Are we too connected? The dangers of social media

Are we too connected? The dangers of social media
Are we too connected? Photo source WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are apps that have become the centerpiece of our lives. They're the way we get the vital information at our fingertips before anyone else, but for some it may be too much.

"Social media is a good thing," said behavior psychologist Geralyn Datz. "It's a good thing to communicate. It's a good thing to network. It's a helpful way to connect with people, but the flipside of social media is that it causes a constant comparison to other people."

According to Datz, the statistics back it up.

"People who are more unhappy tend to spend more time on social media," Datz said. "Even though that's not helpful for them and it's not the main purpose of that medium. It becomes a negative cycle where the person keeps checking and keeps looking."

Datz said that social media can be used for good. Facebook was used by many after the Jan. 21 tornado.

"Social media does so many amazing things," Datz said. "It promotes education, social connections. During crisis people reached out to us in Hattiesburg when we just had that tornado. There were so many people who asked for assistance and got assistance through Facebook and other means."

Just like anything else, if used improperly, social media can cause harm.

"If it feels like it's too much, it probably is, and that might mean you need to get offline," Datz said.