Using Social Media 101: The Good, the Bad, and Everything In-Between

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Social media is a part of life now. In fact, to an extent, it is the digital age, and using social media is life now. But, every coin has two faces. While there are so many benefits of the present times, there are downsides. Hence, it is our job to be responsible while using social media. This is exactly what we are talking about today. Let’s go! 

Can you imagine not talking to your loved ones or staying disconnected from them for months? 

Sure you can stay away from them but you would still want to be connected to them, right?

The reason for this is quite obvious, it’s the digital age and we live in a hyper-connected world. We’re used to getting things delivered in just days. With platforms like Blinkit, the duration is even less. Yes, 10 minutes. 

The love of our life is just a right swipe away. Our friends and family are just a text away. 

We’re just one click away from getting the best resources and accessing world-class tutorials to cracking the toughest coding patterns. Like, you’re accessing this blog 🙂 

Behind all this stuff that’s no less than any miracle, there’s just one word- SOCIAL MEDIA!

Yes, that’s the buzzword. TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Bumble, Tinder, YouTube- you name it and ask a kid who’s just entered school, chances are that he/she will know more or less the same features as you do.

You open any social media, you search, you text and then you leave. But, wait that’s not all! Knowing how to use social media no longer guarantees that you’re using it safely and responsibly. 

As there are two sides to a coin, social media has its pros and cons too. Needless to say, it comes with a responsibility. And, you must be a responsible user.

In this blog, we’ll talk about how you should be using social media responsibly and prevent yourself from the blackhole of pitfalls that it might just attract you towards.


Using Social Media 101: The Good, the Bad, and Everything In-Between

Social media is everywhere you look – on your phones, laptops, and even on giant screens in Times Square (a little overwhelming, right?)

It can be amazing for connecting with your friends and family, learning new skills, and discovering some really amazing podcasts or an instant mood-lifter series like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. 

But hold on, there are many advantages of social media, using it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. 

Sometimes it can even feel like a pressure cooker, filled with comparisons and anxieties. 

Let’s be honest…

How many times have you felt jealous of a friend who just bought a new iPhone and is now flexing on social media? 

Or your cousin who’s just back from an international trip and can’t resist sharing Instagram stories? 

I get it. 

Impostor, peer pressure, comparison, jealousy, and a constant feeling of not doing enough is always there. 

This is the side of social media that most people often ignore.

But, what’s the big deal? 

Let’s just say social media is a double-edged sword. It has both positive and negative sides. 

But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to figure out how to use it in a way that benefits you, not the other way around. 

Using social media responsibly is entirely in your hands, and I know you can do it!

5 Positives of Using Social Media

Personally, social media has given me a lot. Today, this blog is reaching out to you all because of it. 

I’ve found an amazing network, friends, lessons, and above all, learnings of a lifetime because I am using social media. 

So, let’s first dive into the good parts of social media and give it the appreciation it deserves for simplifying our lives.


1. Connecting with people

There were days when people’s emails would reach you by post after waiting for months. But, the case is flipped now. 

Social media lets you stay in touch with your loved ones near and far, instantly! 

You can catch up with your old friends, chat with your cousins across the globe, and even reconnect with that awesome college roommate you haven’t seen in ages. This is just crazy.


2. Learn anything from anyone

Gone are the days when you had to travel 2 hours to attend your coaching or tuition to get the best resources, mentorship, and faculty. Now it’s right here on your screen with a few clicks. 

Literally everything. It’s not just about academics but other usual skills like cooking, trying out new Zumba steps, or arts and crafts. All it takes is just a simple search. 

This is something I had never imagined as a kid (I’d have saved a lot of time on my commute if I had had access to this goldmine earlier).


3. Laughter is the Best Medicine (and Social Media Can Be Your Doctor)

If you’re feeling down or bored, a quick scroll through your feed can be a mood-lifter. 

