Social Power

 

Social media has created a lot of fuel for debate across various world issues. Some say that social media is a powerful tool that has the ability to motivate many people for a particular cause. Others say that it undermines social interaction by requiring people to constantly perform their personalities for their peers, creating more problems for its users than it does solutions.

I agree with those arguing the pros of social media. Presidents have been overthrown by rallies organised over social media, people have shown widespread support for those affected by atrocity. This care for strangers or ability to come together to support issues of common interest is the true power of social media and the reason it has become such an influential tool for social change. (Friedman, 2016)

CYBER BULLYING!!

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=cyber+bullying&safe=strict&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyrabqo6zQAhVGnZQKHUCCDB4Q_AUICCgB&biw=1280&bih=918#imgrc=9dmlEjm06OSAmM%3A

One of the main reasons I disagree social media helps this world is cyber bullying, a lot of people can view it and take part in it so someone and their mates just makes a kids life a living hell. It is also often done with the bully hiding their identity cause social media gives you the power to do that it is difficult to remove as it is shared online and can be saved whenever wherever. A 14 year old girl Hannah Smith was getting insults about her weight, cruel taunts and family death on a social media app called ask.fm, a question and answer social networking site that allows anonymous participation. According to her father she was on there to look for advice on the skin condition eczema, while she was on there they urged her to drink bleach and cut herself. On August 3rd, 2013 her body was discovered by her older sister she had hung herself in her bedroom. Following the suicide, Hannah’s sister, Jo, described how just days after discovering her younger sister’s body she started to receive abusive messages on her Facebook mocking her loss and blaming her grieving fathers parenting skills for the tragic death.

 

THE CATFISH!!

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=i+told+her+i+was+a+pitbull+%23catfish&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=580&tbm=isch&imgil=hz1cg8L3n_aHvM%253A%253BHOYOJL_IW6n3oM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fcbs816.blogspot.com%25252F2015%25252F11%25252Fcatfish.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=hz1cg8L3n_aHvM%253A%252CHOYOJL_IW6n3oM%252C_&usg=__Z3caGHdqJkWEpPBkpJwAERx_WKs%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiR8vWSzqzQAhVFo5QKHRKXBswQyjcIJg&ei=kfcrWNHlNMXG0gSSrprgDA#imgrc=VXGSDmunbiPD-M%3A

 

https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-06/3/13/enhanced/webdr14/grid-cell-2829-1433352235-2.jpg

“The real Elke’s picture used for a profile named Rochelle”

This article will prove that with social media and all the privileges you get from it and how much access you have to everyone else’s personal information you can easily ruin a person’s life by doing things like catfishing making it look like its them while they really have no idea and one of the worst things is they have no idea so they cannot do anything about it unless someone finds out and lets them know.

Elke got a message from a student she went to school with, he said “someone is on tinder and Instagram using your photos and a few of my mates said they’ve been ‘tuning’ her.” When Elke tried to search her she was blocked and so were her family, so she ended up just getting a heap of people to report this so called “Rochelle” she thought it was over but about a month or so later she got a message on Facebook saying someone has been using your pictures and were having a relationship over it and she was stunned. But the guy who messaged her was convinced he wasn’t being cat fished but his mates told him he was so he tried several times to meet this person and excuse upon excuse kept coming up so he cut her off and the all of a sudden she disappeared this shows that no one is safe in this online world and neither is your identity you do not know what kind of people are out there.

 

SNAPCHAT!!!

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=snapchat&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=580&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTmqPU1qzQAhXEoJQKHTORClEQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=lKBzkXC06Gl-7M%3A

One of the main killers of our society is snapchat, snapchat is an app that leads people to think I can send wat ever I want and It only last for 10seconds and its gone while there other apps out there that let you screenshot photos and messages with the other person knowing about it. This leads teenage girls and boys to do very stupid things and then regretting it later when it leaks like for example this story.

In 2013 ten teens were arrested in Laval, Montreal suspected for sharing child pornography. According to the news report then the teens were aged 13 to 15 and were using a variety of gadgets to take photos of their girlfriends who are within the same age range. These girls got convinced because of social media and people on it that it was completely OK to send out nude selfies. They were also using snapchat for this thinking nothing would happen as they can only be seen for 10 seconds anyone you send the photos to have the capability of screenshotting it and we also don’t know to what extent these photos would go out on social media this all is just a little of what is actually going on in this world with social media and how completely dangerous it is. Is anyone really safe with all our personal information and identity out there for people to look at and be able to steal, Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Friedman, T. (2016). Social Media: Destroyer or Creator?. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/opinion/social-media-destroyer-or-creator.html?_r=0 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

“Cyberbullying: What Is It And How To Get Help: Violence, Harassment And Bullying Fact Sheet | Australian Human Rights Commission”. Humanrights.gov.au. N.p., 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

“Hannah Smith,  Pure sight,  Real Life Stories”. Puresight.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

BuzzFeed. (2016). 17 Of The Most Insane Catfish Stories That Will Make You Cringe. [online] Available at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/insane-catfish-stories-that-will-make-you-want-to-delete?utm_term=.aoqQpJ9p1#.tyoWgnDgG [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Kotenko, J. (2016). Snapchat tied to child pornography investigation. [online] Digital Trends. Available at: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/snapchat-child-porn-problem/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Google.com.au. (2016). snapchat – Google Search. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=snapchat&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=580&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTmqPU1qzQAhXEoJQKHTORClEQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=lKBzkXC06Gl-7M%3A [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].Img.buzzfeed.com. (2016).

Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-06/3/13/enhanced/webdr14/grid-cell-2829-1433352235-2.jpg [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Google.com.au. (2016). i told her i was a pitbull #catfish – Google Search. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=i+told+her+i+was+a+pitbull+%23catfish&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=580&tbm=isch&imgil=hz1cg8L3n_aHvM%253A%253BHOYOJL_IW6n3oM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fcbs816.blogspot.com%25252F2015%25252F11%25252Fcatfish.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=hz1cg8L3n_aHvM%253A%252CHOYOJL_IW6n3oM%252C_&usg=__Z3caGHdqJkWEpPBkpJwAERx_WKs%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiR8vWSzqzQAhVFo5QKHRKXBswQyjcIJg&ei=kfcrWNHlNMXG0gSSrprgDA#imgrc=VXGSDmunbiPD-M%3A [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Google.com.au. (2016). cyber bullying – Google Search. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=cyber+bullying&safe=strict&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyrabqo6zQAhVGnZQKHUCCDB4Q_AUICCgB&biw=1280&bih=918#imgrc=9dmlEjm06OSAmM%3A [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

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Logged in or locked out? – The social disconnection

by Ben Aisbitt

Everyone wants to feel connected, in an age where we are ruled by our smartphones, laptops and tablets it’s undeniable that we feel more connected than ever before and we, as human beings, have an inherent need to be connected. Facebook, twitter and instagram are all social networks that we use to stay connected, whether you’re updating your latest profile picture on facebook, or retweeting your favourite celebrities latest upload we all feel connected via the same mediums (social media). However, with this new means of being connected with your friends, family and peers, it’s ironic to think we are as disconnected from one another as ever before. Everyone would rather interact via social media through their ipads, imacs and iphones but face-to-face interactions are now foreign to many people, particularly amongst children and adolescents. Feeling connected gives people the feeling of approval and for others gives them the feeling of social power and authority.

Losing touch – The frightening prospect of face-to-face interaction

Staying connected is no longer meeting up for drinks or catching up over lunch. We have switched to connecting via the world wide web, why…? ell to put it simply, using the internet as a means of social interaction is easier, faster, more efficient and convenient for us. We are beginning to interact less with one another, but at the same time interaction is higher than ever. Over 40% of adults and 51% said that they would rather communicate using a form of instant messaging (Facebook messenger, text message, email etc.) rather than having a face-to-face conversation with somebody, including their friends (Attentiv.com, 2016) . For many people, they find face to face interactions intrusive and confronting as well as being somewhat presumptuous. Developmental psychologists studying the impact of social media on humans are particularly worried with the younger generation of social media users. Not just because children are such promiscuous users of technology but because their interpersonal skills – such as they are – have not yet fully developed. When today’s adults first got there hands on a mobile phone, they had already developed a set of fixed social quantities, and while their ability to have a face to face conversation may have eroded over the years, it is pretty well locked in (Kluger, 2016).

Social media fact!

Did you know that 24% of people have missed witnessing important life moments because they were too busy trying to write about them on their social media networks…whilst they were taking place? Some of these include weddings, graduations and even child births.

(Bennett, 2016)

The need to belong

People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, having a caring, affectionate bond or relationship is a major part of human behaviour (Leary, 2016). Some people use social media as a means of approval. For some, receiving an absurd number of likes on your latest profile picture is satisfying and for others they want to share with you their latest meal via instagram or flaunt their new relationship on facebook. You may ask yourself why, but it is known as the need to belong. The need to belong is an intrinsic motivation to affiliate with others and be socially accepted (Cherry, 2016). This need can make people present themselves in a particular way in order to belong to a specific social group. In terms of social media, the thoughts and images people post may be a means of being accepted. For example, somebody may adopt the dress sense and mannerisms of other members of a social group to gain acceptance. In many cases, the need to belong to certain social groups results from sharing some point of commonality.

