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)
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)
Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
Websites and applications dedicated to –
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) –
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 –
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
ALL RISE Say No to Cyber Abuse 2015 Global Survey.
12,556 participants on their experience of online abuse.
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 –
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 usually means sending or receiving:
Naked pictures of ‘nudes’
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 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?
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?
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
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?
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)
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)
73% – highest country of people using social media. (30)
United Arab Emirates
46% – increase in the number of people using social media.
4 hours 17 mins – average hours on social media each day.
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.
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:
|China||+134 million new social media users|
2.91 billion people were active social media users.
2.7 billion people were active mobile social media users. (32)
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?
(1) (2017). Mashable – Social Media Day. Mashable. Retrieved June 28, 2017 from
(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
(3) Ramasubbu, S. (2016, May 26). Influence of Social Media on Teenagers. Huffington Post. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(4) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011
(5) (n.d). Dictionary.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(6) (2016, September). WhatIs.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(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
(8) Hendricks, D. (2013, May 8). Complete History of Social Media: Then and Now. Small Business Trends. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(9) Rao, T. (2017, June 12). Social Media is as Harmful as Alcohol and Drugs for Millennials. The Conversation. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(10) East, S. (2016, August 1). Teens: This is How Social Media Affects Your Brain. CNN. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(11) (n.d). Social Media Statistics. GuardChild. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(12) Phillips, G. (2016, October 31). Crime, Terrorism and Security: The Dark Side of Social Media. MakeUseOf.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(13) Craig, M. (2017, March 9). How Social Media is Changing Police Investigations and Court Proceedings. Global News. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(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
(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
(17) (n.d). Exposing the Internet Troll. The Facts About Universal Medicine. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
(18) (2016, August 14). Metropolitan Police to Target Online Hate Crime and Abuse. BBC News. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
(19) (2017, June 12). Cyber Bullying Statistics. NOBullying.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
(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
(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
(23) (n.d). Sexting. Childline. Retrieved June 21, 2017 from
(24) (n.d). 11 Facts About Sexting. DoSomething.org. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
(25) Carney, M. (2015, September 15). Internet-Addicted South Korean Children Sent to Digital Detox Boot Camp. ABC News. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
(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
(27) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved June 22, 2017 from
(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
(29) Marsh, S. (2017, June 18). Number of Under-18s on Antidepressants in England Rises by 12%. The Guardian. Retrieved June 20, 2017 from
(30) Digital in 2017 – Global Overview Report. We Are Social and Hootsuite. (Slides 3, 6, 43, 45, 57, 63). Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
(31) Kemp, S. (2017, January 24). Digital in 2017: Global Overview. We Are Social. Retrieved June 27, 2017 from
(32) (2017). Global Digital Population as of April 2017 (in Millions). Statista. Retrieved June 28, 2017 from
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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?
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?
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
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
I listened to part of a radio conversation yesterday where they were discussing social media and how there is no truth on social media.
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.
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?
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?”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
A brilliant video here showing how intrusive and all-consuming social media use can become for our youth and showing how it’s possible to ‘take back control’:
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?
Would it be wise to Commit to Life in full and see what difference that would make?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
From what I am reading in the media coupled with the startling statistics on this website, I have grave concerns for our Youth.
All sorts of things are taking place on social media and the question that springs to mind is, what would have happened if social media was not there?
Would all of these harming behaviours have continued without people knowing about them?
I suspect that they would and therefore we cannot blame the invention of social media for the current forms of abuse and harm that occur on social media networks daily.
Did we know that young women are being targeted on social media by beauticians convincing them to have lip fillers?
Yes this was a news report in the Daily Mail, earlier this year (18th March 2017).
When targeted they are given the impression that if they have the lip filler they will look like their favourite celebrity.
Young women say they feel more confident because they have the lip fillers.
I remember when I used to long for plastic surgery and as the years went on and I started to build a relationship with myself and have given myself the space to understand and accept me, the desire to make physical changes to my body have fallen away.
Could there actually be something missing in young women’s lives for them to seek these supposedly beauty enhancing treatments?
Somehow we do know that this is not the truth and so wouldn’t it be wise to question why there is a demand for lip filler treatments or any other type of body augmentation?
Coverage in the press about an ex social media giant boss saying about social media:
– it is designed to ‘exploit a vulnerability in human psychology’
– it ‘literally changes your relationship with society, with each other’
– it ‘probably interferes with productivity in weird ways’
– ‘God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains’
– the ‘like’ button gives users ‘a little dopamine hit’ to encourage more posts
– it affects your ‘intellectual independence’.
Does this insider offer us something worth considering here?
Is what he says resonating with truth on some level?
Is it time to have a look at our habits and behaviours around social media and the impact it has on ourselves, our relationships and wider society?
Why was social media invented? Was it because deep down we are missing a true connection with each other?
If social media is so much apart of many peoples lives nowadays, can we use it as a tool to bring up real issues in peoples lives? This is what I feel people are missing, real conversation.
This blog is showing that social media has some major problems.
Is social media a place to start a conversation about what is going on and what we can do about it?
A news story from Japan about social media and suicides.
There was a shocking murder in Japan where 9 people were lured to their deaths after sharing about their suicidal thoughts on social media.
Particularly focused on young people, the government is wanting to introduce suicide helplines that are integrated with social media sites and apps to make it easier for people to get help.
They are also wanting to come up with a plan to prevent suicides, including strengthening ‘cyberpatrol’ efforts so that posts encouraging suicide are deleted.
Back when I worked in a social media company, posts about suicide were challenging and sensitive cases to handle, but they were few and far between. It seems we now have a global crisis on our hands.
What is happening for our youth that they are getting suicidal thoughts more and more?
What support are they not getting face to face that they are turning to social media to fill?
What part does social media play in the indulgence of suicidal thoughts?
Are helplines and outsourcing the policing problem to private companies the answer or do we also need to be looking deeper – at what is underneath this crisis?
Talking to a father this week. His daughter is about to turn 9.
His main concern is for her wellbeing in the context of social media. Not boys or the move to ‘big school’ per se, but social media.
He said he knows it is all coming and he is terrified. He is thinking about how to delay giving her a web-enabled mobile phone for as long as possible, though many girls in her class already have one and in senior school it will be the norm. And he is thinking about how to supervise her well enough that she doesn’t get cyber abused or exposed to hideous content.
We talked about how it is for ‘tweens’ and teens growing up now and concluded that talking to them openly and keeping a deep connection with them as they step forward is the absolute key, to help them stay steady.
Metro News – 19 January 2018
More children are seeking a future career in social media.
A report by Education and Employers is saying that kids aged 7 – 11 are inspired by online celebs and vloggers.
Are we going to really stop and question this and is this real?
Are many of our children going to be left disappointed because this ‘future career’ may not be attainable?
Are our kids seeing these online messages from their favourite celebs as the real thing?
Are they setting themselves up to fail because this is not a natural evolution in life?
Are they in some way following vloggers because they want the recognition and attention that these people are getting?
Are our children wanting identification of who they are and they think celebs and vloggers have got it right?
Are they craving something outside of themselves because they lack their inner most connection, which would not want this?
Is social media causing our younger generation a tension and pressure to be something that is not true?
Is it time we started to question everything and not just let this tiny news story be a quick read and say – the end?
There has been much media coverage of how social media was used in the last USA election.
Yes it was a violation of basic human rights. Social media should not use our personal information without our permission.
But are we really so predictable as to how we will vote by our personal profile?
Have we given away our sense of truth to the point where we can be read by a computer program?
Are we making choices around fear and security rather than what we know is True?
Evening Standard – 16 March 2018
News story about a celebrity holding a message on their mobile phone saying –
“Social Media seriously harms your mental health”.
The sign on the back of the phone is like a cigarette packet warning.
It would be true to say that when it comes to famous people that we call celebrities, social media plays a big part. The have millions of followers and whilst some may think this is a great thing, others may not.
We can sit here and speculate that the news story covering a break up with another famous celebrity was caused by social media or other reasons.
The point is, when anyone walks around with that message as a warning, could it be because they have been hurt by the social media world and it really has affected their mental state?
We have created this online stuff that is deeply harmfull in so many ways and what seems to be missing is the word RESPONSIBILITY.
Social Media seems to be a like a drug and we keep wanting more of it and our behaviour is not always sensible or respectfull.
Could it be possible that social media is a reflection of how we choose to live in our daily life?
In other words, online and offline are actually the same and in many cases we behave even more crazy as we think we are getting away with it because it is on a screen and not face to face.
I for one have zero interest in putting any nonsense out into the world and choose not to engage in social media unless I can feel a purpose.
I see no point in adding any more poison into this world of ours and I have learned my lesson that we can through our choices harm this world of ours or contribute to truly healing it. I choose the latter and have done my best for over a decade now to ensure I do not add to the harm on our planet or to my fellow brothers that I call Humanity.
I read an article today where mothers were being interviewed about their daughters’ internet use. They were all very concerned.
I was shocked at the number of hours that these children and teenagers spent online.
A 13 year old spent – 10 hours a week online
6 year old – 8 hours a week
10 year old – 16 hours a week
11 year old – 24 hours a week
13 year old – 20 hours a week
Many spent this amount of time online on social media, with concerns being raised that the need to constantly be in touch with friends is making children and teenagers anxious, irritable and unhappy.
One mother shared how when her daughter has been using a screen for a while she becomes unreasonable. The mother stated that she has not noticed her be like that when she is doing other things.
Is there something here that we need to take note of?
Is our use of screen time doing more harm than true good?
Why are we allowing our kids to be hooked onto screens at such early ages?
Is it because it suits us?
When will we recognise as adults that we are the role models for our youth and that they model their behaviour on what we do and what we allow and so is it possible that we are responsible for creating this screen generation?
