The benefits and downsides were already spoken of a lot in my previous blog posts. This blog post in not necessarily about a negative or positive aspect of social media. However, you could say that it is a negative development for people that want to decrease their social media use. I want to talk about the way we are forced to use social media in today’s times.
One example is that when I started my bachelor International Studies at the Leiden University we all ‘had’ to sign up for the Facebook page of our study year. This is useful because a lot of information was put up on there and we were able to ask questions/look for summaries etc. However, what if you did not want to use Facebook? What if you are against the idea of it? We were in a way forced to use it. This also goes for a lot of apps that only allow you to register or at least pressure you to register with your already existing Facebook account. A lot of games and dating apps and other sorts of online platforms force you to at least have a Facebook account.
I personally think that social media should be a choice and not a must have. There are lots of reasons not to use social media. The fact that they use your data, cause mental health issues and are proven to be addictive for example. It is weird that institutions like universities sort of force you to use them when there are good reasons to abstain from them.
I would suggest that important institutions and other online activities should make room and consider people that made the decision not to use social media.