Image result for social media the ego system

Really your friends? – Popularity contest

We have all at one point or another been scrolling through our facebook newsfeed and seen a status from someone and thought ‘Do I even know this person?’ but still we dismiss the thought and continue to scroll aimlessly past them. “Friendships, in particular, have a natural decay rate in the absence of contact, and social media may well function to slow down the rate of decay. However, that alone may not be sufficient to prevent friendships eventually dying naturally if they are not occasionally reinforced by face-to-face interaction.” (Batliwala, 2016). Since when has having an obscene number of facebook friends really gotten to the point where we befriend people we know little-to-nothing about, including their identity? The whole concept of social media is to inform, connect, socialise and entertain its users. However what social media has become, is a popularity contest. A form of dominance and way for people to feel like they’re important and a need for approval (Advanced life skills, 2016). The average facebook user knows 73.2% of their friends on facebook (LAUNCH, 2016)

Graph: Percentage of friends known, by user age and gender

http://www.launch.co/blog/the-average-facebook-user-knows-732-of-friends.html (LAUNCH, 2016)

It’s funny how  we can be so with honest and connected with something as intimate like the internet but not even know who the people are seeing our photos, memories and opinions.

Image result for lets be clear we're only friends on facebook

In a world dominated by technology, social networks aren’t going anywhere, they offer faster, more reliable, more convenient sources of communication and information than anything we have ever embraced. However the most important thing with social media is that you’re able to control and manage it. Understand it and be able to prioritise it, specifically your time. We now communicate differently and we have adapted to these changes overtime, we constantly feel the need to fit in amongst our ‘friends’ and the risk of losing touch with one another (whilst still being connected) is imminent. The truth is it cannot ever replace face-to-face interactions as we are able to express ourselves in ways not feasible through social media, and that is with real feelings, not emojis!

References

Advanced Life Skills. (2016). Who Needs Approval?. [online] Available at: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/who-needs-approval/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Attentiv. (2016). We just don’t speak anymore. But we’re “talking” more than ever. – Attentiv. [online] Available at: http://attentiv.com/we-dont-speak/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Batliwala, A. (2016). Most of your Facebook friends aren’t real. [online] The Age. Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life/most-of-your-facebook-friends-arent-real-20160125-gmdcht.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Bennett, S. (2016). Is Social Media Making Us Antisocial? [INFOGRAPHIC]. [online] Adweek.com. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/antisocial-media/465663 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Cherry, K. (2016). How Does the Need to Belong Influence Behavior and Motivation. [online] Verywell. Available at: https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-need-to-belong-2795393 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Kluger, J. (2016). We Never Talk Anymore: The Problem with Text Messaging | TIME.com. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://techland.time.com/2012/08/16/we-never-talk-anymore-the-problem-with-text-messaging/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

LAUNCH. (2016). The Average Facebook User Knows 73.2% of Friends. [online] Available at: http://www.launch.co/blog/the-average-facebook-user-knows-732-of-friends.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Leary, M. (2016). The “Need to Belong” – Part of What Makes Us Human – | – Science of Relationships. [online] Scienceofrelationships.com. Available at: http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/4/16/the-need-to-belong-part-of-what-makes-us-human.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

My Grandma vs The Internet

Social Media 2K16

My Grandma Vs The Internet

By David O’Gorman

Social media has been a big part of my life, and in turn I’m a big part in the life of social media. I’m a contributor, a creator, an explorer, a sharer, a liker and even more importantly I’m updated, more or less so than my Grandma

So let’s start with me, my adventure through social media #theinternet.

Facebook a lure, a trap, an addiction created by the ZUC (Mark Zuckerberg) this was my first free pass into the world of social media, i can remember back in time when I broke the rules and regulations of Facebook in my year 4 classroom as I still wasn’t of the age limit yet. It was such a magical feeling being able to control my age i felt just like a wizard as my age was set at 194 making me the oldest living human being at that point in time. I was the wizard of this new form of entertainment and communication.

Image result for mark zuckerberg happy

This new form of social media had suddenly entranced me into a new style of communication nor for the better but most probably the worst, my words became shorter and in turn my sentences also became shorter, all of these abbreviations were amazing, it was a new era in the world of texting now i could say “ROFL” instead of saying “rolling on the floor laughing”, and even better “TTYL” meaning “talk to you later”. I’m not going to lie I love social media and I’ve probably become a product of it but i can say that it has ruined me, it has made me impure in the sense of my grammar and literature, instead of helping improve these skills it’s made me take one step forward two steps backward. It’s like when I’m sitting an English in class essay talking to the audience writing “u” instead of “you” or even worse writing “lol” (laugh out laugh) thinking that is acceptable context, like what am I becoming, some new stupid space age robot conforming to the new way of terrible communication, and yet you still can’t forgot about how “emojis” have replaced real expressions they have intruded my life!!!

Emoji s aren’t the only thing that I have allowed the internet to intrude my life, well like, there’s my Grandma….

SHE HAS INTRUDED MY LIFEImage result for grandma hacker

My grandma loves the internet and even more importantly social media, she went her whole life without even knowing what #the internet even was and now… that she has found out what it is and even more importantly what Facebook is, she has become a master stalker of all of her grandchildren… and the most annoying part of this is I’m her favorite. Social media hasn’t just affected my grammar and punctuation, it has also sadly affected my social life.

