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.
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.
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.