The 21st century is defined by its obsession and advancements in technology, the younger generation in particular. Technology plays as a key factor in most lives, social media especially. Among the most popular of social media are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all with the main purpose to share or view personal information and experiences, communicate with others and meet new people on social or professional grounds. There are several positives and negatives effects associated with social media, making it a topic of debate whether it is creating more good or harm for today’s society.
We use technology as the number one means of communication, and social media has made communicating with each other even easier. We have the ability to stay linked to the world and available at all times with a simple email, text message or social media post. Because most of our conversations are through a tablet, cellphone or computer, face to face interaction is decreasing. More and more people are isolating themselves and losing the ability or desire to interact with real people in real life. It is becoming easier to go through life with less personal confrontations and conversations. This is a problem because we are social creatures and as human beings, that face to face, in person interaction is necessary.
One of the main reasons social media was created was to link up with old friends near and far. In present day times we also use social media to form connections with new people. Through the use of forums and specialized pages on Facebook, you can connect with people who have interests similar to your own that you would not necessarily meet in real life and business connections also. Many people go on to build real friendships and even relationships with people they have met on social media. Only negative to this is that you never really know who you are talking to. Someone can claim to be one person, but in reality are lying to you about their identity the whole time.
This has become such a common practice that the term “catfish” was created. A catfish is a person who invents a persona, or impersonates a person online through social media. There have been situations where people have been lured to meet up with who they’d consider a friend under false pretenses. Getting catfished can put one in a dangerous situation.
Facebook, twitter and instagram are all methods used to share your life with others. You’re able to post pictures and type statuses to inform your friends, followers, etc., what you have been up to and how you have been living your life. Adults usually post pictures and statuses focusing on their family, trips and special events in their lives, while the younger generation takes social media a lot more serious. Every moment of their lives are put out there for the world to see, sometimes without the realization. Teenagers on social media are always trying to impress and one up each other. They sometimes post inappropriate material to try to look as cool as possible without realizing that ultimately employers, teachers, parents, law enforcement and strangers all have the ability to see. The problem is once something is on the internet it is there forever, and if caught you can find yourself in major trouble.
Often when we’re bored we turn to social media for entertainment. We can check up on family friends or see what the hottest celebrity is up to. Then before we know it, our simple amusement becomes a huge distraction. The amount of people we can connect with on social media is endless and they are all so unique, we can spend an infinite amount of time browsing social media without getting bored. Many people have become addicted to social media and find themselves online way more often than they should.
This creates a problem when it comes time to do schoolwork and study and even in the office for some. When trying to tackle tedious tasks, it is easy to get distracted and venture onto Facebook, twitter or Instagram. You may not have the intention to stay on for long, but before you know it hours have passed and no work has gotten done. For social media junkies they may have to turn off their phone and block these websites to focus all their attention on the task at hand and get anything done at all.
Endless positive and negative effects of social media affect our society today. On one hand social media creates an easy way to communicate with one another, connect with people on a social and business level, share our lives with others and entertain us when we need it. While on the other hand social media comes with the possibility of causing isolation in many situations, putting ourselves in danger when we don’t know who we’re talking to, causing trouble for ourselves and distracting us from school and work related tasks. Every person who uses social media needs to set limits for themselves to ensure their experience is much more positive than negative. Once that is completed social media can be used as a tool to do great things.