It seems as though my grandma has grown up in a time made up of fancy cursive writing, adorable postcards and love letters… but now, now my grandma has evolved, this thing that i know as social media has given her the key, they key to endless games of “words with friends”. Although social media has had a very negative effect on my grammar, punctuation and even destroyed my vocabulary as an English student I reckon that it has had a positive impact on her vocabulary, they might say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you can still teach your grandma new words. 

But all in all social media is great and so is my grandma.

My grandma loves the internet and even more importantly social media, she went her whole life without even knowing what #the internet even was and now… that she has found out what it is and even more importantly what Facebook is, she has become a master stalker of all of her grandchildren… and the most annoying part of this is I’m her favorite. Social media hasn’t just affected my grammar and punctuation, it has also sadly affected my social life.

It seems as though my grandma has grown up in a time made up of fancy cursive writing, adorable postcards and love letters… but now, now my grandma has evolved, this thing that i know as social media has given her the key, they key to endless games of “words with friends”. Although social media has had a very negative effect on my grammar, punctuation and even destroyed my vocabulary as an English student I reckon that it has had a positive impact on her vocabulary, they might say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you can still teach your grandma new words. 

Is Virtual Life Changing Us IRL?

The way we use the internet is changing. In the space of just 10 years, the way people use the internet has been revolutionised. In 2006, the most popular social networking website in the United States was MySpace, a blogging platform with the ability to create a personalised profile and share your stories with other users. (Wood, n.d.) Facebook was earning a quarter of the unique visitors MySpace was, and a new social media website called Twitter was born. (Schonfeld, 2007) Now, 10 years later, MySpace is virtually unheard of, Facebook dominates every other social media platform with 1.59 billion active users every month, and Twitter tails closely as the second most used social network.(Moreau, 2016) This shift in popularity from social media sites like MySpace to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be credited to the increase in our dependance on technology. Nearly every aspect of life is now manageable through an application on a mobile phone, thanks to the introduction of smartphones in 2007. (Thesnugg.com, n.d.) With the technological advancements brought by the introduction of smartphones and their widespread availability, software developers looked for every opportunity to take advantage of this new form of easily accessible, pocketable technology. This opened up the market for additional downloadable mobile phone applications available to owners of smartphones, which have taken on the name ‘apps’.

The creation of the mobile application market had software developers creating apps that allowed new ways for smartphones to be used. These ranged from apps helping the user to organise events, schedule meetings and check emails, to apps for entertainment such as mobile games and online music and video content players, to apps for simplifying everyday tasks such as shopping, banking and checking the weather. Every aspect of life suddenly became controllable through an array of applications, all available at the tap of a button. But the integration of mobile apps into our everyday lives changed a major component of ourselves; the way in which we communicate. Introduction of apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage, created the ability for users to communicate through the internet with ease. Smartphone owners took full advantage of this new, efficient way of communicating with their friends, family and colleagues.

And why wouldn’t they? No longer did people have to type out text messages with finicky buttons on a physical keyboard. Users now had the ability to quickly tap out a message on a virtual touchpad with the added efficiency of having their spelling and grammar automatically corrected by the computer and not have to pay for each message sent, unlike SMS messaging. This new form of efficient communication formed habits within users, one of the notable being abbreviated expressions. Expressions such as LOL (Laughing Out Loud), WYD (What’re You Doing), OMG (Oh My God) and a plethora of other abbreviated expressions surfaced and solidified themselves as common vocabulary. The purpose of these abbreviations were to make communication of common thoughts and feelings expressible through messaging. The habit of using these terms in the virtual world can even have the effect of carrying itself into the real world. I personally have witnessed abbreviated expressions, such as LOL, used in conversations IRL (In Real Life).

All jokes aside, the transition from traditional methods of electronic communication, i.e. phone calls, to communicating in shorts bursts of text online has had a major effect on the ability for some people to write large structures of text. Social media platforms that base their service around sharing large bodies of user created text, such as blogging websites, have seen a decline in the last 10 years. In 2006, the percentage of teenage internet users that engaged in blogging was 28%. In 2010, the percentage of teenage bloggers had dropped to 14%, meaning that the number of teenagers bloggers had halved in the space of just 4 years! (Lenhart et al., 2010) This has attributed to why the popularity of sites such as MySpace have taken a nosedive in recent years. Users of these sites that are now deemed unpopular have migrated to using other social media services, such as Facebook and Twitter. Both Facebook and Twitter base their services on the ability to post and share short bodies of text to the user’s ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. On Twitter, these shared messages are limited to being no more than 140 characters, playing to the short and abbreviated nature of Twitter as a platform. 

