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Social Media And Procrastination

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As of January 2019, around 42% of the world’s population uses social media actively, and it is predicted that this number increases by 13% every year (Kemp, 2018). Society nowadays is no stranger to social media. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are prominent in this technology-saturated society due to it being a cost-free resource that enables individuals to stay connected through both long-distance and short-distance communication; creates an advantage in business marketing as advertisements reach a wider audience, and provides instant access to global and local news sharing outlets. Many countries are experiencing this epidemic and are finding ways to overcome issues associated with social media. The large percentage of the population that is constantly exposed to social media addresses the question of the extent to which social media has negatively impacted society. In this report, I will be identifying the effects that social media has had on society through local, national and global perspectives. Some significant issues I have chosen to discuss further are overuse, cyberbullying and the impact of cyberbullying on mental health.

Overuse

The first issue is social media overuse and addiction. Though not a medically diagnosed condition, social media addiction is a serious and growing issue in society. People spend excessive numbers of hours scrolling through social media, obsessively updating their feeds for new information. Furthermore, addictive triggers found in social media apps such as the likes feature causes the production of Dopamine, which has an addictive drug-like effect so users will continue to use social media. From a psychological aspect, people fear missing out which is another aspect that drives social media addiction (Elgan, 2015). As a result, the consequences provoked by social media addiction and overuse are having severe impacts on academic performance, interference with sleep as well as many other components of life.

The first consequence of social media overuse is the impact on academic and work performance through procrastination. Procrastination affects virtually everyone to some degree; however, the majority of people who are affected the most by procrastination are teenagers and young adults. A report by Common Sense Media in 2015, found that teenagers on average spend nine hours on social media excluding the hours doing school-related work online (The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2015). The report also found that 50% of the teenagers surveyed said that they often multitasked doing both schoolwork and checking social media. Out of those who multitasked, only 13% said it had benefits to the quality of work, and 31% said that it impacted the quality of their work (Homework and multitasking, 2015). While this source is valid, it must be taken into consideration that the statistics might have increased by 2019 as the percentage of people that overuse social media is continuing to rise at a fast rate. As opposed to doing homework, study or projects, students are spending countless hours succumbing to the addictiveness of social media. Procrastination means valuable time for homework and study is wasted on doing something that might seem more enjoyable in the short term; however, the long term effects of procrastinating are drastic on academics.

In a recent survey done by Stop Procrastinating app, 1,500 American university students were surveyed on how procrastination affects their studies. Out of those 1,500 students, 76% of the surveyees agreed that social media was a form of procrastination to a worrying or damaging level (Burke, 2018). The survey results from Stop Procrastinating app supports the results from the study by Common Sense Media which validates the claim that academic performance is affected when procrastination takes place through social media. A similar report by the Journal of Dental Education was conducted in 2013 to find the relationship between procrastination and academic performance. It was found that there was a significant negative correlation between procrastination and academic performance among the students surveyed. These findings of a negative correlation between procrastination and academic performance are in agreement with the results of the study conducted by the Stop Procrastinating app, emphasising the implications of procrastination on academia.

A solution to combat procrastination is the use of an app similar to ‘Stop Procrastinating’ on various devices that will block selected websites and apps for a chosen period. This method is very effective in preventing procrastination through social media and in keeping people focused on the task at hand. Personally, I use anti-procrastination apps to remove distractions from my work, and I find that they are beneficial resources to prevent procrastination.

Not only does spending hours on social media have an impact on academic performance, but also on sleep. One of the leading causes of sleep insomnia is the use of technology. The blue light emitted by technology stalls the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls and regulates sleep cycles. If melatonin is not produced, you are less likely to become tired resulting in sleep insomnia (Gordon, 2019). Sleep insomnia can significantly impact the quality of life and can lead to depression due to a hormonal imbalance. A poll by Digital Awareness UK found that 45% of young adults in the UK go on their phones after they have gone to bed. Of those youths, 94% are on social media rather than asleep mainly due to the fear of missing out or being excluded (Sellgren, 2016). As a result of this, students and workers are losing sleep which is ultimately reducing the ability to concentrate on work which could result in average work performance as they are too fatigued impacting either academics or the productiveness in the workplace.

To limit the impact of social media on sleep, it is advised to remove all devices that emit blue light at least 30 minutes before to ensure that the body is producing enough melatonin. Additionally, there is a non-profit global organisation called Common Sense Media that advocates safe use of media in children to limit social media overuse, as well as misuse such as cyberbullying. Therefore, the repercussions of social media and overuse issues are damaging to the user in terms of work performance and sleep.

