The influence of social media on teenagers is growing day by day. In fact social media have provided a revolutionary channel for communication to all including the millennials. Earlier, most of the communication activities among millennials took place in the real world. At present, virtual world communication or social media communication activities are getting popularity among the millennials. Social media communication helps millennials in many ways. It helps them to get awareness and exposure about foreign culture. Moreover, it helps them to acquire more knowledge from the virtual communities. Above all, social media provides the much needed socializing opportunities to the millennials. It should be noted that socializing is an activity which is necessary to maintain a sound mental health. Social media helps teenagers to shed their stress and frustrations and to develop a relaxation mood which is necessary for them to engage in constructive activities.
At the same time, many of the parents and educators in the present era are worried about the negative effects of social media on teenagers. Social media use often creates an addiction in the minds of the teenagers and it prevents them from developing skills such as face to face communication skills. Moreover, it can cause antisocial behaviors such as sexting, identity theft, etc. Because of the above assumptions and concepts, many people try to spread the lie that “quitting social media is the key to millennial happiness”. This paper argues that the concept: “quitting social media the key to millennial happiness” is a lie rather than a fact.
One of the major arguments of the critics of social media is that people who are not able to access their social networks or email felt worried or uncomfortable. They are quoting the results of a 2012 study by Anxiety UK to substantiate their argument. The above study proved that 45 per cent of people who are not able to access their social networks or email felt worried or uncomfortable as a result (Blair). In fact the above result substantiates the arguments of the supporters of social media. The worry developed among people because of the inability to use social media actually indicates the pleasure given to them by social media. It is a fact that people often get agitated when they failed to access things which give them happiness. For example, music lovers or film lovers often get agitated when they failed to hear music or see a film. This agitation does not mean that avoiding music or film may bring happiness to them in the end. How can a person argue that food lovers should avoid tasty foods in order to become happier? People find happiness in many things. As long as these things do not cause any harm to the society, it is logical to allow people to access such things. In other words, if social media provides happiness to some people, they should be allowed to use it.
According to Blair the likes received for a photo or video posted on social networks will definitely make a person happier. The feeling of recognition from friends and relatives would help the person to become proud of himself. At the same time, critics argue that the photos and videos posted on social networks may be misused or morphed by antisocial elements and may cause problems later. This argument cannot be taken seriously. All those things which can make people happier can create problems also. For example, internet banking is a comfortable way of doing banking activities for the people. Nuclear energy is an answer to the energy crisis facing by the world. At the same time, both these things can be used for destructive purposes also. Nobody can argue that these things should be prohibited in the world, because of their destructive dimensions.
According to the results of a study by social scientists at the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, 61 per cent millennials preferred to post their “good sides” to Facebook, while 69 per cent preferred to post photos of the “great things” they experience (Stuff). It is evident that these people post such things to get social recognition. Human is a social animal. Socializing is necessary for human to maintain a sound mind. A sound mind is necessary for the development of a sound body. In other words, socializing helps people to develop good physical and mental health. Therefore, anything which provides socializing opportunities should be encouraged rather than discouraged.
The major reason for spreading the lie that quitting social media would make a person happier is jealousy. Most of the criticizers of social media are the ones who used social media once and faced some troubles. For example, Daisy, a 23 year old Manchester resident said; “I feel less anxious and less like a failure’. After a romance ended with a guy I really liked, I kept trying to avoid Facebook so I wouldn’t have to see him. Facebook made me feel anxious, depressed and like a failure” (Marsh). There may be many millennials who have similar feelings as that of Daisy. They may come out against social media because of frustrations. They are trying to hide their inability to use social media while criticizing it. They are forgetting the fact that thousands of millennials use social networks effectively to good things such as the sustainment of love and romance. It is not necessary that social networks provide happiness to all. In fact there is nothing in this world which can provide happiness to all. The thing which provides happiness to one need not be providing same thing to another. Beef foods provide happiness to meat lovers. At the same time animal lovers criticize killing of animals for food purposes. It is illogical to prohibit beef for making the animal lovers happier.
To conclude, the assumption “Quitting social media the key to millennial happiness” is a myth or lie rather than fact. Instead of quitting social media, people should be taught about the safe use of social media. People who are unable to use social media properly may face bitter experiences. At the same time, thousands of people derive pleasure and happiness from social media. In fact social media is a platform which helps people to shed their stress, agonies and frustrations. No other platform can provide such instantaneous cure for stress and agonies. A person coming back from a stressful workplace may develop happiness once he gets an opportunity to communicate with his friends through social media. In short, the assumption quitting social media makes a person happier is a wrong argument.
- Blair, Olivia “Is Quitting Social Media the Key to Millennial Happiness?” The Independent. Thursday 19 January 2017. Print
- Marsh, Sarah. “Does Quitting Social Media Make You Happier? Yes, Say Young People Doing It. The Guardian. Wednesday 21 September 2016. Print
- Stuff. “Quitting Social Media Leads To Increased Happiness – Danish Study”. Web. 27 April 2017. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/social-networking/73991915/quitting-social-media-leads-to-increased-happiness–danish-study>