, need in a ‘social’ interaction?

    …It seems we do not want to deal with the fact that we are hurting and hiding…

    We know that the distraction does not fix the problem and we know that, like a recreational drug, it is only a delay in facing the consequences of how we have been living.

    Could the answer to our mounting social deprivation crisis be intimacy; true intimacy?

    Could it be that we all need the love that we can only feel when we allow our selves to be vulnerable, open, honest and intimate with our selves, with life and with every person we have the precious opportunity to make eye contact with?

    Could it be as simple as so many of our stories and mythologies say it is;
    that it is all about Love after-all?
    Could it be as simple (and challenging) as making the choice to open our heart no matter why we closed it in the first place?

    1. Just having a chat in the hospital with some friends today – one of them waiting to have chemotherapy and we got onto this subject about being social and out there.

      What it came down to was the fact there was simply no purpose in that activity.
      In other words it was like a recreational drug as you say Jo in your comment.

      I realised recently that I have found it very difficult to engage in social media from day dot and yes most would think this is odd. I tried it out for the business but so far not much going on, although I am aware it is needed. For me unless I can feel purpose, I have no intention ever of chit chatting or posting photos of anything and everything in a moment of madness to later regret it. This is by no means a form of control – it is simply a strong sense of taking RESPONSIBILITY – that what I put out there leaves a digital footprint and there is no getting away from that immutable fact.

      Writing blogs and comments like these have a meaning and to me that is purpose. I have so much to say and there seems to be always more, so why waste a second getting hooked into others people’s stuff for no reason as it really seems pointless.

  21. Finally someone is having conversations about real things. I will not be involved in idle chit chat, it leaves me with an empty feeling. No true connection.

    People are dying to talk about things that really matter in their world. We need to be brave and change our old patterns of nonsense talking.
    Truly meet people, ask them what is going on in their life. Look them in the eyes.

    It starts with taking true responsibility for our own lives and show that commitment to life to other people.
    Live in a way that demonstrates to other people that there is another way to be.

    With support from Simple Living Global, I have been living that way. It has allowed the inner amazingness, that we all have, to surface naturally.

  22. News story yesterday Evening Standard saying a research study found that 9 out of 10 holidaymakers take photographs on their trips with the sole purpose of making friends and workmates jealous on social media.

    33% will time when they upload the holiday pictures for 9am on a Monday for maximum effect.

    First question is how do employers feel knowing staff are going to be on social media instead of working first thing on a Monday morning?

    Next – what type of work focus and output is going to happen if our mind is elsewhere on social media instead of the job we are paid for?

    If we are constantly thinking about others and the choices they have made to get the holiday and our self fury of not making those choices means we are stuck at work, what is the quality of our work going to be?

    Where is our mind going to be that day and what on earth will be going through it with the jealous thoughts?

    So what is the purpose of this and who benefits and how does this help the state of our current world today?

    Are these really boring questions or are they wise to ask?

    If our intention is to make others jealous what is that saying about us?

    What is this telling us about our state of mind, that we need others to feel jealous?

    Has anyone studied what jealousy can do and are we aware of the harm that jealousy comes with?

    Are we merely thinking it’s what everyone does on social media, so we post the holiday snaps and then wait for the likes to determine our mood for the day?

    Is it time to get real and honest about how we are using social media?

    What would our world be like if we used it for the greater good of all and by that I mean talk about the real truth of what is going on in our life and our world? At least that way we get a chance to change the mess we are currently living in.

  23. It is like we are doing everything we can to not be in our life.

    Being on holiday and rather than experience what is going on around us we are taking pictures, so we can make our friends jealous or so we can remember what we saw.

    Why are we avoiding our lives? Is it possible that that is why we are not enjoying our lives?

    Simple Living Global is presenting a way of life that allows us deal with all the things that cause us to avoid real life. It is something we all know how to do (we had it as a 1 year old), we just need to remember it.