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Cyberbullying

Through a report conducted by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), 43% of teens have experienced cyberbullying and online harassment at some point. Cyberbullying through a medium, such as a phone, creates a barrier between the phone and the user meaning the bully no longer needs to face the victim, removing empathy. Furthermore, the reaction of the victim is not seen by the bully, so the bully does not recognise the extent of the damage to the victim. Research has shown that teens who engage in cyberbullying have less empathy as opposed to people who don’t participate in cyberbullying (Nortonx, 2016). Some cyberbullies may think their behavior is normal and socially acceptable, especially when friends or peers encourage it. Another reason people Cyberbully is because it is harder to detect by third-party sources such as a parent, teacher or peer, so it creates the illusion that the bully won’t get caught. Research done by the Cyberbullying research centre in 2016, found that around half of young people have experienced some form of cyberbullying, and 20% of those experience cyberbullying regularly. The most common types of cyberbullying are degrading comments posted on private chat rooms or publicly; as well as spreading rumors through social media and body shaming which can lead to a magnitude of issues including the impact on mental health.

Moreover, cyberbullying has been found to decrease the self-esteem of the victim and in some cases lead to mental health disorders and the development of suicidal tendencies. When vitriolic comments are posted online they have a major impact on the mental health of the victim. Victims tend to feel more vulnerable and helpless as cyberbullying is a form of bullying that is inescapable as it can happen at any time or constantly. Cyberbullies are often anonymous on apps such as Sarahah, an anonymous website where people can write messages to the targeted user without leaving a traceable digital footprint, which increases the feeling of helplessness and inescapability for the victim. This ultimately increases the risk of developing depression and potentially suicidal tendencies. Research conducted by the pediatrician, Dr. Gregory Plemmons, found that there was a significant increase in the number of children admitted to hospitals for attempted suicide or expressing suicidal thoughts between 2008 and 2015. Much of the rise is linked to an increase in cyberbullying (Scutti, 2017). More teen suicides are also now attributed in some way to cyberbullying than ever before. The rise in suicide rates as a result of social media influence demonstrates the extremity of social media misuse and the consequence it is having resulting in the loss of many lives.

In Australia, one in four children from Year 4 to Year 9 experience cyberbullying on a regular basis (Facts and figures, 2009). While this statistic is from a valid source, the statistics may have increased by 2019 as more children are exposed to social media at a younger age due to a rise in social media use and technological advancements; thus, there is potentially more exposure to cyberbullying. To decrease cyberbullying in Australia, the government has set up a digital awareness program called ‘eSafety’ as a way to educate teachers, parents and children on methods to reduce the amount of time spent on social media, promote online safety and provide counselling for victims of cyberbullying. Young Australians can report a case of cyberbullying, and they have access to a wide range of websites as well as call lines that provide immediate online counselling.

At the Australian International School Singapore, there are programs developed called RUOK? which informs students of ways to fight cyberbullying and overcome it. The students are taught about online safety and promote awareness of the content posted online to prevent it from harming yourself or others. These programs are an opportunity to speak up if they are a victim or know a victim of cyberbullying to create a bully-free environment both in and out of the classroom.

Another concept that could prevent cruel posts and comments being uploaded onto social media applications is to create a filter that removes comments or posts that appear to be hateful content. Instagram has already started a similar initiative with the removal of inappropriate and offensive content such as nudity, terrorism-related material and child exploitation using Artificial Intelligence and algorithms; however, this initiative must be adapted and applied to cyberbully cases across all social media platforms.

Conclusion

In conclusion, through conducting research I have established the many aspects of social media that are a detriment on society on a global, national and local scale. When misused, social media can lead to a magnitude of issues that have severe consequences to not only mental health and internet safety, but also to the quality of life. While these issues are being advocated to an extent, there is still a lack of education in younger years and initiatives to combat the flaws of social media.

My perspective on the negative impact social media has had on society has remained the same. I now have a stronger belief that social media is having a negative impact on society. While social media has been beneficial in communication, marketing and many other aspects, I believe the negative issues outweigh the positive as the consequences are severe in most cases. Nonetheless, I believe removing social media is unrealistic as the positive outcomes are still extremely beneficial to society; it is simply a matter of how you manage the tool in a safe way to overcome the flaws.

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Social Media And Procrastination. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/social-media-and-procrastination/
“Social Media And Procrastination.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/social-media-and-procrastination/
Social Media And Procrastination. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/social-media-and-procrastination/> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2022].
Social Media And Procrastination [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/social-media-and-procrastination/
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