Photo: Get.com

Here, we share with you five powerful ways in which social media is affecting us, consciously and subconsciously.

1. Social Media Trains Us To Become Stalkers

If you are pretty proficient and dare I say, 99 per cent addicted to using and keeping tabs on social media, you would have realised how much information you can garner and piece together just by clicking and being totally shrewd about it. 

After all, there have been instances of real people finding out that their partners have cheated on them, all because of social media. Look it up online if you don’t believe me! Pictures and social media notifications speak louder than a thousand words. 

Also, many become obsessed with counting the number of ‘likes’ on all of their posts, often clicking in further to see which friend has ‘liked’ and which friend hasn’t. To you, those friends of yours who didn’t ‘like’ your posts even after 20 hours of posting have now somewhat hinted their disloyalty to you. 

Okay, that’s a bit too exaggerated but you get the drift. 

Remember that cute guy friend of one of your close friends? Needless to say, you’ve probably already gone onto Facebook or Instagram to see if you steal more glimpses anonymously.

2. Social Media Makes Us More Conscious Of Our Relationship Statuses

As if we aren’t already putting ourselves out there for the entire world (including creeps) to scrutinise, our relationship statuses are often put on the line, too. 

This is especially true for those who are single, perhaps undateable, who also happen to be ‘friends’ on social media with their aunts, uncles and grandaunts. 

You can’t blame them for bombarding you with the ‘aiyo, when are you going to settle down with somebody’ question when all you’ve been posting are grainy selfies of yourself with adorable mascots at the shopping malls. If anything, consider going to dating agencies to appease them. Who knows if you’ll meet your soulmate.

Those at the other end of the spectrum can be affected as well. When I was half a decade younger, this friend of mine always ‘unfriended’ her boyfriend (and vice versa) whenever they fought. Well, before she even texted me to grumble about her ordeal with her then-boyfriend, Facebook had already sent a notification. That happened too often, and got a tad too annoying. 

3. Social Media Can Make Us Poorer

With the plethora of hipster cafesfancy restaurants and quirky bars all over our social media feed, how are we supposed to keep ourselves disciplined and not be tempted to explore all these places in our free time? 

The food and fashion bloggers/social media influencers whom we are all so envious of aren’t helping either, with their constant posts of designer bags, exotic holiday travels, and 200% Instagram-worthy food pictures.

In short, social media has immense power to break our banks if we are to buy into a lifestyle of splurging. 

4. Social Media Saps Away Face-To-Face Interaction

Social media albeit charming in its own right, has gotten so many of us neglecting face-to-face human interaction just because it has become a habit for us to prefer connecting with others via social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder and whatnot. 

True to globalisation’s prowess, many of us have our noses stuck in our electronic devices for too long, too frequently. Contrary to what we all would assume, a study by CNBC found that social media is, in fact, the main reason that’s making millennials less social. 

5. Social Media Can Help Us Save Money If We Use It Right

Truth be told, social media isn’t all that bad. Social media provides us with platforms that we can use to save some money while being speedy and effective at the same time. 

Case in point, promoting one’s business on Instagram or Facebook through standard posts doesn’t cost anything. Bear in mind that building up your brand name, following and ensuring that you always have stunning visuals on hand is really crucial, though! 

If you don’t already know, exclusive promotions and discounts are often doled out on businesses’ posts. So, we as consumers get to enjoy all these awesome savings through social media as well.

The original version of this story was published in get.com on December 23, 2016.