  24. An article in The Week Issue 1117, 25th March 2017, p.16 says that ‘If you’re like most Americans, your existence is increasingly dominated by a compulsion to check email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.’ From reading this blog by Simple Living Global it is evident that it is not just Americans that behave in this way but that internet and social media addiction are a global pandemic.

    Devices are described as giving us ‘little dopamine hits of outrage, ego reinforcement, arousal and distraction.’

    Our privacy, attention span and focus on our families and our awareness of the natural world are said to be sacrificed for the above.

    Some may say this is a pessimistic view but it is the reality. Somehow, we have allowed our screens to become our dominate form of interaction with each other.

    Implementing law to ‘restrain our use’ of this technology is suggested.

    But is this the answer? We know when we forceably put restraints on things it is just a cover or a plaster over the problem. Just like any bad weeds in a garden surely we have got to get to the root of the problem to be able to ‘weed them out.’

    And will getting to the root of the problem mean asking some uncomfortable and much needed confronting questions?

  25. An article in the Daily Mail, 22/07/17, talks about how “Paedophiles grooming children as young as nine on a well- known Social Media site.”

    The well known Social Media site has come under fire after it emerged that paedophiles are using a live streaming app to groom children as young as nine.

    They are bombarding the youngsters with sexual questions and requests, asking them to lift up their shirts and take off their clothes.

    The app, which has more than 10 million users, allows people to film themselves on their mobile phones and broadcast to strangers over the Internet.

    The app is supposed to be restricted to children over the age of 13, but users can simply state they are older.

    Paedophiles regularly haunt live streaming apps.
    Earlier this year, the Daily Mail revealed they were targeting youngsters on another platform of this well-known Social Media site.

    The Social Media site has been criticized for being too lax policing content on its main platform.

    Yes, it is totally unacceptable and reprehensible for adults to target and prey on young children and most of us will understandably have feelings of disgust and revulsion – but where does the Responsibility lie in tackling this serious issue?

    Of course, the main Responsibility lies with the person that commits these atrocious acts but they are only doing so because there is the opportunity to do so.

    Is it possible that Responsibility also lies with the parents of the children in being more aware of what their children are getting up to on the Internet?

    Is it possible that Responsibility also lies with the Social Media sites that are not doing enough to protect the vulnerable?

    Is it possible that Responsibility also lies with the government because they are not enforcing stricter policy rules on the Social Media sites?

    Is it possible that Responsibility lies with all of us, even non-parents, in that we also need to be more aware and be more vocal about issues like this one?

  26. Writing in the Evening Standard on 25th August 2017 – Richard Godwin talks about the drinking culture in London. He makes an interesting point when he comments on the reported reduction in the numbers of British people aged 16 and over having at least one drink in the preceding week compared to 2005.

    Godwin says ‘Still, perhaps we’re replacing alcohol with other vices. One theory is that the decline in alcohol (and drug) consumption is linked to the rise of social media. A programmer friend recently likened the abandon with which we use social media now to the gin craze …’

    Interesting that whether alcohol consumption is declining or not the poignant point about this is –

    Is this what we do, replace one vice for another?

    We already know that it is well reported that when people stop smoking cigarettes they often put on weight as they are eating more.

    Does this highlight that by swapping one thing for another we go crazy as we want more and more and this action takes us in the complete opposite direction to understanding WHY we are taking the vice in the first place?

    In 100 years’ time, how many vices will social media have been replaced by and will we keep repeating the same cycle with different faces because we refuse to look at WHY we need these vices?

  27. Daily Mail – 29 April 2017

    Children are being exposed to pornography on social media while searching for celebrities.

    Why are numbers increasing with social media sites boasting they have gained another 9 million users?
    What are they presenting for these children who are our future adult generations?
    Who do we blame and point the finger at?
    Is this all about money or is there something more here to consider?

