Let’s go back 15 years to a world where Facebook and Twitter were unheard of, - a time before these two world-dominant social media platforms begun collectively attracting literally billions, yes, billions of monthly users.

It’s almost impossible for teens to understand how a generation ever survived without a constant internet connection and it comes as no surprise if those of you in your mid-twenties are finding it difficult to remember the times when we would actually like things without giving the virtual thumbs up.

Yes, it’s true that life has changed remarkably in the last decade but it’s important to consider both the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ effects social media is having on the way we live today, to allow us to appreciate the fast-paced world we now find ourselves living in.

Starting with the positives- global communication is possible around the world at any time with just a few keystrokes.

Instead of making phone calls across seas, we can stay in touch for free and share personal messages and photos, - which has become particularly beneficial for loved ones living far from one another since it allows us to remain a part of someone's world, helping any long-distance issue a thing of the past.

The effortless communication channel between people and businesses has resulted in huge savings on the marketing front as customers can now tell businesses exactly what they want,- in turn meaning that products and services can be tailored to meet our needs, fast and efficiently.

It is great for like-minded individuals to discuss important topics, it has encouraged freedom of speech and allowed for people to discover things they never knew before. Young people are now, - more than ever before involved with their country’s politics and social media has played a big part in that.

Having said all of this, not all good has come from connecting the world in such a way.

With people spending more time glued to their phones than they are able to spend holding face-to-face conversations, it’s certainly a cause for concern as the impersonal undertones appear to have taken control of our social lives as a whole.

Productivity in the workplace has undoubtedly suffered due to more time being wasted scrolling through distracting live feeds during working hours. Just don’t get caught if you’re one of them!

Social media has also gotten a lot of users into trouble as rumours have been able to travel like wild-fire. Some people who find it difficult to keep certain views and opinions to themselves which has caused arguments and even break-ups. Comments from bully's are also left to thrive online. I think we can all think of one example or another ourselves!

It has also never been easier for internet trolls to cause grief to families by infiltrating negative comments to the world through social media too, (but we won't let them spoil our fun!)

To conclude, the effects have been somewhat balanced. If you are able to keep your own life centred to reality and avoid it revolving around social media, whilst using it to your advantage, we commend you.

For those possessed by it, it may just be time for you to switch off your phone and enjoy more of what this wonderful world had, and still has to offer before it's too late.