Could we start to turn this around by addressing our own use of screen time, getting to the root cause of why we are addicted and why we use it as a form of distraction and disconnection?
Thank you for this comment RP. I have read this too and I have realised that we seem to have people creating the needs of what society want and they seem to be on the ‘front foot’. By that I mean they know what we are demanding and they are already in the creation of what they can supply to keep our needs met even though it is harmfull to say the least.
What on earth are we doing having apps that are designed to harm our children?
Who do we blame as we seem to always want to point the finger at someone?
Is it time to look at the demand and supply chain here?
If our kids were not wanting this type of stuff – it simply would not exist as the suppliers would be out of business.
Could it be possible that the demand exists because we as parents are not meeting our kids for who they truly are and this creates a void – a gap which allows for something else to come in and take that empty feeling away?
We are the creators of all our ills and it is high time we each started looking at our own lives to see where we are contributing.
I have a responsibility as an elder in my community and also to the young children I know in my life. As a true role model this stuff is not on my radar and I live in a way that I know can and will support others and it is my duty to humanity not only to bring awareness about this type of ugly stuff but also help in whatever way I can to present another way.
The truth is SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT and if we just start with that in our conversations then at least we are expressing. Saying nothing, circulating the same old news story and accepting what is going on in our world will mean no change.
I for one, cannot and will not hold back when it comes to delivering Truth.
This website alone is living proof of that fact.
The Times – 11 April 2018
Drug dealers are openly using a big social media platform to sell drugs, adding to a crisis that is costing lives in Britain – an investigation by The Times has found.
Illegal and Prescription-only drugs are touted on the site which has 40 million users in UK.
Drugs offered include Xanax – a powerful tranquiliser and counterfeit Valium both linked to dozens of deaths.
Dealers even offer recorded delivery with tracking numbers pledging parcels will arrive within 24 hours.
The UK is the world’s second largest market for online sales of Xanax, with organised crime gangs using concealed sites on the dark web to import huge quantities of counterfeit drugs from China.
Police in Scotland said that Xanax was becoming a national problem.
Would it be true to say that this drug is actually a global problem, knowing that it is the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States?
So here we have a drug openly being promoted on social media.
Who are we going to blame and where does all this stop?
Are the dealers on the front foot or do we go deeper into the supply chain?
Is there any responsibility for those creating the counterfeit drugs, whose intention it is to deceive or defraud?
What about those who manufacture in large quantities like China?
What about the original intention of those who came up with this – are they responsible?
OR are they just finding a way to supply a lucrative market that they know will bring in money?
Is money the bottom line here or is it us – the ones who want a pill to pop to not deal with the anxiety and panic that we have?
What about those who create the counterfeit with the intention to deceive and defraud?
Is the real responsibility those of us who make the demands?
Would it be true to say that if there was no demand, the supply could simply not exist?
Is this making sense?
Can we join the dots here and get some conversations and discussions going about the demand and supply chain and how it all works?
Could it be possible that the reason we have a national problem, a crisis and global epidemic is because something is not right with the way we are living?
Has anyone asked WHY does anyone have anxiety and panic disorders and what needs to change so we can eliminate the symptoms by addressing the root cause?
Has anyone visited this website and found the presentations and comments like this, making sense?
The Times – 4 May 2018
Judges and Magistrates are being offered training sessions in how to avoid stress because of the “intolerable” pressure” of abuse on social media and increasing number of disturbing sex and child abuse cases.
Is coping and managing our stress a solution?
Our blog presenting questions on this is worth reading –
WHY are our judges being threatened and physically abused?
40% of Crown Court time is spent on sexual offence cases.
Going forward, the aim is to give judges a varied diet of work so they did not deal with sex offences cases for lengthy periods.
So here we have the evidence that even those who are at the top of our justice system are human and are experiencing more of what in the past was not a major topic.
Should we all be asking what is giving rise to the increase in sex offences?
Does social media and the way we abuse it have a hand in this?
Are each of us taking full Responsibility for what we put out there with every choice we make in front of a screen?
WHY do our judges or any adult have to ‘cope’ with online abuse?
Would it be true to say that online abuse is the exact same as offline abuse?
In other words, what we do in the real world is no different to our online world.
Abuse is abuse and we cannot change it or dilute it or reduce it to something else.
It is what it is and our world has somehow got used to accepting abuse like it is normal because so many are doing it.
We each have a hand in what is going on in our world and it is up to each and everyone of us to take stock of what we are choosing to do when it comes to every area of life, not just social media.
Daily Mail – 9th December 2017
I recently read an article in this newspaper, that shared the ins and outs of what is really going on online for our children and teenagers. It described how a teenage girl of school age was filming herself to a live audience of more then 100 people. This is commonplace.
Some of the girls that do this wear their school uniform or lingerie for the viewers. The person filming themselves is known as the ‘broadcaster’.
One such app that has this type of live streaming allows the audience to offer virtual gifts to the broadcasters. When the broadcasters have collected 40,000 gifts they can exchange this for real money. This is the equivalent of approx. £150, a way to keep the broadcasters interest.
The app is owned by a multi-billion dollar man who is described as a ‘…force to be aware of.’
This is such a serious issue and many of us may choose to switch off, give up or pretend that we have not read or seen this, but it is happening and could be occurring within our homes.
Crime gangs actually charge paedophiles to watch children being abused.
British police are overwhelmed by this with –
112 complaints per day
400 people arrested per month
70,000 minimum number of investigations conducted each year
The numbers are said to be unprecedented
In 2017 the UK for the first time jailed someone for targeting a child via a live streaming app. The child was nine and the perpetrator persuaded them to expose themselves online.
My question is – what are children doing on social media and how do they get access?
Are we leaving our children to their own devices?
Have we stopped conversing with them, so they go elsewhere for attention?
Does this then place them into risky situations where they are then exposed to people who will exploit and abuse them?
Online video content is described as the Top of the Pops of today.
Anyone can set up an account on a social media platform and start broadcasting. Some may do it through sexualised behaviour, others may do it through online gaming and e-sports.
Social media has become a platform where our youth seek recognition through the number of viewers, followers and likes they get. It is also very easy to become famous and make money through social media.
Having read this I know that I have a personal responsibility to keep my eyes and ears open for our Youth as well as our children so that I am clued up and am are able to read the signs when something is not right.
Even though I am not a parent I know that I have a personal responsibility to connect with any child I meet and to live as a responsible role model myself, so that any child that I come across gets to meet someone who does care about them and genuinely wants to know what is going on in their life. This can make all the difference to how they feel about life, themselves, others and the choices they then make.
Project Alpha is a social media hub announced to tackle gang-related online content
Savid Javid, Home Secretary has announced that £1.38 million will be given for a 20 strong team of police staff and officers to disrupt and remove overt and covert on-line content.
The social media hub will proactively flag illegal and harmful content for social media companies to take down. This will also allow the police to prevent violence on the streets by spotting gang related messages that generate the most risk and violence.
I know that the police can spend a lot of time tracking violent content and the fact that a specialist team has now been brought in to deal with this brings to public attention the fact that this is a very serious issue and one that has been going on for a long long time.
Social media has now become a playground for abuse but why is this happening?
Are we ready and willing to contemplate the questions posed here in this article on Social Media by Simple Living Global?
Are we willing to study this website and this word RESPONSIBILITY which runs throughout to truly understand what it means and if embraced and lived in daily life – what RESPONSIBILITY will mean for all of us?
I for one am ready and willing as the online and offline abuse that we have in this world has to stop as it is deeply harming us ALL.
The Guardian – 16 June 2018
A London music group were banned by court order from making music without police permission. This was deemed as ‘a legally unprecedented move’.
The group were banned from mentioning death or injury and from talking about postcodes in a gang context. They must also give notice to the police within 24 hours of releasing new videos and give 48 hours’ notice of the date or location of any performance or recording and allow police officers to attend.
The article goes on to talk about a rival gang video that had been uploaded to a social media networking site, threatening a family member of the London music group.
I attended a gangs training course a few years ago and the trainer spoke with us about using social media for research as a way to understand what our youth are dealing with today because they use social media so much and basically log all activity on there. He stated that if we wanted to know what is going on and the extent of the violence, check social media.
Why is there a demand for violent viewing online?
If there were no-one watching the videos, would anyone bother to make them?
We have to get very frank about this and admit that our very disregarding use of social media is not just one way. It is not just the people who post the violent videos or write nasty words but also the fact that there is a market for it, which is the greatest corruption.
If we started to look at why we need this kind of stimulation, we may start to make inroads into reducing the violent images we see online.
Another key question is – why is this stuff allowed to be posted online and why is there no penalty for doing so?
CNN – 17 July 2018
A new study published this week in the medical journal JAMA is telling us that the more teenagers check social media and stream video, the more likely they might develop symptoms of ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental disorder and the symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, restlessness or impulsivity that is more severe, frequent of debilitating than normal.
More research is needed to determine whether that relationship is causal or reflects reverse causation.
There is much more to read on this story but more to the point –
SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
What we seem to be doing over and over again is waiting for even more research and when it is in our face, then we want consistent studies and more research and so it goes on and on. This is how our current Intelligence operates.
What if we suspend all our ideals and beliefs and simply joined the dots?
What if we just look at it from a very simple, practical, real life perspective?
WHY are our kids unable to settle and be with themselves?
What is missing that our children need something to do constantly?
What is making them so restless to the point it becomes a mental disorder?
WHY are teenagers so hooked into this social media and video streaming?
What is missing for them in their life that they need this constant companion?
Do we need to bring in good old fashion discipline and live by example?
In other words – we the adults become real role models so we can reflect that there is another way to live and be in this world?
Is it time we take these research studies seriously and get on the front foot?
In other words, we know there is a big problem here so let’s respond and take action.