    Are those who run these platforms accountable in any way?
    Who has the Responsibility here – the social media giants or the parents or both?
    Do we have any research studies that can give us a deeper insight into what goes on when our children are exposed to this type of ill behaviour?
    Do we know how this affects their mind and body and are they aware of any of the hidden ills?

    Is a big fat fine for these large companies going to be the solution or the answer or is there more?
    Is there more we can do – all of us?

    Do we each have a hand in how our social media platforms are run?

    Are we endorsing this ugly stuff by simply saying nothing, doing nothing and just allowing it to continue?
    Are we accepting that this type of abuse on the Internet is ok for our children until something happens to them?
    Are our lax policing and regulation laws on the Internet one step behind what is going on?

    Do we need to get on the front foot now and stay on top of this stuff by taking action?
    Doing nothing confirms no change and that is just simple common sense.

  28. This social media stuff is no joke and I reckon we all need to get honest about what it does for us and what the purpose is.

    Yesterday I made a decision to use my iPad that rarely gets used and it had a social media icon with 174 in a red flag. I find the whole thing boring but thought best get on it and at least do my bit and delete.

    What I found myself doing was looking at photos that were uploaded and then one leads to another and you end up seeing people even if they are not your friends but you know them from someone who is. Of course people seem to generally post what they want and I wonder if anyone stops to really connect and consider if it holds any value in the long term.

    I for one cannot think of any reason to do this if it has no purpose and what was really interesting was I found myself being hooked. What I mean is that I felt like I was almost pulled into this searching and flicking screens and wanting more so to speak. Thank God I rarely ever do this and so it was easy to say “No Thanks” to this nonsense because that it really what it is.

    We as a world have lost the plot and gone bonkers. We have a major global sleep epidemic and I am sure that this social media stuff has a part to play, as people are on it all the time and with this ‘hooking’ pull it’s like a drug if you ask me.

    What is even more scary is that there are hundreds of platforms so it’s become a new way of being connected, but are we really or is this a false reality that suits us because we don’t want the good old fashioned face to face stuff anymore?

  29. Why is it that schools are having to write to parents to warn them about social media apps that have been linked to bullying and suicide?

    Why are we bullying and using social media and the Internet, two sources that could be used for true good, as great harms in society?

    Where are we going with this and where will it lead?

    Is it of any benefit to have websites for over 18s with age restrictions that can be easily bypassed as child users lie about their age?

    Whilst suspending websites and fining companies are great steps – is there more that we all can all do on a daily basis that will make a difference?

    I know that one change that I am making is to open my eyes more to what is going on around me, both on and offline and at least talking about these matters and questioning why they are there?

    Just yesterday I had a conversation with my team at work and we were discussing the prolific drug dealing that occurs on the Internet via social media platforms – as detailed in this blog by Simple Living Global
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/international-youth-day-2017/

    Websites like Simple Living Global are a huge step in mankind’s evolution and will serve us for aeons with pertinent and poignant questions and revelations that we can come back to time and time again.

    Let’s not pretend that things will improve unless we each make changes. This is the True Responsibility that we hold and so it is not just down to our Governments, parents and teachers but all of us in how we conduct ourselves and whether we allow abuse or not towards ourselves or others. We all make a difference and this I find deeply inspiring.

  30. Social media is scary because it seems like you are making connections to people, when you use it.

    But it is empty of the true connection you feel when you meet someone face to face. So when you are doing social media you are always looking for more, because you do not get satisfied with the level of connection that you get from the internet.

    Yes, it can be scary to talk with someone. But if you only interact with people over the internet you will never want to learn to be with people in real life.

    This is happening already and it is the wrong direction. We need more connection and interaction with real people, not less, there is nothing else like it.

  31. Daily Mail – 10th October 2017 Page 4

    ‘Teachers say cyberbullying is a growing problem. While children used to be able to escape playground abuse by going home, now it follows them home via social media.’

