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Are Social Media a Good Thing to Society?

Recently, computer systems have been adopted, and human beings have developed communication to make the world a global village. Scientists have succeeded in ensuring networking has become international. This mission revolves around the internet and the networks people use to access each other (Baccarella et al. 433, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0263237318300781). Social media has become a culture; people interact, learn (both academic and non-academic knowledge), share ideas globally, and entertain.

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Social media’s interactive nature is highly influential; it breaks the traditional barriers of time and distance between people through social networking tools – Twitter, Skype, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. It is a controversial topic in society today; some people think it is a blessing to humanity, while others believe it is a tool that has led to the destruction of human interactions. These social networks have both positive and negative effects and greatly affect self-esteem and personal satisfactions of its users (Hawi and Maya 577-585, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0894439316660340). Social media makes human relations appropriate compared to actual human interaction. It has built international connections: both business and social related. It has allowed communication between friends, family, and business partners anytime, anywhere in the world.

Social media in the world today is being used as a marketing platform for goods and services. More goods and services being purchased are based on referrals and people’s criticism. Brand influencers and ambassadors have taken advantage of their following to make social media marketing successful. In the past year, when a global pandemic hit the world, social media marketing had been embraced and appreciated more. People could buy and sell goods and services at the comfort of their homes. Businesses and organizations have, over the years, grown massively because of social media marketing. Social media has also increased human interaction so that people who are worlds apart can communicate and relate in different ways.

Negative Effects of Social media

The enticing nature of social media has affected some people, and they have become addicts. Nowadays, many people deviate from everyday human interactions and dive into social media for comfort (Berryman et al. 310). It has been seen majorly among teenagers and young adults, and people prefer to spend time on social media other than spending quality time with other people. It has been found that many youths prefer to take photos and upload them on various platforms to gain as many followers as possible. Trying to get as many followers as possible has become a target of many social media users. These virtual friends that they meet online through various chat platforms are geographically distant from the social media users. Psychologically, these teenagers assume that they have lots of friends while they are lonely.

Social media addiction is one problem that affects the individual subconsciously. One does not get to realize that they are addicted to social media. In the world today, children get exposure to screens and Smartphones at a very young age. These children grow into getting used to these gadgets, and others become dependent on them for company. The number of hours that teenagers spend on their phones is significantly higher than when they even take to talk to one another. The elegant features of the various social media platforms and the captivating experience that the users get while using these platforms make them not want to log out. Social media forms some virtual reality that it presents to the users and ensures that they do not want to miss every minute (Berryman et al. 310). Social media provides almost everything that the youths need, from celebrity gossip, news, current trends, and even new memes. These are some of the factors that make social media such an addictive aspect, and it could be worrying, as every addiction has negative consequences for the human brain. Ensuring that people are enlightened on this danger of social media and encouraging physical human relations would curb this problem.

Cyberbullying

There has been an ever-increasing number of social media users, which means that people of all walks of life consume it. Many social media platforms exist, and therefore, cybersecurity has been a challenge. Most social media companies have tried as much as they can to enhance their cyber securities, but it is still insufficient. Cyberbullying is a menace that many social media users have either experienced or seen someone else go through. Bullying usually occurs when individuals decide to pick on one person to make their lives miserable (Byrne 40-45). Cyberbullying has no boundaries as celebrities and distinguished members of the public are affected. Cyberbullying has increased due to the increase in the internet supply to the masses and its easy access. There have been many reported cases of cyberbullying among the American youth, and the issues still arise.

Cyberbullying takes many forms, and therefore, it would not be easy to track and completely deal with it permanently. Many people have been victims of trolling on these social media platforms. Whenever an individual posts, they either expect likes or positive comments; however, some people take this opportunity to abuse the individual or send insensitive messages. Lately, body shaming has been a significant problem among the youth as looks continue to become an issue on social media. On the extreme, some cyberbullies proceed to post private messages or inappropriate photos of their victims. Cybersecurity has generally been an issue with so many social media companies (Baccarella et al. 433). Cyberbullying has had many adverse effects on the youths, including loneliness, depression, and suicide. Therefore, cybersecurity should be improved, and people taught how to maintain their cybersecurity. Perpetrators of cyberbullying should also be tracked and arrested as means to eradicate the vice.

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Low self-esteem and Lifestyle Trends

Social media is an open platform, and everyone posts whatever they wish to post despite having censorships on the contents that one could post; flamboyant and flashy lifestyle posts are not censored. As it is evident that most celebrities have many followers, most of these followers are youths and teenagers. Stars often have posts related to their careers, and most of these posts include their expensive and luxurious lifestyles (Hawi and Maya 577-585). To many of their followers, this kind of life would appear like a fantasy. Trendy fashion, new luxury car models, cruise ship parties, and expensive shopping are significant posts by these celebrities. The result of such posts would be increased pressure on the youth who cannot lead such lives.