WHY do we simply wait by sitting on the fence, hoping it will go away because we all know it will not and looking at the state of our world today that we have created, things are getting worse?
Science Daily – 9 July 2018
Cyberbullying may be linked to higher use of social network sites by school children aged 14 – 17 years, rather than to simply having a social network profile, according to a new study.
12,372 students aged 14 – 17 across 7 countries
As this study was observational by nature, it limits conclusions about the direct causes of cyberbullying.
As 5 years have passed since the data used in the study was collected, its ability to represent the current picture of cyberbullying may be limited.
The above is highlighting part of the study and it is enough to comment on this blog.
With any research we always seem to have the ‘maybe’ and it leaves it open for more research and I have come to ask – why is this always the case?
When we observe real life, surely this is the anecdotal evidence that could bring in more truth, than any other form of so called scientific research?
I am no academic, or bigwig when it comes to the current world of intelligence, but I do have common sense and it makes no sense that we keep dismissing what is under our very nose, so to speak and with no disrespect to our researchers and scientists.
My take is we need to all wake up and get the facts out there with independent research.
Talk to children, teenagers, young adults, teachers, parents and everyone, everywhere and gather the real life stuff that could hold greater answers, so we can get to the truth.
What would benefit society is to have up to date facts and statistics and in this particular study, the data is 5 years old.
With the rise in social media use and the phenomenal pace at which things are moving – is it time for us all to step up and get on the front foot?
As a researcher and reporter of global news, I have noticed literally all research is out of date, so to speak by the time we get it in the journals and then reported to us, the public.
Back to this story – we have evidence that there is a link with cyberbullying and social network sites. So do we really need more and more research to tell us this today?
If we join the dots and keep it simple – could we say it does make sense because we have this virtual reality where we think we can behave different online to offline – real life.
We have the added use of being anonymous and in the case of teens feeling that it is ok to bully another without even considering the consequences.
OR is it possible that these social network sites are designed to distract and dis-connect us from others as this is what seems to be the trend and what we the customers are asking for.
The most important question would be WHY is there a link?
Then a suggestion if I may – can we all get talking at our dinner table conversations about this much needed topic – cyberbullying and social media?
We are in the age of not only social media but social media influencers. Social Media influencers are people who have a large following. Influencers are able to persuade people to do certain things or buy products because they are deemed as ‘credible’ in their field. Social Media influencers are often paid.
Just this Friday 20th July, the Australian government were exposed as having paid £600,000 to social media influencers to promote its message of more exercise to young women as part of a Public Health campaign.
What happened to good old fashioned talking and being role models in our community as a way to initiate change?
The fact that Government have now fallen privy to this is concerning as £600,000 is a lot of tax payers money.
How effective was the campaign?
Just today I was speaking with someone I know and her son and in the topic of discussion her son asked why the person did not spread their message on social media. His mother answered that there was no social media in that day and we both agreed that talking was the social media.
What has happened to good old talking and real conversations? I am not saying do away with social media but what if we brought back the art of conversation and used this as our baseline for interacting on social media?
Would we be able to raise the bar on topics of discussion and have no need to artificially fabricate things by paying people to spread the word?
Real Talking – Part 1 by Simple Living Global is a must read for anyone interested in expanding on this topic further.
This is a worthy comment that most of us need to take note of.
I agree with you Shevon that paying anyone to spread the word is a force because it is not a natural thing to do.
Before social media existed we seemed to have done it with our everyday conversations but if we just observe on the bus, train and plane – it is the same. Most are on their social media doing what they do with little or any awareness about what is going on around them. This is serious and we have already got statistics telling us what this checked out state of being is doing to our human body.
We cannot ignore the fact that being in front of a screen for prolonged periods or getting addicted to checking into social media is doing something to us that is not good, to say the least.
Back to the comment – if we took money out of the equation, what would we put out on social media?
What type of content are we likely to find if we made social media about taking RESPONSIBILITY – in other words we cannot put out anything or have a licence to abuse others or make money from others (which is abuse)?
If I was a policy maker – I would ensure that those who take RESPONSIBILITY are the ones who would get a licence and that way we would see less harm in our world.
We are currently in a very serious mess on earth and things are out of control.
We have this insatiable desire to want more and post more on social media and does anyone stop long enough to ask WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
I am living proof that we do not have to be sucked into the addiction that is a modern day plague called social media.
We do have a choice what we do with our time and what we want from these platforms.
I have a Twitter account and in less than a year, I have posted well over 700 news stories and that is daily 2 – 5. I read each story and then link it to blogs from this website.
Whether people do the like thing or not or retweet or not – makes no difference to my state of mind. I KNOW that reporting what is going on in our world is important and because I have the skills to contribute in this way, I KNOW I am in no way adding to the harm that is currently on our world wide web.
Imagine our world if we all started sharing the real truth about what is actually going on in our world instead of spending all the time we can on posting and streaming stuff that is not helping us to evolve.
14 July 2018
Ofcom: How social media blurs the news.
MOST people reading news on unregulated platforms cannot tell the difference between it and other content, Ofcom has warned.
The regulator said the reason was because social media, often accessed on smartphones, ‘blurs the boundaries’.
This has a ‘detrimental’ impact on how users question the world around them and ‘important implications for our democracy’.
It reports Ofcom tracked 22 people for a week to interpret how they read the news and the impact this had on their lives.
For their wider research, 118 people were surveyed.
It found three-quarters read news on their phone and had heard of fake news but many did not know what the term meant.
Ofcom said smartphones turn users into ‘passive’ consumers who do not know the source of news on social media.
They also assume friends’ posts are reliable and a story is important, if it has lots of likes or shares.
So what is this showing us here?
Do the news platforms have a responsibility to the people with the news they are providing?
Consumer, this is us.. do we as the consumer have a responsibility with what we choose to read and from where?
Are we discerning for ourselves, as we all have this ability, what is the truth and what is not?
Are we just following another in their choice of news without feeling how it is for us?
What is the point of blurring news?
Fake news.. WHY?
Are our suppliers of news filling us with unrealities?
Are we choosing to take it on blindly?
Do we care enough to seek the Truth and look for news providers that offer this?
Does seeking the Truth come with connection with ourselves and our own knowing?
Is this our responsibility?
This comment from you Ruth sticks out for me, simply because I am committed to researching news stories and reporting by way of daily Twitter which I have been doing for the past year and also by comments on this website, if it relates to a blog.
We all know that media stories get chopped and changed and altered and circulated with a flavour that suits the writer and the readers. News needs the masses to keep their business going and it is well known that not all journalists have a moral compass that they use or hold the absolute integrity when it comes to reporting.
ADD to this the latest – FAKE NEWS and things are even worse.
We like to blame but if we ignored it then it may just go in another direction.
BUT we need to admit we want the fake stuff for whatever reason and we don’t question it.
In fact, our world is not great when it comes to questioning and digging deep – which for me is a form of Responsibility.
We are taking the time and space to question things in life that do not seem right and even if the majority are nodding, we are saying something else – not just accepting, agreeing and going with it as that feels the easy option.
What I find very interesting in Ruth’s comment is people think the stories are important if it shows a lot of “likes or shares”.
So here we have modern age stuff – social media platforms, where so many people ‘flick read’ (I made that up), which is glance, flick over the whole thing and not really pause or take much note of what they are reading, but go straight to the likes and circulating happens at galactic speed because we seem to have a desire to subscribe to stuff that is NOT TRUTH.
WHY is that and why have we not bothered to question this and keep questioning until we get to the answer?
Does it suit us in some way and gives us something?
All I know from my own lived experience, is living truth, writing truth and reporting truth does not make you popular.
One day, I know beyond doubt scholars of the future will be looking at studying those back in the early 21st century and finding out what they were doing, how they lived and moved and what choices they made and WHY they were not popular.
This comment will help at that time because I am spelling it out now.
In 2018 as I write this, the masses do not want the absolute truth because it calls us to that word that is not popular – RESPONSIBILITY.
28 June 2018
‘Doctors are demanding action to stop patients rating their attractiveness and capabilities in recordings of consultations posted on social media…
Research has shown that patients only remember one third of the content of their consultation, so they are allowed to use recordings as a memory aide, says the Daily Mail.’
This does not make sense – Patients are allowed to record to aide their understanding of what is said in the consultation room but then this is being bastardised by people adding them to social media.
What is it about human nature that we have a tendency to corrupt everything?
Why can things not be left alone for the purpose that they were introduced?
Are we really interested in whatever medical diagnosis we have and why we have it and what we can to do heal, if we are wasting our time posting consultations online?
Why is this really happening?
We cannot blame the existence of the internet or social media for all the careless activities online as is it possible that as long as we do not have to be accountable and responsible for our actions, we will behave however we want?
Patients could be potentially sued or sanctioned for posting such audio or visual content online.
Some kind of sanction is definitely required as most of us do not learn to stop harming behaviour unless there is a consequence to our actions.
I am so not into social media in the way it is generally used.
Today apparently was my first anniversary on Twitter.
I made a choice last year to research news stories globally and do a Tweet every single day and see how I go.
At first it was not easy as we had very few characters, but that soon changed.
There is a lot of fun making sure that every tweet is used to the max so I end up with the zero. This means I have used every single character available.
Reading the news story and then picking out the highlights and bullet pointing them has to be accurate.
I then link it to blogs from this website that are relevant to the story.
I upped it to 2 tweets and this has been consistent for a long time now.
Every day I research and find more links to tweet but there is other work to be done so I stick generally to 2 a day.
If time and space is there I have posted up to 6 in one day but not often.
The truth is I have over 400 links to report so not short of content, but as there is nothing inside me that needs to get them out, I just do the minimum and that consistency is very valuable to me.
Putting out there stuff that we all need to know and be aware of makes sense and has a purpose.
I am so not interested in spending anytime looking to follow others or market myself to get more likes or whatever else this platform offers.
