The Negative Side of Social Media and How it Can Impact Your Life

Saesha Kukreja
6 min readJan 6, 2023

In the social media world, all platforms — Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, TikTok, Twitter, etc. compete for your attention. Platforms have the incentive to keep you on their app for as long as possible because it ensures that you spend less time on a competitor’s app. This is due to the fact that we are more profitable to these platforms if we spend longer on their apps, rather than focus on our own goals and aspirations.

Illustration by OrangeCrush

This became abundantly clear to me after Instagram introduced Reels and Youtube launched Shorts to become more like TikTok. The integration of short-form content increased suddenly because of the immense popularity evident by the rise of TikTok.

“If you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.”¹

Ads pay to be shown on social media because they are certain that they have millions of eyes on their ads at any given time.

And how do they have all of these users on social media, to begin with?

Predictive models and algorithms are specifically built to predict what type of content we interact with. The algorithm decides what videos and in what order you see them. Even we as humans cannot fully understand the algorithms we have built because they are largely facilitated by machine learning.



Saesha Kukreja

Biology Major 🔬/ Author of Quaranteen 🖋/ Avid Reader and Bibliophile 📚