Essay Sample on Effects of Social Media to the Society

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1548 Words
Date:  2022-06-24

Introduction

While the roots of social media stretch deeper than we can imagine, it is only a decade ago that many people began to embrace it. Major sites like MySpace and Friendster had gained a relatively huge following even though a majority of the population had no idea of what they were like (Landry). In the early 21st century, Facebook had begun to spread across the globe. Most people had signed up for it but did not see its relevance until a few years later. Twitter had also surfaced about the same time but was pointless. Until recently social media had gained a huge reputation as a useful communication and marketing tool which has seen it become a significant part of modern lifestyle. While many people applaud social media as a revolutionary invention others view it as a negative influence on the society. Whether social media is a good or a bad thing is one of the biggest controversies in today's society. Ideally, there are two sides of the coin, and this depends on our perception of how we perceive it. Social media is a force for evil and we should start rethinking on how we use it.

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Indeed social media has become a significant part of our modern lives. Many people use social networking for communication as well as for marketing. Today's younger generation is so much into social networking that they find it difficult to comprehend how people went without them in the past. They are deeply embedded in the social networking culture that they cannot conceive a world without smartphones, internet, and social media. As a social media user, I can surely agree with the fact that social media has improved our life experiences. However, there are several shortcomings which critiques have always used to paint social networking sites as a force for evil.

More than ever, social media has opened up a whole new avenue of communication for millions of people across the globe. The good thing about this technology is that it enables space-time interaction among individuals in different parts of the world. The users of this technology believe that convenience comes first. Therefore, they lack reservations about giving out their personal information in their public profiles. One major problem that stands out is that social media users tend to overlook the possibility of their private information getting to unintended people. Although social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ play a significant role in our lives they pose consequential privacy risks (Landry). As the number of social network users continues to rise it is getting harder to conceal our identity.

Nowadays, hackers snoop through the social media looking for victims. They hide behind anonymity with fake account profiles to attract people and prey on them. It is also exceedingly impossible to estimate the number of genuine personal accounts on social media. It turns out that when one receives a tweet or a Facebook there is a high possibility that scammers might be involved. While people may seem calm and cool in real life, it is surprising to see how they behave when their true identity is disguised. Partly, this is the reason why many people engage in less productive activities in the social media and making it difficult for others to enjoy using the technology (Landry). Individuals who hide behind anonymity should know better that it is a cowardly act and shows lack of character. Before being offensive anonymously it is important that one becomes reasonable.

Over the years I have come to learn that there is no real involvement in most activities that take place in social media. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are known for heated topics regarding politics, economy and controversial issues. Much of the stuff discussed online is rarely applied in the real world. It is all talk and no action. The idea of people taking issues on social media is to get likes and shares than actually seeking to address matters arising. For instance, the concept of hashtag activism in twitter is a really good idea but unfortunately, most of it is all talk. Social media is crawling with people who are ready to take on issues but no one is ever ready to fix the problems. Ranting on social media does not make things better it only makes matters worse. People should start taking matters into their own hands. Nothing is going work by just posting pictures, videos, and comments about controversial issues.

Social media has twined into our lives and even though we enjoy it, some of its aspects are detrimental to our mental health. While many think that social media allows us to stay connected to our loved ones studies have shown that it makes us feel lonelier. Merriam-Webster defines loneliness as "the state of being sad from being apart from people or company"(Ascharya). Peplau and Perlman assert that loneliness is a contradiction between one's desired level of socialization and what one wants to achieve. Ideally, we can be lonely despite having company. Technology has increased the effects of social isolation and made us feel lonelier than ever.

Research conducted by Carnegie Mellon long before Facebook was invented in 1998 showed that the increasing use of the internet is consistent with increasing cases of loneliness. This and many other findings have led to the question of whether technology makes us feel isolated (Ascharya). There is no substantial evidence to prove whether social media is the reason for growing feelings of emptiness among people. However, there is a growing consensus among people who feel that social networking sites particularly Facebook is not healthy for our emotions and relationships following its usage. Though many of us are into social media, it has been considered a casual avenue for communication. This explains why a majority of texts sent through social networking sites are often ignored. There is no guarantee that our messages will be replied. Facebook can cause isolation and feeling of emptiness especially when we see our loved ones and close friends living their lives happily without our presence. This can fuel hate reading and unwanted behaviors due to feelings of inadequacy. The gap between other peoples achievement as perceived in the social media and our realities can make one feel dissatisfied and lonelier.

Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor, points out that our smartphones and social networking sites have changed how people relate to one another and themselves. She argues that while social media prioritizes control and convenience, it does not facilitate genuine connection because online chatting gives us control over what we want others to see or believe. Nowadays people shy away from face to face communication to avoid keen scrutiny or being too revealing. To escape such realities, we turn to electronic communication where we feel relieved from discomfort (Ascharya).

Intimacy and connection are essential in meaningful communication. Unfortunately, social networking robs us of the opportunity of creating bonds which often requires an investment of time and the ability to maintain close relationships. Social media gives us the illusion of connectedness while in the real sense there is no intimacy and companionship.

Psychologist Adam Alter's presentation in TED talks provides an insightful illumination on the effect of technology on our lives. He asserts that technology robs us much time to the extent that it makes us miserable. He presents a fascinating theory known as "dog food" where he illustrates how many organizations do not utilize their products themselves yet they present them for consumption (Adam). Alter interestingly relates the theory to Apple Inc where the co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs confesses that actually, his children have not used the This is quite contradictory to his marketing strategy where he gives all credit to his company's product. The same happens in Silicon Valley where the parents who work as high tech technology engineers do not introduce their children to computers until they are mature enough (Adam). If the brains behind the screen and social networking technology are cautious about it usage it means the ignorant population is indeed so much vulnerable to the negative effects.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that social media is doing us more harm than good. Social media is more of a weapon than just a tool for communication. Once you let it rule your life you lose control and ability to disengage yourself from it. The technology reduces productivity because people spend more time on their screen than engaging in real life activities. It is a breeding ground for bullying by people who hide behind anonymity. It causes the feeling of inadequacy and thus isolation. It puts our privacy in jeopardy. I love social media but let us face it; the cons weigh out the pros. Unless we change the way we use social media technology, it remains hazardous to us individually and the society as critics put it.

Works Cited

Adam, Alter. "What makes us incessantly check our phones?" TED Talks, 14 April.2017, https://www.ted.com/talks/adam_alter_why_our_screens_make_us_less_happy?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

Ascharya, Kat. "What Facebook Is Doing To Your Brain Is Kind Of Shocking.". 2Machines, 2018, http://2machines.com/184299/. Accessed 17 July 2018.Landry, T. "How social media has changed us: The good and the bad." (2014)

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Essay Sample on Effects of Social Media to the Society. (2022, Jun 24). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-sample-on-effects-of-social-media-to-the-society

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