Other than celebrities, friends and families differ in financial status, which would also be evident on social media. Many teenagers use social media as a platform to portray their social status and compete with one another over it. As the internet is accessible to many youths, even those from poor backgrounds can join social media platforms. When different people show their social status on their social media, this might be a source of pressure on the unfortunate teenagers. Low self-esteem grows on the youth who do not have flashy posts. Low self-esteem is either self-inflicted or inflicted upon the youth by their peers through mockery or laughter. Experiencing low self-esteem and a heightened sense of lifestyle are some of the adverse effects of social media on the youth.

Furthermore, exposure to age-inappropriate content online severely alters behaviors of younger teenagers, as they engage in dangerous or sexualized social media trends. Despite the majority of platforms having policies in place to prevent users under certain age from creating an account, these policies are not enforced effectively. As generation Z becomes the first in history to be born into the post-digital revolution world, modern teens navigate the online sphere quicker then their parents and caretakers. Hence the user base of the main social media platforms is growing faster, then their moderation teams, leaving underage users vulnerable to the potentially harmful content.

Conclusion

The Internet-dominated world has become a reality in more ways than one, as people go online for work purposes, personal entertainment, and daily routine activities. Social media empires, as the main tool of modern digital communication, will therefore continue growing to keep this world afloat. There may be many advantages to the effective and moderate use of social media, ranging from keeping in contact with your friends to accessing relevant information on different topics. Yet social media remains an addictive and impactful tool with many hidden dangers, that underage users should be protected from more effectively.

Works Cited

Bacarella, Christian V., et al. “Social Media? It’s Serious! Understanding the Dark Side of Social Media”. European Management Journal, vol. 36, no. 4, 2018, pp. 431-438. Elsevier BV, Web.

In this article, the authors navigate through the negative sides of social media. The authors explain that despite having had great success over the years, social media has had its share of adverse effects on society. The internet has opened doors to many opportunities and has helped grow many companies across the world. However, the psychological impacts that it has on the youth are overwhelming. It has been discovered that social media has been affecting many youths silently, and it is a matter that needs to be addressed.

Berryman, Chloe et al. “Social Media Use and Mental Health among Young Adults.” Psychiatric Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 2, 2017, pp. 307-314. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, Web.

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This article addresses the issues of mental health among the youth as affected by social media. Many teenagers and young adults are using social media today, and the number keeps increasing. Social media has exposed these youths to various aspects of life. The challenges of social media, however, come from the fact that its negative impacts are unavoidable. Social media has affected many young adults, and mental health is one of these significant problems. In this article, these impacts are discussed, and social media use and regulations are advised. The authors also focus on the mental health of teenagers that use social media.

Byrne, Elizabeth et al. “Cyberbullying And Social Media: Information And Interventions For School Nurses Working With Victims, Students, And Families.” The Journal of School Nursing, vol. 34, no. 1, 2017, pp. 38-50. SAGE Publications, Web.

In this article, the effects of social media such as cyberbullying are discussed. The authors navigate through the health records given by healthcare workers concerning victims of social media. It has been observed that cyberbullying has been increasing, and young adults in schools are the victims. School nurses present evidence of the ever-increasing number of cyberbullying victims. These victims have various conditions, and depression is one of these conditions mentioned. Therefore, the authors recommend that schools have more strict regulations regarding social media use and punishments for the perpetrators of cyberbullying.

Hawi, Nazir S., and Maya Samaha. “The Relations among Social Media Addiction, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction in University Students.” Social Science Computer Review, vol. 35, no. 5, 2016, pp. 576-586. SAGE Publications, Web.

In this article, the authors explore the topic of addiction to social media among the youth. Addiction to social media has been a significant issue among young adults, and there should be measures to curb this menace. Self-esteem and life satisfaction is also another problem associated with social media among the youth. The authors discuss these issues as related to social media among university students. Peer pressure, lifestyle satisfaction, and addiction are some of the adverse effects of social media, as discussed in this article.

Orben, Amy et al. “Social Media’s Enduring Effect on Adolescent Life Satisfaction.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116, no. 21, 2019, pp. 10226-10228. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Web.

In this article, the authors reflect on the effect of social media on the lives of young adults. Social media, as a tool, really enhanced the lives of the modern population. Businesses have been boosted, sales and advertising have also been made easier. Despite having huge successes over the years, social media has significant side effects. Social media attracts most to the young adults and teenagers, which is why they are most affected by the affected group. The authors of this article analyze the various problems that are associated with social media. Cyberbullying, addiction, self-esteem, and lifestyle satisfaction are some of the issues that are related to social media consumption.

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