Social media sites such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are societal means for the 21st-century generation to interconnect, meet new people, and keep up with the latest news and trends. While enjoying these social sites, people feel connected to others, near and far, from the use of technology in the comfort of their homes or work environment. Social media has become a piece of everyone’s life, that influences individuals to obtain information quick and easy.
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The use of its sites are very valuable, but depending on how one uses them, can either pose a negative or a positive impact on society.
Social media has a big impact on today’s society. In a matter of seconds, someone can know almost everything about a person or find out the latest drama with famous and non- famous individuals. The addiction from the use of social media in young children and teenagers has caused numerous developmental issues such as shorter attention spans, obesity, and lower self-esteem because it produces less outside time for physical activities, and sometimes provides information that may be harmful to people lives. Video games, cell phones, tablets, and television have taken over people’s minds and somewhat turned them into a tech-savvy generation. Frequently, social media is used to socialize. It has affected the way people communicate. Rather than talking to someone or meeting them in person, people would rather text or communicate through Facebook messenger and email. It is causing people to be anti-social and lose their communication skills.
Next, females spend time on social media sites such as Instagram, comparing themselves to other females. It lowers younger and older female’s self-esteem because they start to think they are not good enough by comparing themselves to other females. For example, the teenage girl that doesn’t have the perfect shape or clear skin may scroll through Instagram and wish that she looked like that model or women that has the total package. It’s like they become obsessed with wanting to look perfect, or modify their body, yet, the reality of it all is that the girls in the pictures do not really even look like that (Borer, 2013). The more and more females wish they looked like the next female, they will not be able to accept and love themselves for who they are.
In addition, social media affects people’s mental health as well. Browsing the internet or staying up late to post on Facebook can alter one’s sleep pattern. It can also cause someone’s attention span to be shortened. For example, when a family is out for dinner they barely have a full conversation because everyone is on their phones. This is because they are glued to their phone and can not focus on what they are doing at that moment. Also, social media can cause people to hurt others and themselves by posting explicit videos, filming events and posting untrue information, and texting while driving, which produces many car accidents and fatalities.
Although social media has negative outcomes, it can also be used to spread positivity while being a useful resource for businesses and introducing information. Social Media has modernized the way people communicate and socialize on the Web. Sites like Facebook gives people a chance to connect and conversate with people from all over the world or maybe even in their hometown. Social media has given people a voice in society. Constantly others voice their opinion about what is wrong and what is right. On Twitter, people express their thoughts and experiences in life and surprisingly thousands of people can relate and respond to certain issues. Many times, people reply to other’s post and give them advice or words of encouragement. This can be considered an act of a therapy session.
Social networks can also give charities, individuals, and businesses the opportunity to network and promote their businesses with little to no cost. For example, a person starts a lawn care business and posts it on Facebook, in a matter of minutes their posts are shared by many people to advertise their business. Social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter have given bloggers the opportunity to connect with their clients. They will share the blogs and the bloggers’ followers will increase.
In addition, YouTube is one of the most popular social networking sites. Many videos on YouTube teach, provide music and show spiritual videos that can motivate others. It has become another outlet for people to also express themselves and voice their opinions. It has given people the chance to educate others. People do reviews on products that they like, which is good for businesses because if someone gives a positive review the viewer may go out and purchase the product. YouTube has plenty of educational videos that gives anyone the ability to develop and improve their skills and talents, such as cooking, drawing, playing the piano and simple things like doing your own hairstyles.
In conclusion, in our fast-paced digital world, the increase of social media has a vast impact on pop culture by allowing individuals to interact with different people that give them instant feedback on what they like and what they don’t. Communication is the foundation of any culture, and the use of social media, its’ interactions with technology has to produce cultural expressions in the virtual world. We live in a world where you can stay on top of current fashion trends, new music releases, and celebrity news from simple apps that can be downloaded on your phone. So, ask yourself, Why is it so hard to peel people away from social media? It’s because that’s where so much action is constantly taking place and to keep up to date with everything, you’re either in the action, or you’re out, because that what social media is all about.
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