Another trend that has been observed in social media habits over the last 10 years, is the increased amount of interpersonal relationships formed and grown over the internet. Studies show that teenagers are forming more personal connections through the use of social media that they did in previous years, with a correlative rise being seen in the number of teenage users participating in messaging and ‘group chats’ online. (Lenhart et al., 2010) This trend has also been reflected in the online world of dating, with the percentage of internet users aged 18 to 24 using online dating sites or apps rapidly increasing from 10% in 2013 to 27% in 2015, as shown in the graph below. (Pew Research Centre, 2016) 

The increase in popularity of datingpi_2016-02-11_online-dating_0-01 sites has brought to light the effects that online dating can have on a users personal life. The rise of television shows focusing on issues relating to online dating, most notably MTV’s Catfish Series, have brought awareness to the dangers and uncertainties that can be present when communicating over the internet with someone that you’ve never met in person. Ill-minded individuals can us the internet as a method of concealing their true identity in the hopes of extorting, manipulating or misleading another person for personal gain. Although this type of abuse occurs on an intangible platform, it usually cannot simply be dismissed. The affected user can build an emotional investment in the online relationship, which when abused can channel its effect into the real world, just as any other abusive relationship.

In summary, our social media habits are not only changing the way we interact within the online world, but the way in which we interact in the real world too. Technological advances in mobile devices, such as the introduction of downloadable applications, have increased our efficiency when doing everyday tasks, such as communicating with others, but have consequently increased our dependancy in using their services. The way in which people choose to use their online presence is having increasing effects on their real lives, as can be seen in the world of online dating.

 

References

Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A. and Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults. 1st ed. [ebook] Washington: Pew Internet & American Life Project, p.2. Available at: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED525056.pdf [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Moreau, E. (2016). The Top 25 Social Networks People Are Using Today. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/top-social-networking-sites-people-are-using-3486554 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Pew Research Centre, (2016). Graph of Use of online dating sites or mobile apps by young adults has nearly tripled since 2013. [image] Available at: http://i.amz.mshcdn.com/9qBBKpztloZ6Jp-lQ79Z7QuloUs=/fit-in/1200×9600/http%3A%2F%2Fmashable.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F02%2FPI_2016.02.11_Online-Dating_0-01.png [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Schonfeld, E. (2007). Social Site Rankings (September, 2007). [online] TechCrunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2007/10/24/social-site-rankings-september-2007/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Thesnugg.com. (n.d.). A brief history of smartphones. [online] Available at: http://www.thesnugg.com/a-brief-history-of-smartphones.aspx [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Wood, J. (n.d.). Social Media Timeline. [online] infoplease. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/science/computers/social-media-timeline.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

The world of social media is rapidly expanding, and to some it seems like the adolescents of today spend their entire lives checking their phones, scrolling down Facebook, and doing whatever else it is the older generations think teenagers do online. While the advancement of social media in the 21st century has undoubtedly improved our lives in some aspects, there have also been some very adverse effects on the largest group of social media users: teenagers. Some of the more pressing concerns include cyber bullying from peers and even strangers, a greater pressure to conform to beauty standards and body ideals, and a rising trend in poor performance at school due to the distractions that social media present.

One of parents’ biggest fears of the new age of technology is cyber bullying. Unlike the “old school” bullying the parents of today’s teens experienced in their youth where home meant a safe haven away from the torments of their abusers, teenagers of the 21st century are almost unable to escape cyber bullying as they can access their social media accounts anywhere at any time of day. Children and teenagers have increasingly easier and more frequent access to technology with many schools now introducing “bring your own device” policies in which the students must provide their own computer or laptop device to use in the classroom (Ricci, 2015). Combine this with free wireless internet access and under-developed prefrontal cortices and we have trouble on our hands. Thanks to the wide variety and popularity of social media sites today, these platforms have become the perfect breeding ground for abuse and harassment. Anything from degrading posts bad-mouthing a person or group of people on public forums and embarrassing pictures shared without consent, to direct threats and bullying via private messaging services are all commonly experienced forms of cyber bullying. According to The Report from Counselling Service concerning Cyber Bullying, a shocking 52% of adolescents had reported being victims of cyber bullying in 2014 alone, and 25% reported being repeatedly cyber bullied. Like all forms of abuse, cyber bullying can lead to severe mental health issues such as depression and anxiety (Scott, n.d.), and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia (Gallivan, 2014). Adolescents experiencing these issues as a result of cyber bullying often feel alone with over half of teenage victims not confiding in their parents when they experience abuse online (nobullying.com, 2016), so the uprising of social media has become a real danger to parents and adolescents now more than ever.

A prominent issue concerning young people today is body image and self esteem, and as mentioned above social media has seen an increase in mental health issues relating to this issue such anorexia nervosa and bulimia (Gallivan, 2014). One of the most common uses of social media, particularly among young women, is to find how-to and inspirational self improvement content. This includes advice and tutorials on fashion, makeup, fitness and dieting in order to achieve “the look” all their favourite celebrities are flaunting. A dangerous trend on social media over the last few years is the “thinspiration” movement: pictures of super skinny models and actresses often accompanied by quotes designed to motivate the viewer to want to become thinner (goodtherapy.org, 2015). This trend can be seen all over social media on platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and of course Facebook with teenagers often coming across this content unintentionally. While social media is well known for targeting girls in telling them what the ideal body type is, it isn’t just girls feeling the pressure to look good: over 50% of adolescent girls and 30% of adolescent boys are using extreme measures to control their weight, like skipping meals, force vomiting, taking laxatives and overexercising (Gallivan, 2014). Another feature of social media that feeds into our needs to look our best is the editing apps and programs that allow teenagers to enhance their images before they upload them, and this is something almost every teenager has done throughout their social media days. Everywhere teenagers look they are being bombarded with pressures to have the ideal image on both television and in magazines, and now with the addition of social media being a part of their every day lives, this is an issue they cannot ignore.

