Young woman in bed staring at her phone

The 24/7 News Cycle of Social Media

And its negative impact on us

Tech and the online worldMental health and wellbeingSocial Issues
By VoiceBox ·

Jan

A young person from Malaysia who writes about anything and everything that interests her

The 24/7 News Cycle of Social Media - And How it Affects Us

Climate change is going to kill us all, the cost of living is rising, but wages aren’t, people can barely get a job with a single degree because everyone has at least one degree, yadda yadda yadda. Every day I log onto some form of social media, be it Reddit, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and I’m met with all kinds of doom and gloom posts that paint the future as something so bleak and yet, I still log on every day. The irony is truly astounding. 

A huge part of why I feel like social media can be so damaging to us is because of what is called the 24/7 news cycle. It is defined as a 24-hour investigation and reporting of news, concomitant with fast-paced lifestyles. News stations are all trying to get ahead of each other, trying to get the latest scoop, and one thing they realized is that negative news actually captures people’s attention more. Just think about it, when you see a wholesome story, such as a child finding their biological parents after several decades, you just smile and move on. Yet, a story about an ongoing murder investigation keeps our eyes glued to the screen.

While it’s true that the 24/7 news cycle keeps us informed, the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ becomes somewhat true in a sense. Negative pieces of news get cycled more, reinforcing the idea that the world truly is a sh*tty place. 

What’s even worse is the misleading, misinformed or outright false narratives that are spread on social media, forming these echo chambers of ridiculousness or stupidity that hinders humanity’s ability to move forward. Many of these claims might start as something small, but they slowly spread through the use of social media as people share articles, linking to some bogus “scientific” journal that “proves” these claims. It’s one thing for people to believe ridiculous conspiracy theories that they read online, but it’s something worse if these things cause irreparable damage to society as a whole. 

Social media can make us feel insecure and insignificant too. Have you ever logged onto Instagram and seen a bunch of beautiful people with their perfect lives doing all the things that you wished that you could do? The constant envy at people hanging out with their friends doing super fun things and the number of likes and followers they had made me feel so bad about myself that I ended up deleting Instagram because of it. I understand that people always put up their best online and that anyone can fake a great life on social media but knowing this just doesn’t seem to diminish that feeling inside of me. 

Ultimately, social media is a b*tch, but I’m sure, like many of you, I can’t keep away from it like a moth attracted to the fire. It’s important to at least try to take a break from it when all the negativity becomes overwhelming.

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