    This says it all really and confirms from people working with children on the ground that we cannot liken cyberbullying to playground bullying at all. This is an even more serious type of abuse and this is why our children and youth are killing themselves as a result.
    We have an epidemic on our hands but are we seeing it as such?

    I know that we can all make a difference by saying NO to abuse whether it be on or offline and that is what I now choose to do.

  32. 63% of secondary school pupils wouldn’t mind if social media didn’t exist.

    71% have been on a temporary digital detox to escape the negative effects of social media, such as abuse or low confidence.

    56% admitted to being on the ‘edge of addiction’ when it comes to checking social media regularly.

    Perhaps our youth know perfectly well the behaviours that are harming them.

    What if all they need is consistent support and a bit of role modelling to change that?

    https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/twothirds-of-schoolchildren-would-be-happy-if-social-media-didn-t-exist-study-reveals-a3651251.html

  33. http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2017/08/07/loneliness-epidemic-obesity-isolation/
    The New Daily – 7 August 2017

    Loneliness is at epidemic proportions and experts are saying social media usage is largely to blame.

    With media as the main communication tool for young people, technology is increasingly causing less face to face interaction with people.

    One in six millennials (aged 18 to 34) feeling lonely everyday.

    So WHY are we not choosing to seek meaningful relationships as Dr. Lim – Clinical Psychology Lecturer is saying?

    WHY are they saying Loneliness is a condition that rivals smoking…?

    What is stopping our Youth of today to connect and engage with people face to face?

    What is going on that they seem to find an empty connection with virtual reality and not real life?

    Are we going to see this loneliness condition continue to rise?

    Is it possible to live with others but still feel isolated and lonely?

    Are we equipped to deal with life if we are in this state of mind?

    Are we withdrawing from life by engaging and giving social media our attention?

    Does our focus need to shift so we can change our Priority in Life?
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/what-is-our-priority/

    Would it be wise to Commit to Life in full and see what difference that would make?
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/commitment-to-life-part-1/

    Can we start with education – by informing at a young age the dangers and harm that social media and any media tool can be, if we choose to use it without Responsibility?

    Can we educate our children to use the Internet wisely and for the greater good of ALL and not as a distraction to take us away from our inner-most feelings?

  34. Listen to our children. They know what is true. Did they ask social media to be invented?

    I just read an article about doing a survey, asking teenagers if they liked social media. Many said they would be relieved to not be involved in it.

  35. Social Media has been a part of our world for just over a decade and we all know how popular these social platforms have become. We spend heaps of time on them but we have not found out the impact they have on our mental health.

    Studies have been done which confirm that a social media platform is linked to negative effects on areas of mental well-being including addiction to that particular platform, depression, anxiety, body image and disordered eating.

    According to the researchers, all this can be damaging to mental health.

    There was also evidence that if someone suffered from depression, that using the social media platform could make it worse.

    Time spent on the social media platform was associated with disordered eating attitudes, greater objectified body consciousness and in turn, increased body shame.

    There was also a link between users of this social media platform and alcohol consumption habits and people with bigger online network were more likely to exhibit “problematic alcohol-related behaviours” according to the review.

    The social networking site could be a coping strategy for people with pre-existing anxiety.

    Enough said. Can we all agree that we do have a major issue here and it is not just going to go away? We demand this way of connection and communication and bingo we are given a platform that has over a billion users across the globe sharing all sorts of things.

    How we use social media platforms is entirely our own choice.

    Our choices have consequences and we can sit and blame those making a profit or we can come back to ourselves as individuals and get honest.

    Are we using social media with the Responsibility word at the forefront?

    Are we using social media to fill up a void we feel everyday?

    Are we using a particular social media platform to vent our buried feelings?

    Are we using social media to get even with others who have hurt us?

    Are we using social media to impress others or stand out as we think that’s what we want?

    Are we using social media as a tool to get what we want at the expense of others?