The way I use this form of social media is super important.
I have a responsibility to not add to the ill that we have created on this earth and by that I mean I am not going to harm me or others with my behaviour.
It is rare I guess to have a Twitter account like @BinaPattel, but what if there is a purpose to this and what if our scholars of the future will one day study this woman and know beyond doubt she was living another way and not getting caught in the buzz of that era called ‘social media’ – back in the early 21st century?
The Guardian – 8 September 2018
In an article on weddings and the high costs to guests, Jack Duckett – senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel is quoted as saying –
“While in the past guests may have recycled wedding garments, the omnipresence of social media arguably adds pressure to create a new look for every wedding, for fear of being photographed in the same outfit at multiple events”
The pressure is causing many people to spend more than they can afford, leading to thousands of pounds in debt.
Is this blog from Simple Living Global from real life experience worth us taking note of regarding our lifestyle choices with money?
Do we buy clothes so we can dress to impress rather than dress based on who we feel we are from within, whether others approve or not?
Do we try to impress with most things that we spend our money on?
Do we need to be looking sideways at what others are doing or is it enough to be content with who we are and what we have?
Is social media really to blame or is it just exposing the current trend of us consuming more and more?
This blog is worth reading – https://simplelivingglobal.com/more-more-more/
In the end does it really matter what we have materialistically and what others think?
Does this do anything to evolve us?
What if there is more?
What if the way that we lived and how others felt being around us is more important?
What if this allows all of us to grow?
What if before we posted anything on social media we first asked ourselves the reason for posting – is it to promote self or for the benefit of others?
Could this be a place to start?
Quartz – 25 October 2018
Have we heard of “Digital Kidnapping”?
This occurs when photographs of people’s children posted on social media are stolen by others. They then role play as the child, creating backstories and children can be “adopted” to be a part of intricate plots, larger role plays and relationships.
Taking pictures of our children and showing them to others has long been an established practice, but now with the advent of social media this has gone to a whole new level. In the past we the photographs would remain in the safety of our own homes, but not now.
A study in 2016 found that parents shared on average 116 photos of their children online and one company dedicated to shielding children from predators, found that 90% of children have photos on social media by age 2.
What has got into us that we feel the need to jeopardise our children’s privacy by posting so many photographs online?
What also leads us to exploit the photographs that we see posted online?
Have we ever questioned, why we are using them for fake stories in a fantasy world?
What are we getting out of this?
This all seems very strange and a prime example of how our use of the internet and social media has now gone to extremes.
If we are to look after and care for our children, in more than just the physical sense, how much and whether we post anything about them on social media, is something that we all need to seriously consider.
Healthline – 9 December 2018
New research states that social media platforms are greatly affecting our mental health.
The FOMO is Real and social media does increase Depression and Loneliness.
United States – 77% of all Americans have a social media profile of some kind.
Despite the popularity and rapidity of social media which is in all facets of our lives, there is a significant lack of clear data about how they affect us personally: our behaviours, social relationships and our mental health.
Studies have linked the use of social media to depression, anxiety, poorer sleep quality, lower self-esteem, inattention and hyperactivity – often in teenagers and adolescents.
A new study has concluded that there is in fact a causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness.
The study was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
The researchers say this is the first time a causal link has ever been established in scientific research.
Professor of Psychology – Oscar Ybarra PhD at the University of Michigan says “what happens is that the more you use the social media platforms, the more social comparisons tend to induce and that relates to these decrements in how people are feeling. These constant ‘upward social comparisons’ can happen hundreds of times each day, depending on how frequently you check your social media feeds.”
Fear of missing out FOMO, is another mental health effect that has been strongly linked with the use of social media.
Professor of Psychology – Amy Summerville PhD at Miami University in Ohio is an expert on issues of regret and the psychology of “what might have been”.
She explains that FOMO is an extension of larger issues of inclusion and social standing.
The FOMO experience specifically is this feeling that I personally could have been there but I wasn’t. Part of the reason could be that we are not being included by the people we have important social relationships with.
The use of social media and technology today has created a world in which we can gaze into our own crystal ball to see what our friends are doing at almost any time of the day.
So here is the extract, which highlights clearly that there is a link between our time on social media and our mental health.
While we wait for more research, as that is what the norm is in any given study – they want more and so we wait for more and then more, can we join the dots and make any sense of this?
We have made it our normal to check our social media platforms hundreds of times a day and we could say that this behaviour is addictive.
But just because the masses are doing it – how can this be natural for our health and well-being?
We seem to think if most of us do it there is the licence that says “this is normal”.
Spending our life around social medial is not normal at all, but society has moved the goal post when it comes to what is normal and what is not.
We can spend as much of our time and money, call it resources on future studies to confirm this and that, but if we for one moment put on our common sense hat and join the dots, we could simply work it out that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
Let’s get back to good old fashion talking and the connection we all innately have with other human beings.
What would a study like that show us or is this something researchers are not interested in?
The Guardian – 5th January 2019
Teenagers must be protected from social media’s harmful affects.
The finding that the alarmingly high rate of depression in British teenage girls is closely correlated to time spent on social media is extremely concerning. Research drawn from almost 11,000 14-year-olds found that two in five girls are on social media for for at least three hours a day – with half as many boys engaged to the same extent. More than a third of depressed girls have experienced online harassment. About half of affected girls suffered disruptive sleep, compared with 20% of depressed boys.
Three hours is a long time to spend on social media in which much content can be covered. It seems anyone can post anything these days with no care about the affects it could have on others – or the intention is to hurt others as in cyberbullying.
Why are our teenagers drawn to social media?
Is it time for us to look at why our teenage girls are spending so much time on social media?
What could be missing in their lives that sends them to social media to look for it?
How often do we connect with our teenagers, spend time with them, talk with them, listen?
Reading about social media moderators today it is an eye opener how much pressure they are under and how much they struggle to deal with the content that they see and read.
Some companies actually recruit based on how well people are able to cope with violent imagery.
Large amount of contact workers are used who earn 10 times less than permanent staff.
The following issues exist –
High staff turnover
Difficulty in applying policy consistently
Employees telling dark jokes about committing suicide to cope
Staff smoking marijuana in their breaks to numb their emotions
People being fired easily for making errors
Remaining staff living in fear in case the sacked employee returns with a vengeance
One man spends 30 seconds to review a post and reviews about 400 per day.
Basically moderators are working in abusive environments and by abuse I mean that they are not working in an environment that at a basic human level is offering decency, respect and equality amongst workers.
Therefore is it wise to ask – how much are moderators really going to be able to spot, report and block online abuse if they are working in an abusive environment?
Could this be a blind spot within them?
In other words, they have accepted the abuse in their working environment as normal and therefore they are not able to call out and stop any abuse that they see towards others?
How is it possible for any organisation that does not treat their staff well, think that they are able to sincerely tackle online abuse?
I am noticing more and more how much we are addicted to our screens and social media.
Over the years I have observed colleagues scrolling through their feeds in between client meetings and whilst on training courses.
I also observed a young woman walking down the stairs recently eyes fixated on her phone, whilst looking at her feed.
What is also of concern is the vast amount of porn or ‘soft porn’ as some may call it on social media.
I have noticed men on a few occasions scrolling through their feeds and there being photographs of women scantily dressed with breasts exposed.
Something is most certainly not right if –
We cannot concentrate at work without looking at our phones
We are putting ourselves in risky situations like walking down stairs or crossing the road (I have seen that before too) with eyes on our phone.
That we have a plethora of provocative photographs of women being posted and no-one is questioning why.
What have we done with the creation of social media – a tool that was supposedly designed to help us connect with each other?
The Times – 30 March 2019
This news story today is telling us that children with mental health problems will routinely be questioned about social media use by doctors, under professional guidance for psychiatrists.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says questions about technology must become a “core part” of assessing children for mental health treatment.
For the first time, the professional standards body for psychiatrists says doctors should ask children about “areas that worry them in their digital lives” and whether it affects their schoolwork and mood as well as signs of eating disorders and self- harm.
There are those who do not agree with this as they say there is not enough evidence and giving in to a moral panic trivialises addiction.
Depression and anxiety are rising among young people and it has been suggested that social media contributes to this.
So how do we address this, or are we going to look at the bigger picture and not get caught into previous evidence which is saying there is no harm in screen time?
We can dismiss this all as dramatically low quality and overhyped research as it has been said or we could question this further.
First question is who benefits from research of this kind?
Next – let’s get bold and call out more
Those who oppose it – who pays them and what are they subscribing to themselves when it comes to social media?
Are the people, the average jo on the street, getting to learn and hear the real facts, or are stats out of date and a passport simply for even more research as all studies seem to have something saying “we need more research”?
Look at the example of smoking tobacco and the libraries full of research studies over the centuries telling us it kills, but yet we come up with more and more research telling us what we ALL know.
Is this going to be the case down the line with Social Media?
Are we dismissing something now for whatever reason and saying we are hyping it all, up when in truth there may just be something here for us all to consider?
This blog is spelling out volumes for those who are open, ready and interested to learn more. For some it may be just hogwash or an article of no interest as it does not pump up anything or anyone. It simply presents the facts, stats and questions what there is to question.
Back to research studies – WHY do we not have transparency and every research going forward for the people and that means Independent funding so there can never be the thought of any bias?
No matter what we do in this world there will always be a counter for now, so how do we unite and get to a one-unified truth?
It would be a fair statement to say we are a long way off from that one-unified truth, but there are a few making movements in that direction.
What if we use our common sense and join the dots and see if anything makes sense?
Does it make sense that in the past we never had social media and we did not have our kids needing to see a psychiatrist?
Does it make sense that the good old fashion way of communicating engages us to express what we feel but screen time does not give us the same option or opportunity?
