[notification type=”alert-info” close=”false” ]Are you wondering about what do social networking sites affect your well-being and how to get the wellness effects from the being “on” on the network? Check this article to know about how to attain such a state in today’s world of being connected and social media.[/notification]

The world has changed a lot today. Thanks to technology and the internet, the view of the world is no more as a far off / far away places, but is more and more becoming a global village and it seems to shrink day after day. Gone is the time and the era when connecting to our friends and family was very difficult and costly. Now, crystal clear voice, high speed transactions, sharing of high definition and high quality videos and photos is the demand of the world and you don’t need a passport or legal document to do that. Such technology is right in our hands through the 4 inch by 2 inch smartphone which works on amazing technology giving you the best of services available in the market. Even Plus to that, gadgets are not worth a million but are getting cheaper day after day. The visionaries have even said, may be you don’t get to eat, but you will have a phone in your hand. Such is the situation of our world. Right from 1971, when the first email was sent to tonnes of transactions and socializing has given a completely new face and which is getting better and better, day after day. Today, services like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the score of other services are being used by every 1 in 4 people on the Earth.

[notification type=”alert-success” close=”false” class=”col-lg-8″]Such has been the “widespread” of Social Networking that it could compel NASA to think before sending human beings on Mars, that how could these Social Networking services be made available over there, even if it would mean a 2 day delay in transmission from Earth to Mars and vice versa. [/notification]

With every new technology and advancement, new health statuses come in and when looked into with every care, can have a deep impact on our behavior, how we talk, how we act and our mental health and wellbeing.
Since the past few years, there have been researches and news going on about Facebook use can be a cause to raise anxiety and may start developing a feeling of inadequacy and inferiority complex. Another study done by Social Psychiatrist Ethan Cross from Michigan University has found that Facebook usage can make feel miserable. According the the psychiatrist, Facebook becomes a very significant source to accomplish our needs of being social. But because of the so much detailed nature and the way Facebook can connect with your life, it may many a times undermine your feeling of being a normal being or being important and may give rise to feelings of being inferior.

Would this be true or how does this affect your life? This article describes about such feelings and what can be done for the same.
[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-hand-right”]Explanation about Social networks and social media in short[/iconheading]
The development of web designing and MarkUp languages gave birth to features like interaction. In the very basic form of interaction, was being able to feed some data to a website and getting a result page from the data. So, people could make use of such features to make website calculators. You put in the numbers, and the calculator gives you a result. Further more, you could start Googling about words and getting related results to read. Search Engines developed further and started understanding and using innumerable parameters to “understand” you and give you results in the a manner that you would expect to get. Now this same ability in a more enhanced, versatile and flexible manner allows you to put up videos, photos, allows commenting and allows and promotes interaction with each other. So, the first such site I can remember for myself was Orkut by Google. A completely new concept and everyone loved Orkut in those days. Parents started becoming worried about what is their child doing on this new type of site quite alien to them and started sniffing around their child. Internet bills started going up thanks to the functionality that Orkut was bringing in.
Just as Orkut was growing up, a new competitor came in with much better resources, layout, games, lots of interaction and fun and in the name of Facebook. Zuckerberg made a strong landing in the world of Social Media, in such a way that the Internet giant with Orkut, had to drop down Orkut and had to strive hard on this platform. They brought in other builds like the Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google Circles and then finally settling up to Google Plus which is now the world’s second largest (as to this date) Social network after Facebook. Other popular networks are MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn as a professional network and Bebo.
A citizen of the world who has access to these Social Networks may spend many hours of their life on these Social Networks and some of them may in fact spend time tweaking up their profiles and appearances on Social Networks because it has now become a status symbol for many of us. Whatsmore, the cops search for information about people through the Social Networks. Recruiters try to find information about the candidate from his social networks. If any untoward activity is found out on the candidates social profiles, the companies may directly reject the candidate from their candidature for the recruitment. Bachelors searching for their better halves search on the social networks to get more information about them. In the olden days, our parents used to depend on finding out information about the prospective bride or the prospective groom by asking other people who might be in relation or connection. Now along with that strategy, they are also finding it easy to find information on the internet as well.