Funny memes, adorable animal videos, standup comedy, and hilarious tweets from your favorite comedians will keep you entirely hooked and you’ll laugh until your sides hurt (in a good way, of course!).

One of the best ways I love using social media is to scroll through the short videos of my favorite shows like FRIENDS. That show is definitely my cheerleader. 


4.  Finding Your Tribe

Social media platforms are like giant online communities where you can connect with people who share your hobbies and passions. 

Whether you’re into birdwatching, painting, or mastering the art of the perfect cup of coffee, there’s a group for you. 

It’s a fantastic way to find your niche, make new friends, and feel like you belong. 


5. Amplifying Your Voice

Social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness and sparking important conversations. 

From environmental issues to social justice movements, these platforms can help you connect with like-minded people and make a real difference in the world.

Bonus Positivity: Social media can also be a great way to showcase your talents, promote your business, or even land your dream job or clients!  It’s a platform for creativity, self-expression, and endless possibilities. 

I use LinkedIn and Instagram every day for work and I am thankful that I am alive in such times to be able to work from anywhere I want without compromising on my personal life. 


So, there you have it! But, this is just one side of the story. 

Now, let’s explore the other side of the coin- the negatives of social media.

how to be responsible in using social media

5 Negatives of Using Social Media 

By now you’d have known how social media is a fun and informative place to be in. 

However, using social media can also be a rabbit hole that leads to intense FOMO, anxiety, depression, and a lot of other things that you never knew existed, if you let it rule you.

Here are the not-so-great aspects of using social media and these are the things you must watch out for:


1. The Comparison Trap

Social media feeds are often highlights of people’s lives – everyone seems to be living their best lives, on vacation and drinking their favorite Champagne in Bali, making crores of revenue, or celebrating with picture-perfect friends. 

This can make your own lives feel ordinary or even inadequate. And, honestly, it does. It creates social media FOMO and leads you to the comparison trap. 

But, remember, nobody is sharing their struggles online. Most people only share the good side of their life, so don’t fall into the trap of comparing your everyday moments to someone else’s carefully curated feed. 

Also, there’s a new trend of finding things and living moments that can be just posted online. 

This has also made people’s lives more shallow. 

All of this also leads you to end up living in a bubble of likes, comments, shares, and a few reposts.

Ask yourself, is this what your life is truly meant for?


2. Anxiety Amplifier

As I used to get up in the morning, I just dread opening my phone because the moment I turn the wifi on, I’ll hear “Beep-Beep” for the next 5 minutes and the phone just explodes with notifications. 

The constant stream of updates, notifications, and breaking news can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety.  Feeling like you need to be constantly “on” and connected can be draining.

And, as much as I admire social media for its instant connectivity, I’ll admit that there are days when I just want to disconnect.

This is why I have turned off the notifications from all the apps except WhatsApp since that includes work. 


3. The Misinformation Maze

Fake news travels at the speed of light online, and social media can be a breeding ground for misinformation.  

Thus, it is important to be cautious about what you read and share online. Double-check information with credible sources before hitting that “share” button.


4. Low Self-Esteem 

Social media can become addictive, with the constant need to seek validation through likes and comments.  

It’s easy to get caught up in the quest for online popularity, which can negatively impact your self-esteem and demotivate you in pursuing your goals. 

I have been growing an audience online for the past 4 years but the slow pace at which my personal brand is growing does bother me at times. The effect is so strong that I even feel like removing all of it and hibernating from social media. 

Thankfully, I have my partner to handle me during such times and he helps me get back to reality and not lose myself in the hell hole of social media validation.  


5. CyberBullying

As soon as you’re connected to a computer and the internet, cyberbullying remains an evergreen threat. Unfortunately, anonymity online can embolden some people to be cruel.  

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that can have lasting consequences.  If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying, there are resources available to help.

Make sure you reach out to trusted authorities online in case of any such incidents. 

Now that you know both the good and bad sides of social media, it’s up to you how you want to leverage it.