Does it make sense that our kids are all over the social media platforms and there are pressures in subscribing and living up to all that on some level?
Does it make sense that our kids are deviating away from real life stuff because they have become hooked – bit like a drug – into social media and it overtakes other activities that were more prevalent back in the old no internet days?
Does it make sense that asking sensible questions and linking social media use to mental health problems may lead to some answers?
Before we dismiss this research study with the so called experts telling us it’s low quality research, it may be wise to apply a dose of honesty to our common sense and see what we come up with.
Talking about topics like this that make it in the newspapers is well worth discussing at every dinner table and observing what others have to say and why.
Without the WHY we simply accept whatever is happening and that will ensure no change.
Just reading something about hosiery and what social media influencers advertise and then their followers go out and buy it.
A designer pair of pop socks also known as knee highs costing £110
Crystal embellished tights for £625
Well as someone who is super practical I cannot understand why we would pay such a high amount for something like tights, which could easily get ruined after one wear.
A friend of mine said that perhaps those who can afford it are ok with wearing it just once, so it does not matter to them.
Social media is being used to get people excited about this and that and they have those who ‘influence’ others and those others are the eager and ready followers.
What is this all really about and how does it leave us at the end of the day?
I was a crazy spender of money a long time ago and would spend obscene amounts for silly fashion items or something I wanted like designer shoes. It was like a drug as I was addicted and wanted more and did not take any responsibility for the fact I did not have the money, but I did have plastic cards.
I choose not to entertain or distract myself with social media as I see no purpose and for me that says a lot.
Working things out for myself and choosing to connect to me and who I truly am first and foremost has been the game changer. It is like nothing out there can tempt me to go back to my ill ways of living because I really and truly am content with what I have.
There is a flow and order to my life and I never ever waste any time on looking at a screen, at others and what they are up to, as it is way too boring for me.
Others no doubt will think I am boring because I don’t do social media, but what I know beyond doubt is I have a deep understanding about human life and what that means, so I don’t have the stress and tension of living a life that is not true.
Back to pop socks and tights – I wear both and I have found decent brands that hold quality, do the job, wash well and keep me going year in and year out. That also helps the recycling and landfills, as I am not out there filling them up because I do not subscribe to the throwaway culture that we have now created on earth.
That to me is doing my bit in the Responsibility department when it comes to hosiery.
Are we reaching new levels of addiction with our obsession to social media?
Is it cause for concern when we are scrolling through our social media feeds whilst speaking with another on the telephone?
Where is the focus?
Have we considered how the person on the end of the line feels talking to someone who is distracted and disconnected?
Is there an impact to our human body when we operate in this way?
Are we actually harming ourselves and others through this behaviour?
Or do we not care as we cannot be seen?
Many of us moan about social media and how it is taking over our lives but have we questioned WHY we having given ourselves over to it?
Is it because there is something missing in our own lives?
Are we trying to fill a void of emptiness within through our screen addiction?
Are there important questions in this blog by Simple Living Global that are worth considering, if we at all interested in WHY we have this global epidemic of social media addiction?
Metro News – 25 April 2019
Just reading about a UNICEF report saying 500,000 children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles. One of the reasons given is inaccurate and misleading messages on social media.
So are we blaming social media and is this where it ends?
What is our part in it?
If we think about it in a very simple way – who is social media?
Well we know it is not a man in the sky or a guy on our street
Social Media is all of us as individuals who contribute on the platforms of this digital world. It is us who are posting the mis-leading messages and circulating inaccurate information without any discernment.
What will it take for us to connect and feel the truth of everything we read out there and make up our own minds?
What if we used our common sense and joined the dots before we jump on any bandwagon when it comes to reading what’s out there – be it on social media or any news story that we are constantly bombarded with?
Yes – we have a lot of great stuff on social media, but what has become very clear is there is a great deal of harm going on in the name of social media.
We have had a wake up call but it is up to us as individuals to be the change we want to see in this world and that means responding to the call.
I have no desire or anything in me hooking me onto any social media platform and neither does my partner or many of my close friends. We like the old fashion ‘lets talk’ stuff as it keeps things very real.
I have a Twitter account which I use with a strong sense of purpose and nothing more.
It is simply to share global news stories and bring awareness about topics that are currently going on.
There is nothing in me that wants a zillion followers or needs to see who likes what I put out there or not.
As a daily researcher of what is out there and a writer of human life and what goes on for us in our world, I like to report by way of information and that is about the only use I have for social media.
Reading about a former social media influencer – a wellness guru who claimed they had cured themselves of terminal cancer having rejected conventional medicine in favour of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
This story documented on a blog and social media became an app and a book featuring lifestyle advice and healthy recipes.
Well the truth is this influencer that many followed on social media was exposed as a fraud, simply because they had never had cancer.
This scandal raises important questions about cultural and technological conditions that enable lifestyle gurus to flourish.
What is new is the unprecedented speed and scale afforded by online transmission.
Social media enables bloggers to monetise their following through advertorials, affiliate programs and blog shops.
The influencer economy has become a billion dollar industry resulting in a rise in the number of “uncertified” bloggers competing to achieve lifestyle guru status.
In short, they offer quick fix solutions to complex problems and few have the credentials required to give medical advice.
Online metrics such as followers, likes and shares validate their status.
Lifestyle gurus connect and inspire their followers through disclosing their struggles and vulnerabilities with each life crisis, confession and revelation shared online, which results in more likes and more followers.
We live in a low trust society where lifestyle gurus come in and present themselves as ordinary and authentic and accessible by positioning outside of the system.
Back to the dodgy influencer who got caught – the amount of people who believed this lifestyle guru is indicative of the power of social media influencers to inform health messaging.
We the people have created this online medium that is running our lives, so to speak.
Social Media is now a must have and need in modern day life for many.
What does it say about us if we cannot discern a lie when it is staring us in the face?
Is it because we have a screen and that means it is not real life OR is it because we check out and dis-connect from our inner radar when we hook into social media and it’s not us running the show?
We just flick, get carried away with what the masses are doing and before we know it we have just subscribed and aligned to a stranger we don’t know but who has millions of likes and followers.
Finally, why do we find it easy and our preferred option to follow someone who is fake?
For the record, this website is full of real lifestyle choices but it comes with one requirement – RESPONSIBILITY.
Not sure how many of us would really want that as it would mean REAL change.
Metro News – 10 June 2019
Children age 2 accessing social media – report warning it can be damaging.
60% of professionals dealing with vulnerable children in the past 6 months are worried abut under fives using social networks because of exposure to inappropriate content but also how it may affect their communication skills.
This report comes after a government white paper proposed strict rules requiring web firms to take responsibility for users and their safety as well as content.
We can all agree that this is serious and something that requires more questioning, so this topic remains on the agenda for every parent or guardian raising young children.
While we wait for our governments to do something and get new laws in place, can we start by doing our bit?
What if each and everyone of us has a responsibility in how we use the Internet and access social media sites?
In other words, we need to be deeply honest about our own activities online and take note of what we get up to in screen time.
Next – how are we living our life offline and does this have any correlation to how we behave online?
That means we make the choice to ignore things or get up to things in life that we know are wrong and going to take us off track, but we do them anyway.
Next – parents and guardians
How are we parenting and raising our kids these days?
How much of our own behaviour rubs off on them if we are being honest?
Let us examine in detail how we use social media and then reflect on how this may affect our young children.
Are we as adults, engaging in screen time and going off limits and exposing ourselves to harmfull content – if we are being honest?
Could it be possible if we have lifestyle choices that include lots of time spent on social media then we may not think or feel it is wrong for our children to have the same exposure as we do not see the harm?
Could it be possible that our social media habits block our awareness of what is really going on and so this ‘blind spot’ so to speak, is why we have not nailed it with our kids using social media at very young ages?
Could it be possible it suits us to have our kids engaging with a screen as it feels way too much to engage with them and be with them as we need a bit of time out?
Could it be possible that we like the comfort of knowing our kids are quiet when they are on screen time and whatever they are watching is not really of much interest to us?
Have we considered these questions and are we asking – is it worth it?
Would it be worth talking to other parents at the kindergarten, nursery and school gates?
Could we learn and find out more about what others may be going through?
Would it be a wise move to talk to those who have children seeing mental health professionals because of excess time on screen and social media?
Could we look at what they were doing and not doing that led to what has happened?
Could this anecdotal type of evidence – the real life stuff help us to become our own researchers and then if we add to that our own observations and wisdom from our common sense, could we understand more?
Is it time to get on the front foot, end all blame and not wait around for laws to change when we could by choice make some much needed changes in our home and get real and get honest so we know beyond doubt – change will happen?
Much has been presented here in this comment for those who are ready to consider another way.
Bioengineer.org – 17th June 2019
Social Media Use Contributing to Poor Mental Health
Research has been presented that says social media is contributing to poor mental health in Indonesia.
It found that social media had a detrimental effect on mental health – as has been documented globally, but the authors noted specifics to developing countries such as Indonesia.
Researchers said that the country’s high levels of inequality are highlighted on social media leading to envy and resentment at seeing happy, positive social media images of how others live.
Inequality in Indonesia has been rising fast since 2000 and the country has the third-fastest growing economy among the G20 economies. It has a rising consumer class which contrasts starkly against those with less education or who are unable to get employment. News about government failures, corruption crime, conflicts and poverty is amplified on social media on a daily basis – providing little escape for the country’s citizens.
Social media is incredibly popular in Indonesia, making it the fourth largest user of a well-known social media platform.
Meanwhile, mental health disorders are becoming a major burden in the country. Based on the latest Indonesia Basic Health Research Survey 2018, the prevalence of individuals with mental health disorders in the country is an estimated 11.8 million people.
A researcher at the Global Development Institute said: “It’s a strong reminder that these technologies can have a downside. We would like to see public health officials think creatively about how we can encourage citizens to take a break from social media or be aware of the negative consequences it can have on mental health.”
