Social Media Effects: Problems Understanding

Technology has become a part of people’s lives and many individuals cannot imagine a day without their cell phone or computer. I also tend to use technology extensively. For me, a cell phone is a great helper as well as the squeezed world in my hand. I can reach anyone I need within seconds and I can find any information I need. I use technology to interact with other people and I use different channels for that. Sometimes I text and sometimes I spend hours to talk with someone. As any other young person, I use various social networks to interact with people. Lin, Tov and Qiu (2014) state that users tend to express different emotions when using different social networks.

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I agree with this as I use social networks differently. For instance, Facebook is for communicating (usually sharing news) with my friends and relatives. At the same time, Twitter is the way to express ideas and share something (very important as well as quite irrelevant or trivial things) with everyone including people I might not know.

Of course, technology has its advantages and disadvantages especially when it comes to the way people see themselves in this world. Thus, Lafreniere, Page and Senn (2012) note that the Internet is a great helper. Admittedly, the Internet helps people reach each other quickly, share information, look for information and so on. In many cases, it helps some people establish and develop relationships with others. The Internet is also the way to express oneself in many ways (through creating avatars, writing comments, blogs, sharing on social networks and so on). It is possible to state that the Internet enables people to develop in terms of their personalities and it is also a driver of change on the global scale. People are becoming closer and they learn how to interact and overcome differences (cultural, social, political and so on).

On the other hand, people are becoming more dependent on technology in general and social networks in particular. For some, it becomes difficult to interact with others in the real world and they replace it with the digital world. Apart from that, many people create non-existent identities and start to believe that they are those personalities. Of course, this leads to various problem in their life. Security issues should also be seen as a disadvantage since many people are exposed to various hazards including (but not limited to) fraud, bullying and so on.

I can identify particular ways the Internet and social networks affect the way I perceive the world. I feel connected all the time. I believe I can never feel lonely as I can always communicate with various people at any part of day or night. This connectedness also made me believe that all people have a lot in common and we are all quite similar. I think this connectedness had two rather different (or even opposite) effects on me.

On the one hand, I have become more confident when communicating with people in both real and digital world. On the other hand, I have become more cautious as I know that some people may conceal their true personalities and try to seem different people. I have had such experiences in the real and digital world, which caused certain unpleasant emotions. I have learnt my lessons and now I am a cautious but quite open user of social media.

Reference List

Lafreniere, K.D., Page, S., & Senn, C.Y. (2012). Applying social psychology to the community. In F.W. Schneider, J.A. Gruman & L.M. Coutts (Eds.), Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems (pp. 273-297). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Web.

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Lin, H., Tov, W., & Qiu, L. (2014). Emotional disclosure on social networking sites: The role of network structure and psychological needs. Computers in Human Behavior, 41, 342-350. Web.

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