Here is a list of 9 ways for you to be responsible while using social media in your everyday life. 


9 Sensible Ways to Be a Responsible Social Media User 

With great power comes great responsibility. Hence, being on social media also demands that you leave clean digital footprints and make it a safe and inclusive space for all to thrive. 

Doing that is no rocket science, just a few basic steps and you’re good to go. 

Here are 9 ways in which you can do so and ensure your online experience is positive and empowering both for you and for others:


1. Be mindful of what you’re posting

Just because you have the liberty to post/write/comment on anything and everything doesn’t give you the license to be rude or mean to strangers online.

Before hitting “post,” take a moment to think! Consider if your post is kind, respectful, and something you’d be comfortable sharing with everyone.


2. Curate your feed for good vibes

Your social media becomes what you make it! Follow accounts that inspire you, make you laugh, and fill your feed with positivity. 

Train the algorithms to show posts that you want to see and not the other way around. Unfollow anything that brings you down or makes you feel bad, especially about yourself. 

Something that scratches your wound shouldn’t get a place in your life, let alone social media.


3. Balance is Key

Take breaks! Schedule some screen-free time each day to reconnect with the real world. Fresh air, exercise, and face-to-face interactions can do wonders for your mental well-being.

Because as fancy and glamorous life on social media looks on the outside, it can get lonely in real life. Schedule monthly digital detox. Go offline and live the real life. 


4. Fact-check every single time

Not everything you see online is true. Be a critical thinker and double-check information with reliable sources before sharing or believing it. 

Social media can be a real “delulu” place for you if you blindly fall for everything it shows. Use your brain.

5. Be kind and empathetic

You never know what a person is going through. Someone happy, jolly, and fun outside might be battling depression and anxiety inside. Thus, be kind and empathetic.

Since everything on social media is meant to be all rosy and good, sharing vulnerabilities or your weak spots isn’t appreciated much. 

So before you judge someone or pass a remark, know behind-the-scenes first. Be kind and empathetic to everyone. Spread positivity and support others.


6. Privacy

If you don’t want your credentials to be misused or attract unwanted fuss, review your privacy settings regularly. 

Decide what information you’re comfortable sharing online and who can see your posts. Control how you use social media, don’t let it control you. 


7. Think Before You Share

While you are so cautious about your privacy, care for others too. 

Respect other people’s privacy. Don’t post anything about someone else without their permission.


8. Report Negativity

If you see cyberbullying or hateful content, don’t be a bystander.  

Report it to the platform and offer support to the person being targeted. That’s how it becomes a safe space for all of us.


9. Be You, Unapologetically

Social media is a great way to express yourself and connect with like-minded people. 

Don’t be afraid to be authentic and share your real personality with the world because you are YOU. There’s no one like you and that in itself is a big superpower.

This is what I preach and practice too while using social media for work. 

If you carefully observe, you’ll agree that using social media responsibly isn’t that big of a task. It is as simple as following the above 9 steps using your brain and being aware. 

This isn’t too much to ask for, is it?


“It’s a dialogue and not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that social media is more like a telephone than a television”

~Amy Jo Martin

Think about it. With TV, you just sit back and watch whatever program is on. Social media, on the other hand, is more interactive. 

You can choose who you “connect” with, just like picking up the phone to call someone.

You have more control over what you see on social media. You curate your own feed by following the people and pages you’re interested in. 

You can also choose to engage in conversations or simply observe. It’s all about being intentional with how you use it.

I have laid the good, the bad, and everything in between on using social media, now, the ball is in your court.

Instead of feeling bombarded by content or sharing miserable and hateful comments or thoughts, you can choose to spread love and warmth. 

You can choose to be a responsible social media user. It’s all about being mindful and taking charge of your experience.

While you balance your way of using social media, here is a guide on adapting the art of mindful living to implement it in that area of your life.

Enjoy reading it!