Is it possible that the rise in mental health disorders in a developing country like Indonesia is not solely down to envy or resentment but is more to do with citizens having self-worth issues or not feeling connected to themselves or others?
Is it possible that social media is making us even more insular?
This makes sense to me as social media is championed for being able to bring us closer, but the paradox here is that the very nature of being on our screens all day is actually separating us further from each other.
Is it possible that this in turn is bound to lead to more cases of mental health issues, as our fundamental desire for human contact is no longer being met?
Is it possible that this dis-connection from others is fuelling the rise of mental health disorders?
As much as we may purport to like our own space, we only need so much time alone.
Is it possible that we humans want, or even need, the connection of other humans?
Social media can be a great tool to have at our disposal but like many things in life, we can become addicted to it if we don’t have the discipline to stop.
Should we be asking why we would rather spend so much time on social media rather than interacting with other people off our screens?
The Guardian -16th November 2019
Influencers and Artists Protest as Well-Known Social Media Site Hides More ‘Likes’
This article talks abut how a social media platform has expanded a trial hiding the number of likes on posts, which has triggered an outcry from high profile stars and artists.
The company began hiding selected accounts likes in some countries saying the action was intended to stop the competitive element of engaging with the platform.
Rather than showing the number of likes on a particular post, the platform instead displays that the post has been liked by one user name “and others”. It still allows users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts.
In the US, where a small number of accounts have been selected for this trial, the reaction was swift with a famous pop star saying she would stop posting on the site, while others said they were worried that the transition would lose them followers and ultimately income.
This platform has repeatedly stated that it is making the change to allow users to focus on content rather than feedback. The move comes as social media is increasingly criticised for adverse mental health effects.
The chief executive of this site said: “The idea is to try and depressurise it, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and the things that inspire them.”
The influencer market has ballooned in recent years and is anticipated to grow to a $6.5 billion industry by 2020. Influencers often get paid in exchange for sharing photos with a product to their followers.
According to a 2018 study by HYPR (an influencer marketing platform), the proportion of influencers who have admitted they have bought likes is 64%
Some celebrities have been known to get $1 million for a single sponsored post.
The fact that 64% of influencers have ‘bought likes’ indicates a complete lack of integrity and reveals what a farce this whole system is.
There is an incredible amount of money associated with this system and where vast sums of money are present, human nature being what it is we will find a way to manipulate the system.
But we cannot blame the social media site or the influencers here, because we are the ones who play this game.
We demand something and the supply is then given to us.
We are the ones who get hooked in to buying whatever celebrities endorse.
We are the ones who want to know every single detail in the life of our idols.
But then, aren’t we the same?
Don’t we put all of our life on view for the whole world to see on these sites?
Don’t we put our pictures out there to get as many likes as possible?
What is the need in us to share the minutiae of our lives to millions of people?
Why do we need people to ‘like’ what we are putting out there?
What do we hope to gain from this?
What do we need from this?
Is it recognition?
Is it a connection to others we need?
Is it because we feel our lives are empty and something is missing?
Is it a form of staying in control?
I can see how these social media sites can be beneficial for keeping families and friends in the loop, but I have never understood the fascination of these sites where we feel the need to splash our lives for everyone to see, simply to get a ‘like’ from someone we don’t know and will probably never meet.
Instead of getting caught up in someone else’s life, wouldn’t it be better to start to take more of an interest in our own lives?
Is it possible we need to start looking inwards instead of outwards?
As a researcher of global news, I was going through some news stories with a colleague and we realised how fast things are moving and asked questions like – when did this get to this level.
Social media has so many platforms now and one popular one that has a very strong attraction for millions is about uploading photos.
A great example was of a huge amount of fast food on a tray – 2 tall milkshake containers with the whipped ice cream, red drizzle of some kind of sugar and a biscuit of something with a fancy shape. Then small pots of sauces, various kinds, 4 burger buns with fried chicken double layers in between cheese and relish and whatever else. Heaps of chips and more fried chicken pieces.
It was the colour, the display, the way it all looked like it could get you salivating and wanting that. We called it food porn as that it was it feels like. We are seduced and lured into this image thing and the thoughts that enter seem to grab us.
I have never ever been into that type of food and in the past when I did eat it what I noticed was I was always left feeling hungry soon after. It was like nothing had registered, as my body was saying – that’s not proper food.
Back to social media – what have we done to it and how has it got to this point where uploading photos about food has such a huge market.
Have we Lost the Plot?
Are we seeking a form of distraction here instead of getting on with it – meaning living our life and taking responsibility?
WHY have we got the world and its brothers subscribing to the frenzy of posting photos of meals they are about to eat on to a social media platform for the world to respond with likes and whatever else they do?
I know people who use social media a lot and something they all seem to have is an internal unrest – call it an unsettlement.
Could it be possible that the unrest many feel when they are not settled is because they are hooked out being something who they are not or doing what they know is not in any way supporting them?
Many would dismiss me with this comment because it comes across possibly as a bit boring or old fashioned, but my life is stupendously and absolutely amazing with joy every day, with not a boring bone in my body, so to speak.
I am known for ‘getting on with it’ and this is what I do best and that means not uploading on social media or checking at any time what the world or anyone I know is up to. Instead I have one account with Twitter which gets a daily news story, simply to bring awareness. In other words informing the world about something that may alert them to what is actually going on.
Next – what I realised today was the value of face to face conversations and how enriching this can be when we meet a stranger, connect with them in a genuine way and have a conversation. In my world nothing beats that and no screen would tempt me and lure me in, no matter what is on there.
Too savvy for that nonsense.
Daily Mail – 8 February 2020
50% rise in the number of children being treated for eating disorders on the NHS, according to the Children’s Commissioner’s mental health report.
Dr. Max Pemberton who works for the NHS as a psychiatrist is saying in his weekly news page that the proliferation of smartphones means most of us, particularly the young, who are tech savvy have constant access to a camera.
This has fuelled the development of an increasingly image based society in which the famous 4 social media platforms encourage us to share posed photographs that are not natural.
Photoshopping apps allow the user to carefully manipulate the image, to make it look like it is natural.
We have a culture of youngsters bombarded with images, under extreme pressure to conform to unrealistic standards of beauty which makes them more likely to diet and in some this can lead to an eating disorder where there are underlying psychological and emotional problems.
Dr. Max says these companies have a responsibility and until they do, the epidemic of anorexia and bulimia will continue.
While we wait for social media companies to flag up images that have been digitally manipulated, is there something we could do as individuals?
What if we stopped contributing to what the masses are doing?
In other words, do the opposite and not post anything on social media?
Would our world literally fall apart or could it be possible we may discover something about ourselves as we suddenly have some space which we never had before?
What if time out from all this uploading images stuff gave us a mental break and our head gets clearer?
What if this childhood epidemic does not need to exist if we all start doing our bit?
What if we became real role models so that these young children could feel and know beyond doubt that there is another way to be and live in this world and it sure ain’t about posting photos on social media?
What if we have a tendency to blame the social media giants, but who put them in those positions?
We did so surely we are the ones who can change this?
Next – apps are created because the suppliers are one step ahead and they know just what we want and before you know it – bingo we got it.
What is it about us – the general population, call it the masses that subscribe to something that is un-natural but we have made it normal, simply because the majority of us do it?
In this case it is uploading images on social media.
Common sense would tell us that this only exists because we want it.
So the sensible question here to ask would be WHY do we want it in the first place?
WHY are we seeking this kind of stimulation, excitement, communication or call it what we want?
Dr. Max happens to specialise in eating disorders and he is spelling out to us that unless these images are flagged up by social media companies, the epidemic will continue.
Do we get that and what it could mean, if we just stop and re-read?
In the UK the health system is not equipped to deal with the volume of young people with eating disorders. There are cases where young teenagers are sent far away from family and their home because there is a shortage of hospital beds.
What we seem to be missing is getting to the root of all our ills and this is one example.
WHY have we got a rise that is associated with social media uploading of images?
If we all started questioning this and having conversations at every possible dinner table, where could that go?
We all know whatever we talk about, we circulate and everyone gets to know about it.
So WHY not talk about this type of stuff instead of hooking into reality shows or the latest celebrity superstar who has a new hairstyle?
We cannot blame social media platforms and we cannot blame anyone.
ALL we can do is take Responsibility for how we are choosing to live.
So if we are always uploading on social media and doctoring our pictures, then we are subscribing to the pool that creates this ugly stuff, even if we don’t want to admit it.
That means we have a hand in it because we are part of the brigade that aligns to this stuff.
News Today – 12 March 2020
Researchers have found that spending less time on our famous social media app fights depression.
Participants who cut their usage by 20 minutes everyday reported less depressive symptoms after the study. They also had improved well being and health by the end of the three months.
Experts suggest that less time on facebook reduces feelings of jealousy and anxiety that others are “happier and more successful.”
No longer staring at a screen for so long to view other people’s news feeds and update their own status meant they were likely to exercise.
Lead author of the study Dr. Julia Brailovskaia in the Department of Psychology at Ruhr University Germany said “when you look at others’ facebook feeds, people compare themselves to others and may experience envy and a decrease in well being. And we all know that spending a lot of time on facebook can lead to addictive usage which also has a negative impact on well being.
The study published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour notes that the platform’s obsessive use has been linked to stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety.
Researchers wanted to see if cutting back could make a difference.
Is this news story a no brainer for us?
In other words, we all know that if we stop checking our social media and whats up with others and what moves we are going to make next with our postings and uploading of photos, our world could be entirely different and our health and well being may just take a positive turn.
We cannot blame or judge any social media platform because it is us who demand this type of stimulation, entertainment, escapism, checking out or whatever it is that we want to call it.
