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Ash RoyMay 4, 2013 12:55:40 PM5 min read

Should you say No to social media? The Pros and Cons

How much time should you spend on your social media accounts?

Is a social media presence essential if you want to build a brand?

How do social media platforms impact your real life?

We'll explore these questions and a lot more in this blog post. 

Let's start by looking at that last question first.

How social media platforms impact your real life

According to this article in the Washington Post, 64% of US adults claim that social media has a mostly negative impact on their life, but 72% maintain at least one social media account according to the Pew Research Center.

Social media apps have been associated with depression, loneliness and even addiction. 

The negative impacts of excessive social media use are undeniable. 

But the key word in that last sentence is "excessive". 

We often use social media to augment our need for social interaction. For example, I often organise meetups using social media tools like Whatsapp.

After having met a person in real life, we often continue the conversation via social media tools too. 

This literally 'extends' our social interaction. Human beings are social creatures and depending on your use of social media, it can also be a good thing.

Social media platforms create social proof

Corporations are flocking to Facebook and LinkedIn to establish themselves online. It’s a matter of time before a corporation will have no validity without a positive social media identity …  and a very prominent one at that (Talk about the digital divide!).

I can’t help but wonder what happens to the local grocery store that sees the Internet as this enigmatic puzzle somewhere out there in the ether!

As an individual, you need to have a LinkedIn account if you want a complete identity in the corporate world. Apply for a job and you can be almost certain that the recruiting manager will check you out on LinkedIn.

Hell, she might even check you out on Google to look for any quirks (usually exposed via indiscreet Facebook status updates) in your personality outside of office hours that could present a problem as an employee!

If I don’t look up my potential line manager's LinkedIn profile before going for a job interview I don’t consider myself fully prepared. And if I don’t find their presence on LinkedIn I actually reconsider my application.

X (formerly Twitter) is your megaphone

 If you want to be a thought leader then you are at a distinct competitive disadvantage without twitter. If you have something valuable to say and want to be heard then twitter is your megaphone.

Different social mediums are sprouting everywhere: each with its own slight twist on sharing ideas, vying for a niche in the growing market of mental real estate.

A mental landscape with fast shrinking attention spans I might add!

Instagram, Tumblr, Stumbleupon … the list goes on

Your social media presence can be a double-edged sword

Don't be seduced into thinking A social media presence can only do you good. It truly is a double-edged sword. You live and die by your reputation online.

Consistency of communication, delivery of quality content, and an interesting (but not annoying personality) are essential for social media success.

Spammers and sycophants very quickly relegate into insignificance and even end up with considerable “bad will”  making their online presence a liability rather than an asset

So if you don’t have a Twitter or a Facebook account … get one now … but think before you post because the world is watching.

The big five social media sites in 2024

There are hundreds of social media sites out there. Maybe thousands. 

But the biggest 5 at the time of this writing are:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Whatsapp
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

And unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of all of them.

Chances are you use them on a daily basis. 

Here's the truth: We use social media day in and day out. There's no getting away from it. 

Personally, I don't think it's possible to live a 'normal' life without social media for most people. This is especially true if you're an entrepreneur like me who needs to get the word out about his business, new offers etc.

Even getting the word out about this blog post I'm writing will require me to share the URL on various social media platforms (even if the platforms dampen the reach given the external links)

For someone like me, quitting social media is kinda like going off the grid. Chances are that's true for you too.

The key is to use social media mindfully.

The pros and cons of social media

Perhaps it's worth getting a more balanced view by looking at the pros and cons of social media in turn.

Pros of social media


  • A great source of entertainment (in moderation)
  • Extend in person connections via chat
  • Discover news and information in real-time
  • Connect with people across the globe instantly
  • Great for content discovery and brainstorming new ideas
  • Marketing opportunities for businesses to reach their target audience
  • Extremely useful in public service announcements like floods or hurricanes


Cons of social media


  • A great source of entertainment (in excess)
  • Information overload if overused
  • Can increase isolation if used in excess
  • Makes children vulnerable to cyberbullying
  • Often evokes 'fear of missing out' aka FOMO
  • Often leads to sleep disruption if not managed
  • Evokes feelings of inadequacy in absence of real life relationships

Did you notice that first point exists on both the pros and the cons? 

If you look through all the cons listed above, you'll see that almost all of them are associated with excessive use of social media. 

Concluding thoughts

Should you go cold turkey on social media and get a digital detox underway asap?

Well the answer is ... it depends.

Ultimately, social media is a tool like anything. And almost anything can be addictive if not managed intelligently.

You can get addicted to TV, medications, food and just about anything at all. All of these addictions have the potential to cause mental health issues.

I think it's not the substance (in this case social media) that's the problem. It's the relationship you choose to cultivate with social media that's the problem.

You don't need to develop a social media habit that has you poking away at your smartphone based on muscle memory.

If you make a conscious effort to focus on building stronger relationships with other human beings online and offline social media shouldn't present a problem.

Some recommendations to manage social media use intelligently


  • Curate your social media feeds
  • Take regular breaks from social media
  • Manage your screen time proactively
  • Manage your online presence proactively
  • Don't keep your smartphone in your bedroom
  • Avoid spending excessive time on social media sites
  • Use your free time wisely and meet people in person as often as possible

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments. 



Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!