Initial Thoughts on Social Media-The Good and Bad

Social media has given society a platform to voice their opinions on just about anything. Its allowed us to connect with people all around the world, and stay up to date on the most relevant topics in our communities. It has created Internet sensations, and has started multiple trends over the years. It has given families and friends the opportunity to connect no matter where they are. It has changed the way we live, interact, and behave on just about every level. In the corporate world, it has become a tool that companies use to separate themselves from competition. It has provided coverage of the most obscure topics, and has given us the chance to “plug in” at any point of our daily routine.

The Good

            Social media can provide so many great opportunities to portray powerful messages. My favorites are those tearjerker videos that become social media hits. You know the ones I’m talking about. When a soldier comes home early to surprise his or her family at a college football game. They run onto the field and the whole crowd erupts.. How about those videos of dogs being reunited with their owners after not seeing them for a long time? Social media has the ability to put a smile on our face when we are going through the worst days. It can remind us how beautiful this life is and that we are surrounded by so many blessings.

Social media has also been a tool that millions use to stay connected to the rest of the world. Many of our reliable news sources can be downloaded on our phones, and serve as the perfect app to scroll through during our commutes to class or work. We use our smart devices for directions when driving, and occasionally we open the calculator application to calculate simple math. Do you remember when the FBI released the pictures of the Boston bomber? One of the biggest investigation units in the world called on us through social media to help capture the men who threatened our city. That was freaking awesome! Social media can help make life easy. It can provide humor to brighten our days, and can remind us that we have an infinite amount of power at our fingertips. It can unite us for great causes, and can foster a sense of community that is so much different than any other community we have experienced.

The Bad

Despite all the good things social media can bring out in our world, it also has the capability to create some awful habits. I fear that some day, our generation won’t be able to interact with others on a real, personal level. Social media can negatively impact our social skills, and decrease situational awareness. Some may argue this has become an epidemic that’s sweeping the country. Many times, our phones, tablets, and computers take away from quality time with friends and family. Social media has trained us to not “live in the moment.” Most people are so caught up with their online community that they forgot about the real community we all live in.

Social media has also created this notion that you can become an Internet star or media icon. Striving for this status can be extremely dangerous. Many young social media users use applications as a platform to boost their social status. This can be detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of a person. Failure to not post “cool” pictures, or keep up with the rest of your friends on social media can cause stress and anxiety. The silent pressures of social media as a whole put a huge burden on people to maintain a status or appearance, which usually doesn’t represent the user accurately at all. There have been several “Instagram Models” that have came out to the public, and have attested to the pressures of social media. Many of them admitted to cropping photos and altering pictures in attempts to maintain a certain image. Social media influences these kinds of lifestyle habits that can destroy a user’s future.

Social media is extremely fast, and sometimes the speed and outreach of news can be harmful. Today, if there is a big story going on in the world, it is surrounded and spread through social media faster than I had ever imagined possible. The results of this kind of power can lead to false information, and stories that can ruin one’s life forever. Its hard to even comprehend unless you have been a victim to it, but imagine if false information was spread around about you, and there was nothing you could do to stop it.

With the rise of social media and digital business, there has been a level of privacy issues that are a huge area of concern for many. As our world becomes more digital and public, it will be interesting to see if we can turn these concerns into “good.” Like everything else in life, there are a few downsides to social media, but there is nothing we cannot turn into a positive experience.

Lets do this

            The opportunity to take this class with other students will provide us with an opportunity to understand social media and digital business on a new level. We have an incredible chance to create our own community via social media, and I think the months to come will be a blast! The combination of class time and interactions through social media will provide us many possibilities to learn about this constantly changing facet of our lives.

4 comments

  1. lesleyzhou · ·

    You bring up a good point on the issue of crowdsourcing and unity through social media with your example of the Boston bombing incident. It reminds me of the time I was abroad, when the horrific Paris attacks happened and everyone was extremely worried about their loved ones in the city. It was through Facebook statuses and the Facebook “check in” function that I was reassured my friends were okay as well as kept me updated on the current situation as police were trying to clear up the case.

  2. I definitely like the good-bad perspective, as it’s one we’ll take in the class. Be sure to use the features of the blog platform, though (i.e. pictures, links, etc) to make the post more engaging. We’re not limited to paper in this class!

  3. It is difficult for me to entirely grasp the types of social interactions that our kids will be immersed in based on the pace of our development. Just as you said, there is a clear decrease in “personal” interactions with the emergence of social media. With new mediums like augmented and virtual reality, it seems like our kids will be able to sculpt their online identity but also be in a present digital moment with their peers. Albeit, that seems unfathomable to us, it is likely going to be the new medium of communication. It will be interesting to see how social media transcends into that augmented world.

  4. alexisteixeiraa · ·

    Really great way to breakdown the benefits and limitations social media has added to our society. I was especially interested in the commentary on social skills and awareness nowadays and am interested to see how this impacts the generations below us as they have been exposed to technology and social media far earlier than us. I can even see this in my sister who is only 4 years younger than me as she is always connected to her phone and has trouble not looking at it when she is spending time with her friends and family. Additionally, I appreciated your opinion on how social media has negatively impacted people, especially easily influenced young people. As we look to the future of influencers, I hope there is a stronger focus on authenticity and empowerment versus this focus on perfectionism.

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