They simply supply because they hear the call – which means they hear we want it and demand it and bingo they are there ready to respond and give us what we are asking for.
We as individuals have created an unhealthy relationship with social media and it is up to us to make the movements to change this. or continue as we are and see how the consequence unfolds.
If spending less time shows us less depressive symptoms, is this something we can just dismiss or is it worth considering?
Metro News – 4 September 2020
A teenager overdosed and died attempting a highly dangerous stunt on a social media app. The platform is for sharing short videos and apparently is for young people to use as an outlet to express themselves.
This 15 year old girl attempted the “Benadryl Challenge” which is an over the counter anti-histamine used to treat allergies. Others have attempted to consume the drug until it gets them high, but experts warn it is easy to suffer a potentially deadly overdose of the medicine.
So how does a “happy and smart young lady with all kinds of plans for her future” which is what one grieving relative called her end up dead? Where do we start and who are we blaming here?
Any drug has side effects. What thoughts is one having when we subscribe to this type of behaviour and what is behind it all?
In other words are our social media platforms designed to operate where their young audiences are getting more and more into risky behaviours?
Are parents and older relatives turning a blind eye thinking their kids are ok and it’s the rest who have the issues?
How do our teens get hold of a drug used to treat insomnia to hallucinate and then film themselves and upload it on the video sharing platform?
WHY do we not have the correct education in place from day dot about drugs and not just hard core stuff but medications that can be purchased over the counter making it highly accessible but equally potent?
Large amounts of Benadryl can cause seizures and the heart goes out of rhythm and does not pump blood effectively.
How serious is this and how many more young lives will be lost because of social media platforms that are interested in the masses subscribing and the profits that follow?
We cannot blame them because they would not exist if the demand was not there. That means we the consumers put them there and they keep giving us more and more of what we want.
Change is needed and it starts with real re-education because it is time dear world to admit nothing is working and we have created a serious 911 worldwide in the name of social media. Let us not judge and criticise but take swift action as now is the time.
Our model of living life has miserably failed us and part of that model is the way we are raising our children with irresponsible so-called parenting, when we do know that we need to step up our game and that means make the changes and live them consistently so that our kids have a true reflection that there is another way to live.
Joining the bandwagon, thinking we are the norm and going with what the masses are up to is costing lives and it is high time we woke up as this may just be one teenager but think about all her family, relatives and friends. That is a lot of people grieving because of a stunt.
We each have a responsibility and if we know of anyone up to no good and say nothing then we can ensure that things will not change as we are a part of the problem too.
Researchers cannot begin to assess the damage from viral suicide videos.
For those who might be considering self-harm – how dangerous are suicide videos that spread online and WHY is this?
Can we really rely on solutions and strategies to keep harmful content out of people’s feeds on social media?
For those who are not prepared to cancel their accounts on social networks, what is the option?
We do know there is political pressure for these platforms to effectively control damaging content on their network or face tougher regulations, but will this work and what about those that go under the radar and are not exposed or found?
Visceral content has plagued the Internet since the world was given the opportunity to broadcast their lives unfiltered and raw. This is seen in the huge success of the largest social network on earth and with all their resources they did not manage to keep violent and harmful content away from viewers.
Our social media platforms have hundreds of millions of users and negatively impacting even a very small percentage does amount to a large number of people.
WHY do these platforms need to wait for a clear understanding of the human impact of seeing suicide online to make changes?
Where is our common sense right now Dear World and have we lost our moral compass and checked in lately with how are we really feeling?
What gets into us that seeks to watch on a screen, another human being ending their life and it is not a movie but really happening?
Next – a study from last year https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1461444819850106
Found that 20% of those who had seen images of self-harm sought them out. Over 50% had considered harming themselves in similar ways and a third had hurt themselves as a result of seeing this content.
This study concluded that seeing self-harm on social media might have an impact on whether someone harmed themselves in the future.
To study the impact of viewing a suicide is impossible and that kind of exposure is ultimately unethical.
WHY do we need to even consider a research study when we all have some common sense?
Next – Several studies have found a relationship between social media and depression with higher levels of depression correlating to more time spent online. However, our researchers do not know the exact nature of the relationship between social media and depression as it is not clear.
What if it has something to do with the length of time we choose to spend online?
What if we have movements that are consistent and that creates a momentum?
What if our reactions to what we see and read on social media links in with depression?
What if our constant need to compare ourselves with others has a direct impact on our moods?
What if we are not committed to life and all this outer stimulation of distracting via social media affectS us in more ways than we realise?
What if witnessing a suicide online does not make a difference because there is a screen?
AND how does one respond or react after viewing, call it observing a suicide online?
What we ought to all be asking is what is our desire and need to seek this type of harmful content online?
Without a demand or an interest in this kind of extreme harmfull posting online, it may not be fuelled but whilst we, the public are the audience that feeds this, we cannot blame the networks.
It really is simple. If something we do not want to know about or watch, we simply don’t go there but if we seek and desire this kind of disturbing content online, they a) we will find it and b) we will continue but never ask why our behaviour (our movements) are wanting this.
It comes down to our choices and we each as individuals are a part of the whole world so what we do or do not do does matter.
Metro News – 17 February 2021
Sextortion Gangs Target Teenagers Using Social Media
Small headlines in the newspaper given out at the train stations in the city of London.
Criminal gangs are blackmailing teenagers with demands for thousands of pounds to stop sexual videos being sent to their friends and family.
“Sextortion” criminals set up fake social media profiles to trick victims into performing sex acts online – then demand money. Police say that these types of cases are on the increase
We can all agree with Detective Matthew Watson from Sussex Police that “Sextortion is an awful and exploitative crime” but what are we doing or not doing that is creating the increase?
Do we need to be asking more questions like HOW and WHY are our children going online and being pulled to sites that require them to perform sex acts?
What is our responsibility as parents and guardians of these teenagers?
Are we not doing our bit in the home policing or do we have our own secrets and vices going on?
Are we way too busy with work, home schooling and keeping the house just running to get involved in what our teens get up to with all those excess hours spare?
Is it peer pressure because the masses are all doing it so our kids just jump on the bandwagon, not giving it much thought or thinking it through that there could be consequences?
WHY is there a demand for sextortion in the first place? In other words this could not exist if those that go on the Internet never perform sex acts for anyone, regardless of who or what they represent.
Could it be possible that we are not connecting with our children and engaging with them in meaningful conversations everyday and therefore at some point they seek to fill that void?
In other words, our children at any age require us to be with them and pay attention and discuss everyday stuff including how they feel and what happened during their day.
If we ignore this or do it with our mind elsewhere and pay lip service, they feel it. They know they are not being listened to or that time is an issue so they withdraw, contract and remove themselves from honest conversations.
No surprise then that they find another forum, a platform called the Internet or social media to give them the connection they want, albeit false connection and before we realise it they are behaving in strange and out of character ways like sexual acts online, then uploading them.
Let us not act naive when we KNOW because we all know as we can sense something is not right. Being a responsible parent requires us to be on the front foot with the kids and that means questioning, as we have every right to do so and not accepting lying as normal. Most of us are aware that if teenagers feel an ounce of dishonesty in the air, we cannot hold their attention and they are off elsewhere in their minds and in life.
We blame those sextortion criminals but let us stop for one moment and wake up and ask – who put them there in the first place?
Yes our teens are victims but something made them go online and perform sex acts so why not explore that first and see where we as parents, older siblings or guardians have our responsibility. If stuff like this is going on in their bedrooms or at school, we need to wake up and do something. Hoping it’s not our kid is not the attitude society needs, as this is why we are currently in the mess we are in.
We should all be uniting and saying – Let’s put the sextortion criminals out of business once and for all. But whilst these topics hold small headlines in the newspapers then chances are most of us will not become aware. It is only if we have awareness that we can take responsibility, as they go hand in hand.
Social media has a lot to answer for but let us be reminded that we created it and we are the subscribers and we are the ones that align to this medium.
Imagine the old way – good old fashion love and a work ethic and sleep at early bed times, then we have for our kids and see what unfolds. We have deviated from the simple old fashion values that worked and did not give rise to these modern day diseases like internet porn, as that is what our kids are doing. Let’s wake up and not be fooled for a moment longer.
Society for the Study of Addiction will publish this study in their paper journal.
However, this brief gives us an insight about alcohol use, reflecting our current times.
Associations between Social Media Usage and Alcohol use among Youths and Young Adults:
Findings from Understanding Society – first published 22 April 2021
The following is an extract:
Given the decline in alcohol consumption and rise in technological use among young people, there is a need to investigate whether technology use might influence how young people drink. This study explores how social media use and changes in social media use over time could affect alcohol use among youths.
The effect of social media usage on drinking and binge drinking frequency among 16-19 year olds
4+ hours users were more likely to binge drink 3 or 4 times a month than those who had less than an hour’s use.
Characteristics of drinkers and social media users
4+ hours social media users age 10 to 15 had a higher proportion who were dis-satisfied with their lives (13%) than those with less than an hour’s use (3%), were more likely to be female (64 versus 36%) and to drink once a month or more (42 versus 19%). Similar associations were found among 16 – 19 year olds but age and sex were not significant.
All groups who were less than completely satisfied with their life were more likely to drink at least monthly.
Potentially, the use of social media may be a part of the cultural norm of drinking among youths, which includes the posting of photographs of people drinking, which could encourage use and normalize being drunk. In addition, interacting on social media may also reflect greater sociability both on and offline, which could influence greater alcohol use, especially if the drinking occurs in social settings.
Our findings are consistent with other studies that show a relationship between digital technology use, such as heavier internet or problematic internet use and greater alcohol consumption. The behavioural mechanisms underlying problematic substance use may closely resemble that of heavy internet use and potentially more frequent social media use and these behaviours may complement or even reinforce each other. We cannot rule out that the relationship may be in the opposite direction, with heavier alcohol use encouraging more frequent social media use, or that the relationship is bidirectional. This is an area for future investigation.
