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  • Ryoga

Is Social Media Really Necessary?

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Image: Illustration depicting social media icons with a question mark, emphasizing the question of the necessity of social media.

The advent of social media has revolutionized the way people communicate, share information, and even conduct business. However, the question remains: Is social media truly essential, or is it a mere distraction that we can live without?

Before getting to the answer, let's delve into the pros and cons of using social media.

The Upside of Social Media

Maintaining Connections: Easy to Keep in Touch With Others

It makes it easier to keep in touch with others. Wherever we are, social media simplifies staying connected with friends, family, and colleagues across the globe. Sending messages is easier than using email, and as long as there's an internet connection, it doesn't incur any fees to call someone from anywhere, unlike international phone calls, which may involve charges. Social media platforms offer a convenient and cost-effective method of communication.

Staying Updated with Latest information

Social media platforms offer various information for any interest. By checking social media, we can stay updated on the latest information, which can be crucial for some professions.

Business and Brand Promotion

In today's digital age, social media has become a powerful platform for businesses and brands to engage with their customers, attract new ones, and even conduct transactions. It serves as an effective marketing tool, making it almost indispensable for businesses.

The Downside of Social Media

May Stay in Touch with Toxic People

Staying in touch with toxic people is a potential downside of social media because it's easier to add people. The simplicity of adding contacts can lead to an ever-growing list, including those who may be toxic or categorized as 'random friends.' Even if you don't want to stay in touch with them, they might send you messages to hang out. However, if you can ignore messages from them, it may not be a significant issue.

Easier to Use Social Media for Entertainment

Social media platforms are designed to be addictive. The endless stream of posts, updates, and notifications can lead to excessive use, resulting in short-term focus, instant gratification, and even mental health issues.

The Consumerism Conundrum

Unless you are using social media for business purposes, you are likely to fall into the consumer category, constantly consuming content created by others. This can lead to the negative effects associated with excessive social media use.

How About Using Social Media for Messaging Purposes?

Messenger apps like WhatsApp are technically considered social media. In my personal opinion, WhatsApp is a good social media platform. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, WhatsApp offers only simple messaging and phone call features. 

I've noticed that adding people on Instagram and Facebook is easier than on WhatsApp because it doesn't require us to have others' phone numbers. This ease of adding people might lead to connecting with 'random friends' or toxic people. While it's still possible to add such people on WhatsApp, we tend to be more cautious about security when adding new people since we share our number. 

If you want to use social media only for messaging, it might be better to delete other social media apps and keep a messenger app like WhatsApp. If someone you connect with only on Instagram or Facebook doesn't have your WhatsApp contact, you could share your number with them.

Is Social Media Worth Keeping?

The short answer is no, but if you use social media for business purposes, it can be beneficial. However, if you use platforms like Instagram or Facebook for personal reasons, there is almost no point in having them. Keeping a messenger app like WhatsApp would be a good idea to stay in touch with others without the distracting features. However, if you don't find a messenger app necessary, it's probably better to delete all social media.

I used to have two messaging apps and deleted another messaging app, Line, which is widely used in Japan, and I had many random people's contacts. After deleting it, there were no negative side effects. The only positive change I noticed was that I could stay away from toxic people. Therefore, if WhatsApp is not bringing benefits for you, consider deleting it.

It's essential to evaluate your use of social media critically and make an informed decision based on your personal and professional needs. For some, deleting social media can bring relief and a newfound focus on more fulfilling activities.

Remember, social media is a tool, and like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how you use it. If it serves your purpose without causing harm, it can be a valuable asset. If not, it may be time to consider deleting it.


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