If we see Facebook’s Mission Statement, it says:

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-hand-right”]So how does the addiction towards Social Media start?[/iconheading]
Well, first this question sounds absurd! One could say, everyone likes it and thats it! If we look at it in a little closer manner, Social media is more like a reinforcement, which is compelling enough to make you come back. Statistics show that 63% of American Facebook users come online daily and nearly 40% of them log into FB for multiple times in a day. Some of us like to “Like” others’ statuses, some of like to tell about what we are doing and some of us like to show off about their travelling to distant countries! Yet some of us come to search for our friends and try to get in touch with someone whom we had met and had good friendship or a relation about 15 years back and then didn’t get a chance to meet them after school / college. But overall, social media is becoming a important tool for self distraction and boredom relief. This has been prominently seen in women whose husbands are working and engaged in their own world and whose sons and daughters are grown up and in their own lives. So, while television is becoming boring, Social Media comes as a rescuer and also many a times as a part time task for them.
So, not only age but also activity, demand and requirement have been a need for the day and thus the importance of Social Media have raised.

Social Media has also taken the advantage of your phones by allowing free calls and free sms through services like Viber and Whatsapp, WeChat, BBM, Line (to name a few), which do not even require you to register and are free. Whatsapp asks for a meagre 1 US Dollar to renew for the next year. This has also become a challenge for Skype which requires you to register with Skype ID and then get in touch with your Skype contacts. But Skype has very good sound for sure, but that does not mean it is the only one. It also has tough competition. People are getting services and they are also very cheap and easy to gain that it does give rise to addictions.

Other researches have also postulated that people who may be anxious and socially insecure by nature, may use and stick to internet based social networking and related websites. Thus, more likes and more +1 means that you will be more happier and will try and perform activities to gain more of them and this vicious circle continues.

[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-hand-right”]The negative impacts of Social media and related activities[/iconheading]
Just as we discussed above, more likes and +1s, means more happiness and when a person does not get them, it makes them feel bad and feel unwanted. People who are not “Liked”, feel less confident in their real life and may feel to have fallen behind their friends in achievements in comparison to their friends.
One thing that a person must understand over here is “All that glitters is not Gold.” A person may display an idealized version of his or her life and may not be the actual truth. So, behind all the great happy jumps and super cool photos, there could be the other aspect of the person’s life, which could be serious, challenging or sad, which may not be put up on social media. This is basic human nature where they may not want to show out their “not so good” side of life and would share it with only their near and dear people. This is natural. But other people, who tend to compare themselves, may now think themselves to be coward, discouraged, unhappy and these feelings even trickle down in their real lives.
Bullying has been seen prominent among children and on social media is known as Cyberbullying. An activity which dominating children may put on knowingly or unknowingly on other children. Such activities are done for pleasure, but the recessive children feel negative about it and can get themselves into a “cocoon” and get into a depressive kind of stage which gets into their nature, real world activities and interactions.

[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-hand-right”]How to stay positive and on a longer stride on Social Media[/iconheading]
Social media has really done some good things for us and let us accept this fact. We are able to see each other even from a long distance. We are able to quickly share each other’s faces and places that before was quite impossible. I can see the clouds on the mountains of Sans Souci in Seychelles while sitting on the shores of Kerala and California! I love to see my niece and how tall she has become. That is really fantastic. So, while it is all so good looking and lucrative, do not overdo it. Always remember, Social media is a virtual aspect. Once you switch off your cell phone or your computer, you do not see it until the next time yo

u again switch on your device. Real life is not like that. Once you switch it off, you will have to wait until the next human birth that you may get after seven or eight rebirths and even after you get a human rebirth, you will have to wait for a few years until you learn that phones are not meant to be put in the mouth, but are devices to see Facebook!
So, stay limited and stay long. keep Walking! says Johnnie Walker. When taking a limited and not a overexposed part in Internet Social media, could make you feel better, happier and keep continuing longer on such services without any mental or nervous breakdown.

Thus overall, understand the fact that internet, communication and socialism is a need of the day. But if you become a lot socio, like sharing about “I opened my left eye first when I woke up in the morning because my right eye was a bit sticky — feeling amused”; is too much and unwanted by others. No one will like it and will make you feel go haywire! But, just like “An Apple a Day keeps the doctor away”, “A peg of wine keeps you pink and healthy”; it can be rightly said that social media and mental health are closely related to each other and will always be!

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