We are the first in the United Kingdom to show that there is a strong correlation between heavier social media use and more frequent alcohol consumption and that this relationship exists across time. This was especially the case for ages 10 to 15, where the purchase of alcohol is illegal and where the introduction to alcohol from an earlier age may be problematic.
Heavier social media use was associated with more frequent alcohol consumption among young people in the United Kingdom.
In this study and many others, more frequent users of digital technologies were more likely to be heavier alcohol drinkers. For example, one cross-country study found daily use of Facebook and Instagram to be associated with hazardous alcohol consumption among youths.
THERE IS A STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN HEAVIER SOCIAL MEDIA USE AND MORE FREQUENT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND THAT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS ACROSS TIME.
Do we get it loud and clear?
Listen up world is what this is alerting us all to.
We have a serious global issue and this is not just happening in the UK, so best to not switch off.
We do ALL KNOW that our kids are spending far too long on their screens and seeking more social media than ever before. These online platforms are designed to keep us distracted and entertained 24/7 if we choose to.
What none of us saw coming was the direct link with alcohol consumption.
If there were no dangers and nothing to say about this, then we would have no research study.
The fact that research is telling us then we ought to pay attention as this is not going away.
With lockdown restrictions for a year, we could blame it all on the pandemic but what if the movements (our behaviour) was already in that momentum and so when the extra hours at home were on the world agenda, we continued the habits as it was just familiar?
The rise in social media is epic and off the scale so to speak. But let us not judge or criticise all those involved and who profit from social media because we, yes we the public, the punters, the customers, the consumers made the DEMAND first.
Social media and where it is at today is because of all of us that subscribe to it and want more.
It is us that want illegal drugs to sort out our anxiety and sleep, it is us that wants influencers to follow, it is us that want to have crazy videos posted, it is us that wants to upload photos that we know should never be for public viewing, it is us that hides under the name anonymous to vent our ills onto others, it is us that uploads using apps to doctor our form – in other words how we look, it is us that have created this whole thing so let us not blame in any way.
It is high time to wisen up Dear World and look at the real state of what we have all created.
How serious can it get if our teenagers are consuming more alcohol and it is related to their excess time spent on social media? Where are we whilst this is going on?
Did we swap our responsibility outfit as a parent for the irresponsible and dis-honest costume we know is not the truth but nevertheless we like it as it suits us?
Do we hate the fact that our kids are doing more social media, more screen time per se and more alcohol and we blame the modern day tech for all of this but not look in the mirror to see what our part is? In other words, did we have a hand in why it has got to this point?
Social media exists in all its forms today because we the masses have made the demand. Like any drug out there it comes with side effects. This research study confirms one such side effect that is well worth considering while we wait for more evidence to tell us the same once again.
The Wall Street Journal reporting today about one of our social media giants knowing that another associated platform of theirs is toxic for teenage girls. They have the documents that show this evidence.
The news story focuses on a girl aged 13 who developed an eating disorder after spending 3 hours a day on a social media app which had influencers and those with perfect bodies and perfect lives.
This young girl is now 18 and said she recalls ‘chiseled bodies, perfect abs and women doing 100 burpees in 10 minutes’.
Researchers were studying this type of experience and whether it was part of a broader phenomenon. Their findings did confirm some serious problems.
32% of teenage girls say they felt bad about their bodies and the social media platform made them feel worse.
The social media giant has been conducting their own studies into how their photo sharing app affects its millions of young users.
The teenagers are blaming them for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression.
40% of users are age 22 and younger.
22 million teenagers log on in the U.S. every day.
50% more time is spent on the photo sharing app than the main social network site.
We can sit here and blame and we could read what the ‘positive mental health benefits’ are that come from those that own these big social media organisations.
But what if we look at the whole thing from another perspective – a different dimension, so to speak?
What if we can end the blame game and take a dose of Absolute Honesty and have a stop moment to see what hand we play in the whole thing? Yes, what happens when we take FULL responsibility for our choices and become accountable for the consequences of our choices?
What would our granny have to say and the same goes for common sense wisdom?
Answer: if something is bad for you then get out and STOP doing that behaviour.
Find a way and go back to good old fashion, back to basic living and see where that anxiety and depression is.
Granny would also add that you are in comparison, looking outside yourself and having images constantly fed to you that are distorted, not true and deeply disturbing, so why on earth would you even bother to go there. Instead, go to bed early, be the first among your friends to not subscribe to social media and get going with housework and other everyday responsible tasks that need doing and make that the new focus.
It would be true to say that we like blaming someone or some ‘thing’, as it stops us looking at what our part is and this gets us off the hook, so to speak.
What if our teenage girls need true support from real role models that do not have self- worth issues or are deeply self-connected and hold a quality that is not consumed by what is out there in the world?
What if we need real education about how and why we get into the comparison way of living that keeps us addicted to a screen that shows a very stark and disturbing image that is nothing like the essence of who and what we truly are?
What if we start to change the way in which we educate our young from day dot so that they are fully equipped with our world and have the understanding of how to live human life, so they do not become a statistic for any of the ills we currently have in this world?
Independent News – 3 November 2021
35% of teenagers aged 13 and 14 years old have seen drugs being sold online, according to a new survey.
44% aged 16 to 17
33% aged 15
58% of 18 year olds have seen drugs sold online.
The findings show these children are viewing drugs sold on social media platforms and they include class A substances cocaine and MDMA, also known as ecstasy.
Cannabis and cannabis edibles were among the drugs most frequently seen sold online.
The survey was carried out by a Drug Education charity and the founder Fiona Spargo-Mabbs of DSM Foundation said “I know the issue is not going to go away until more can be done to address it. Social media platforms provide, an ideal space for drugs to be bought and sold, for so many reasons, not least because they give dealers easy access to thousands and thousands of young people, numerically the biggest age group using drugs”.
43% of young people have never reported the drugs they have seen sold online with not being bothered, not feeling it would make a difference and fears of being labelled a snitch as the top reasons for inaction. In other words doing nothing instead of doing something. On that note – read our blog Do Nothing, Do Something
We ought to be asking WHY are our children not aware how bad it is and WHY are we – ALL of us not aware that drug drop offs are happening at schools.
WHY is the mother of a dead teenager who took MDMA saying “there is so much being overlooked”?
We now know that the numbers of people selling drugs online exceeds the number of available police officers tackling the issue.
While the police work with social media platforms to build relationships and understand the language so they can work with their search engines, what can the rest of us be doing to stop this?
Can we agree with Ms Spargo-Mabbs that parents need support when dealing with their children’s life on social media and we need drug education in schools and this needs to reach the parents as well?
Simple Living Global have dedicated their time to research and present valuable simple to understand content, for drug education and this is expanded by way of regular comments to expand the particular topic.
We have become leaders in the field of delivering up to date facts and statistics and simply stating the obvious when it comes to drug taking in any form.
Let us be reminded that there is not a single drug out there that comes free of side effects – licit or illicit.
Bangkok Post – 10 December 2021
We have a journalist Nobel winner that delivers a speech during the award ceremony about the ‘toxic sludge’ of social media.
“What happens on social media does not stay on social media. Online violence is real world violence”.
“The technology industry has allowed a virus of lies to infect each of us, pitting us against each other, bringing out our fears, anger and hate and setting the stage for the rise of authoritarians and dictators around the world”.
So how do we transform hate and violence?
Can we really blame the American internet companies that make more money by spreading hate and triggering the worst in us?
Where is our part in all of this – the victims that are at the receiving end, or have we been hurt and made a stand by retaliating and getting our online revenge through social media?
Why have we got fear and anger and hate in the first place and do we use online platforms to vent and express as a way of dealing with our buried issues, hurts and pain?
ALL this is worth questioning because we say we want peace and our world lacks Truth because the facts are not our reality but WHY is this and is peace the answer?
Are we pointing the finger if we simply attack the American tech giants because we can accuse them of fuelling a flood of toxicity on social media or do we need to look at the demand first? This means, are those that profit there because we, yes we the public, the punters, the consumers, the ones that want this type of distraction in our life responsible because we created it from our need?
Is this way off and whacky or is there an element of truth perhaps that needs quiet consideration and not just brushed off and dismissed like it’s not worth taking on board, so to speak?
We have reached a juncture in human life that tells us we are not evolving.
Our way of living confirms that we have hate and violence that is fuelling among our own species.
We call ourselves thee most intelligent species on this earth and yet our behaviours tell us otherwise.
If our so-called intelligence was it, then how come so many of us are bludgeoning our human body with over eating, excess alcohol, drugs, caffeine, sugar, distractions and entertainment and no real sleep routine or rhythm?
Why have we got a ‘free will’ licence to do what we want ‘because we can’ when it comes to entertaining and distracting ourselves with horrific violent video games that children of younger and younger ages are getting access to?
Why have we got screens given to our kids literally at such young ages that they know how to stay entertained in an unreal world – we call that virtual reality?
And finally – do we need to ‘battle or fight for Truth’.
What if we started with our own life and took a big dose of Integrity and Responsibility every single day, so that our choices have that at the core of our next move? Yes we stop it first and then consistently live those choices until they are our standard, our normal so to speak. Then we have the authority coming from our body that has lived those choices, (call that walk the talk) and others get to feel and sense that there is another way.
Would that be more in the right direction of Truth as we are not correcting or fighting anyone or anything – just simply living opposite to the violence and hate out there and moving in a way that has none of that on our radar, so to speak?
This author lives Truth, without perfection. No need for billboards, shouting on rooftops or trying to gain recognition or status – just simply saying it as it is with no holding back and consistently expressing through writing that there is another way Dear World and it is well worth considering now as nothing, yep nothing is working but first we have to admit that.