With all these problems arising from the usage of social media it is clear that teenagers spend much of their time on these platforms throughout the day. One report conducted by the Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine found that the average female high school student spends 12 hours a day on some form of media (HNGN, 2013), and this is a major cause of distraction from their schoolwork and homework. The addiction adolescents have to social media in its many forms is not only bad for their health but also their academic performance. It isn’t just high school students’ grades being trodden on either, with a large number of university students also complaining that the allure of Facebook and other sites is negatively affecting their course outcomes. A Sydney University-based group has taken to Facebook, ironically, to create a support network for those failing their subjects at university as a result of time wasted on Facebook, and with the group having over 1000 members (Wilson, 2012) it shows what a significant problem social media is having on today’s youth. Why can’t these students just show some self discipline, you ask? Why can’t they just get their work done when they need to and not play around online? Well the reason social media is such a distraction from studies is that the majority of studying is now done online, so it is easy to simply have a social media site open in another window on your computer, for example, and flick over to it every now and then while you are working. This can take hours out of a student’s productivity and the addictive nature of social media means it can be difficult to switch off.

With many more social media platforms becoming popular and being more widely used than ever before, we are now seeing some very problematic issues which cannot be ignored. Yes, before the age of social media there was bullying and negative body image issues and there have always been distractions from schoolwork, but the difference nowadays is that these problems are now carried with us everywhere we go, in our pockets or waiting for us at home. While not all social media can be labelled as toxic, the presence of social media in today’s society has had a profound effect on young people in some devastating ways.

 

Bibliography:

Udorie, J. (2015). Social Media Is Harming The Mental Health Of Teenagers. The State Has To Act. [online] The Guardian. Available at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/16/social-media-mental-health-teenagers-government-pshe-lessons

(no author). (2013). Australians’ Body Image Distorted. [online] National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference. Available at: http://eatingdisordersaustralia.org.au/australias-body-image-distortion/

Roxby, P. (2014). Does social media impact on body image? [online] BBC. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29569473

Gallivan, H. (2014). Teens, Social Media And Body Image. [online] Available at: http://www.macmh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/18_Gallivan_Teens-social-media-body-image-presentation-H-Gallivan-Spring-2014.pdf

(no author). (2016). Cyber Bullying Statistics. [online] NoBullying.com. Available at:  https://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-2014/

Pappas, S. (2015). Cyberbullying on Social Media Linked to Teen Depression. [online] LiveScience. Available at: http://www.livescience.com/51294-cyberbullying-social-media-teen-depression.html

(no author). (2016). Thinspiration: The Dangers of a Pro-Ana/Pro-Mia Lifestyle. [online] GoodTherapy.org. Available at: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/thinspiration-the-dangers-of-a-pro-ana-pro-mia-lifestyle-0415167

Crain, M. (2016). How social media affects body image. [online] The Crimson White. Available at: http://www.cw.ua.edu/article/2016/03/non-goals-how-social-media-affects-body-image

Scott. (not dated). Social Media and its Impact on Mental Health. [online] Sternberg Clinic. Available at: http://www.sternbergclinic.com.au/social-media-and-its-impact-on-mental-health/

Ricci, C. (2015). BYOD brings its own challenges for schools and students. [online] The Age. Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/byod-brings-its-own-challenges-for-schools-and-students-20150204-135p08.html

(no author). (2013). Social Media’s Negative Effect on Academic Performance. [online] HNGN. Available at: http://www.hngn.com/articles/1929/20130415/social-medias-negative-effect-academic-performance.htm

Wilson, L. (2012). Facebook fixation harms student grades. [online] The Australian. Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/facebook-fixation-harms-student-grades/story-e6frg6no-1225697029305

SOCIAL MEDIA 101 :D

The Good

First, we have the obvious, communication. We are living in a time where the world is open to us. We can contact anyone around the world, at any time, with just a few keystrokes. It is free, unlike calling across the ocean, and live. We can also share elements of our life, from what we enjoy to photos of ourselves and those in our lives. It is like being a part of that person’s world, even though distance keeps you apart. Keeping in contact with friends and family overseas where you might only see then once every five years. Social media has allowed us to maintain connections that would otherwise not available to us.

Social media has made it possible for like-minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before. For example, young people around the world are now more involved than ever in their country’s politics. The last presidential elections in the US are proof of that. The amount of post and status about Trump being elected was inane people who weren’t even American were putting in their ten cents, Social media has contributed to that increase in a big way.