    Are we using social media to not deal with the current tension in our body that we feel everyday?

    The list of questions could go on but what we all need to do is start to act responsibly in what we put out there and what we choose to engage in. Having a laugh, or telling the world what we are up to may sound great on the day but is this the digital footprint we want to leave in this world?

    With TRANSPARENCY becoming a new word that we all need to consider – are we doing something that we don’t want the world to know about online?

    Are we using social media in a way that we think we are getting away with it?

    What this blog and comment are presenting is well worth considering, as the time has come where we can all feel something is seriously wrong with the way we are choosing to spend our online time.

  36. Reading an article in the Evening Standard on 10th November 2017, the writer, Tom Bradby makes some interesting points about our use of social media and it being our demise.

    Bradby points out that ‘there is no hiding place any more for those who abuse their power’, stating that social media has ‘given a voice to the once voiceless …’ and it being ‘the enemy of the powerful everywhere, because it can so easily be used by the once powerless to hold those above them to account.’ He is referring here to the numerous high profile corruption scandals that have been exposed over recent years in industry.

    Bradby also reminds us that on one social media platform, for example, it has ‘become a place where people go to hurl abuse at each other.’

    He closes the article by highlighting that we can continue with our abusive use of social media but in the end there will be a price to pay and that in effect we have created an illness for ourselves by the way that we are using it.

    He has a point.

    I am not opposed to social media. I have been able to find very useful information from having social media accounts; information that opens my eyes as to what is going on in the world which enables me to stay in touch with what is happening where I live and in other parts of the world. I have also been able to share valuable articles through social media, like these written by Simple Living Global.

    Where there is a true purpose to its use, social media is a brilliant communication tool.

  37. I was chatting to someone on the bus the other day. He said social media was his life. He often stays up late chatting to his friends and sometimes strangers. He last line was interesting when he said “I ķnow it is an addiction but I can’t help it. I’m bored”.

    Are we using social media as a way of comfort because we make a choice not to commit and participate in life?

    A great blog to come back to!

  38. Daily Mail – 14 March 2017

    Pupils are to be taught on how to deal with the phenomenon of FOMO – fear of missing out in new lessons on social media pressures.

    Public Health England – Rise Above scheme is to help secondary pupils to build their ‘resilience’ and cope with FOMO.

    They fear that teenagers are being driven towards harmful activiites like smoking, drinking alcohol, substance misuse and risky sexual practices and their aim is to delay and prevent them from engaging in these ‘risky exploratory behaviours’.

    It added that as many as three children in every class have a mental disorder.

    The news story ends with saying that the PHE submission also warned that children who spend too much time on digital devices suffer behaviour issues and lower self-esteem.

    HELLO

    Have we got a clue here and can we simply join the dots and add some common sense?

    We all know our kids are spending way too much time on social media and other Internet activities.
    We know that this can have an affect on their behaviour to the point that they have this FOMO.
    WHY would they think they are missing out and is this a question we need to be asking?

    We could easily just dismiss it in the hope they will grow out of it but is it that simple to just ignore?
    Are we demanding all this social media stuff and the suppliers just keep on giving it to us?
    Are our children under pressures that we may not have quite grasped or taken note of?
    Are we afraid that our kids will be attacked for not taking part in these harmful activities, so we endorse it?
    Are we willing to stand up for Truth and warn against the dangers of alcohol, drugs and risky sexual practices?
    Are we honest enough to admit that our kids pay zero attention to us as we are not true role models because, we ourselves drink alcohol and may even do drugs or risky sexual practices?

    Are we doing anything about the rise in social media use that is having a very harmfull impact on the mental health of our children?

    Do we each have a responsibility to do something even if we do not have children?

    Can we each start by living a life that has Responsibility at the core of every choice?

    Is this too much or way too hard, as we much prefer our comfortable lifestyle that is not challenging us in anyway to step up and be real role models for society, so that we can offer real change?

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