 

Non-profits are seeing the benefits of using social media for their awareness campaigns. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are a cost effective means of spreading the word and getting support. Not to mention socially shared petitions from sites like Causes.org, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

There is no doubt that there are many reasons to love social media. But not all consequences of this technology are good ones.

 

The Bad

 

Like the way it has allowed us to hide behind screens and limited our social interaction face to face. You get the feeling of being social without having to go out and socialize. In the same vein, it gives you the feeling of being a friend (or having friends) without having to put in any actual work to build the relationship. It also shows a serious problem with distraction in today’s society. We can’t enjoy the world around us for an hour without retreating back into that safe little digital box. Teens lack in Productivity is mainly due to social media. I am part of this statistic I admit it, I check my phone during work, or find myself wandering over to YouTube or Instagram during work or school hours. Most Australians own an average of three Internet-enabled devices which underlines our strong appetite for online activity. All these devices to access social media are making it almost impossible to get away from it. The Added effect of growing obesity rates within Australia because kids just aren’t going outside to play anymore but rather laying on their beds scrolling for hours on various media platforms. Prescription glasses have become almost a norm for children to grow up with. The amount of kids wearing glasses today vs 10 years ago quite significant and worrying.

 

 

The Ugly

 

Some of what social media has done isn’t just ‘bad’, it is flat out ‘ugly’. Like the number of relationships that have been broken up over social networks. Although social media isn’t to blame completely It is a tool that has seemed to make it easier to cheat, or to do things that cross a boundary of the relationship. Like texts sent by “fuck boys” to people already in relationships. Or this Culture of getting Nudes from girls, then sending them onto your friends or leaking them to the public is quite degusting and wrong. The sheer number of stupid, vain people on Facebook is astounding I but you are thinking of at least one person who could fit into one (or both) of these categories.

Each status message is a flat-out attention whoring sob fest. Or way to much information about their struggling relationship with someone they should have dumped six months ago. If you want proof that this kind of thing is spreading, as is the self-centered “douchebaggery” that most of us try to keep out of our lives, check out (Lamebook) sometime. Another Ugly aspect of social media is Cyber Bullying. Cyber bullying has become a major problem for teens in Australia. Victims are being subject to sever and unrelenting abuse. And this is having detrimental effects with increasing rates of suicide as a result. Parents often can’t shield their children from the abuse because often the child can’t open up to their parents because of fear. Sites like Ask.fm are feeding frenzies for victims to get verbally attacked. Because the questions go out to anyone but all responses are anonymous this is typical for bullies to comment mean and hurtful stuff.

Bibliography

  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/22/teenagers-social-skills-not-social-networks-work-ncs

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-social-media-users-risk-their-mental-health-as-they-disconnect-from-reality/news-story/95cc351e6493d044e760abfbcba2f745

http://www.lamebook.com

https://blog.bufferapp.com

 

Swipe Right For Mr Right

How Social Media Destroyed Dating In 4 Swipes

Each day billions of people worldwide access the internet; to broadcast opinions, to share moments, to connect with people and to feel connected to the world they live in. But when exactly did being connected become so important that we decided to lose the art of love and dating?

In 2012 a dating application ‘Tinder’ was released which allowed users to create a profile by signing up through their Facebook. Tinder profiles were restricted to providing the persons’s first name, the person’s age and sometimes a well crafted sentence about that person e.g. “I love long walks to the fridge and cats.” Tinder then obtains the users geographical location to provide potential partners or ‘matches’ within the same region. The app was similar to that of ‘Hot or Not’ where a user swipes left (to say no) or right (to say yes), if a user swipes right on a user that has also swiped right for them, they are connected to a chat as a ‘match’. It is estimated that “somewhere between 10 and 50 million people who swipe left or right through over 1 billion profiles a day.” (Matthew Beard 2015)

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-9-59-22-pm

Realities of social media affecting relationships

This is how social media in 4 swipes destroyed dating.

Goes Against Human Nature

For thousands of years we used to roam in packs and would only meet  at most 150 people in our lifetime. Now we’re able to be friends with 1000’s of people and connect with 100’s of potential matches, we have exploited our capacities.  Clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh explains that as human beings “We’re not programmed to be exposed to so much sexual opportunity,” Walsh said . “We’re also programmed to get really excited about a new [sexual] opportunity because it used to be rare. (Dr. Wendy Walsh 2015)

Psychology describes this phenomena as the ‘Paradox of choice’ in which we are constantly swiping and exposed to more and more options; this leads to indecisiveness  and dissatisfaction, as we constantly are looking for someone better. This  drastically affects the way we connect with potential partners and creates an inconsistency within relationships. Dating sites such as Grindr and Tinder are responsible for  a generation of commitment-phobes who because of such forms of social media find it difficult to make decisions when it comes to partners and dating.

Hit it and Quit it

The rise of applications such as Tinder has provoked the ‘Hit it or Quit Culture’, where a user can swipe through a hundred profiles a day, evaluating partners like commodities on a trade market. This creates a superficial initial attraction, in which a user indicates they are interested in a potential partner merely off a few well selected photos and a carefully crafted description. It is through this degrading process that Tinder has destroyed the idea of dating. Due to such social media platforms, sex has become easier to come by.““Could the ready availability of sex provided by dating apps actually be making men respect women less? “Too easy,” “Too easy,” “Too easy,” I heard again and again from young men when asked if there was anything about dating apps they didn’t like.” (Austin Institute 2015).Tinder allows for shallow attraction that directs users to avoid looking for a deeper connection, by drowning  it’s users in potential.

The ability to connect with hundreds of potentially suitable partners diminishes a sense of true connection and detrimentally affects the way in which people form relationships. “One of my mates wakes up and swipes right 100 times every morning, then repeats that in the evening; and occasionally he has a match, and after that a couple of hours of mechanical, loveless sex” (Scarlett Russell and Dean Kissick 2015)

This attitude of Hit it and Quit it is further explored in the opening scene of the video linked:

“In these times of modern dating, we don’t want to define ourselves, and we most certainly don’t want to define our relationships. We want to have sex without dating, date without having sex, be married but have a girlfriend, be lovers and then become friends, be friends who become lovers. We want relationships to be easy, convenient, practical and disposable. We want our partner to be perfect without trying to make them perfect for us. We want love to come to us without making the effort that love requires.”(Meghna Pant 2016)

Vulnerability

Falling in love with a person was once a vulnerable process in which a person would have to initiate a conversation and slowly but surely share ones feelings of love. Tinder has removed the sense of vulnerability and created a risk free alternative to love and dating. “On Tinder, anonymity and distance protect a user from being vulnerable to the other, and empowers them to control the conditions under which they will reveal themselves.” (Matthew Beard 2015). By removing vulnerability from the equation, dating not only becomes easy but it loses its authenticity. As now anyone within a 10 km radius of your address is a possible partner, lover, friend,hookup or one night stand. Anyone can now have game as it is easy to create a sense of confidence and gusto while typing away behind a phone screen. 

Convenience – 24/7 Drive Thru Dating

Before social media platforms such as Tinder and Grindr love was restricted to the schoolyard, the bus stop or late at night sneaking out from your bedroom window. Although now Tinder and other apps alike have completely changed the game allowing for users to message and connect with other users at anytime of the day with little to no effort, as messages are easily sent through the click of a few buttons. This not only sets up the effort standard for a relationship but projects into the effort people put into dating. That being a minimal form of effort, which unless both parties are okay with causal relations this leads to dissatisfaction. These apps have created ideologies where “We want love to come to us without making the effort that love requires.” (Meghna Pant 2016).

As our lives become busier and our sense of being connected through forms of social media increases; dating and falling in love will  be drastically affected. Do your part by logging off and going out to bars, libraries, cafes and all the places we used to bump into love.

References

Abc.net.au. (2016). Love me, Tinder: How Dating Apps are Killing Romance – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/03/19/4200955.htm [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. (2016). Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse: Tinder, Cheap Sex, and the Hit-It-and-Quit-It Mentality | Austin Institute. [online] Available at: http://www.austin-institute.org/research/dawn-of-the-dating-apocalypse-tinder-cheap-sex-and-the-hit-it-and-quit-it-mentality/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Demasi, L. (2016). Love in the age of Tinder: how users really feel about app dating. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/social-radar/love-in-the-age-of-tinder-how-users-really-feel-about-app-dating-20150417-1mnp6h.html [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Kissick, D. (2016). Is Tinder really creating a ‘dating apocalypse’?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/16/tinder-app-creating-dating-apocalypse-twitter-storm [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

MTV News. (2016). The Science Behind Why Tinder Is Effing Up Your Love Life. [online] Available at: http://www.mtv.com/news/2147398/tinder-psychology-science/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Pant, M. (2016). Love in the time of Tinder: Why the dating app has ruined love for its users – Firstpost. [online] Firstpost. Available at: http://www.firstpost.com/living/love-in-the-time-of-tinder-why-the-dating-app-has-ruined-love-for-its-users-2826988.html [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Pinterest. (2016). Art + Artists. [online] Available at: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/217861700698978339/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Psychology Today. (2016). 3 Ways Social Media Ruins Everything. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201603/3-ways-social-media-ruins-everything [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Sales, N. and Bishop, J. (2016). Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse. [online] Vanity Fair. Available at: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Schacter, H. (2016). Love Me Tinder: A Psychological Perspective on Swiping – Psychology In Action. [online] Psychologyinaction.org. Available at: http://www.psychologyinaction.org/2015/04/16/love-me-tinder-a-psychological-perspective-on-swiping/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). How Tinder Is Destroying Our Dating Skills [Disconnected] | Elite Daily. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiT2JnG9D6o [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].