The Impacts of Social Media Today
By: John Kim
The world today seems to be run by the media. The greatest information sharingsites, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram dominates the minds of both young and old.
“Social media is superior, everyone uses it. Even the teachers use social media these days,” said Ashton Long, a sophomore at Estes Park High School.
Many might argue that social media is blocking the way of traditional face to face communication and lessening the human social construct. Throwing all memes, selfies and cat videos aside, is social media ruining the human social construct?
Social media has been with humanity since the first postal system back in 550 B.C. in Persia. This ancient form of delivery would become more known and used for the next many centuries.
In 1792 , the newest form of social media would be the telegraph. This innovation allowed people to send messages to others hundreds, and eventually thousands of miles away in an hour.
In 1890 to 1891 , two innovations that would send messages even faster had appeared. The telephone and radio. With these new devices, one could send messages, deliver news, and provide entertainment to people from the east coast to the west coast.
Technology has only advanced further from there. Today we have the internet, which has the ability to transfer data from one side of the world to the other in seconds.
All this is social media.
“Social media is used for wonderful things, but often used for stupid cats,” Jaden Kilbourn, a sophomore said.
Social media has allowed people to increase relations, share ideas, and communicate with others while staying at the comfort of their homes. Of course, face to face communication still remains as a common practice, but without phones and computers, learning about the places beyond their own will be hard.
“Technology keeps moving forward. There are newer and newer ways to interact. Many of them, like cell phones and Twitter, become widely popular, even in vastly different cultures and countries. They must be fulfilling some basic human need,” said Anna Caltabiano from Huffpost.
The golden age of communication has made it easier for people to connect and communicate with people we have never met before, living on the other side of the globe.
“Lets more people interact with other people more than ever. People can connect more and more with social media,” Jarrod Land, a sophomore said.
Back before Facebook and Snapchat, the world was only limited to what one saw. Social media might be the beginning of an age of information, but many wonder if social media can be bad for society.
In a survey done in the Crest Girls’ Academy in London found that 75% of those questioned did not like the idea of sleeping with their phones and 37 % reported that social media had left them sleep-deprived.
Problems like cyberbullying and online harassment is on an all-time high. A survey done in 2017 by PEW Research Center found that one in four Americans experienced online harassment, and 62 % consider it a major problem.
An alarming example of negative social media are the online suicide clubs in Japan. Suicidal people find each other online, proceed to meet up somewhere, and commit suicide together. With these suicide clubs, people will be able to meet and not be alone, although it means death in the end.
These online suicide clubs can relate to the numerous suicide pacts that happened throughout history.
A suicide pact is when one of two people, generally a couple, commit suicide, particularly for a non-ideological reason. Online suicide clubs make these pacts more nation-wide and common, but would they have not committed suicide if they hadn’t had access to the media? The answer is probably no.
Even though the media could be used for suicide, it can also help with these kind of cases. Suicidal people can find help online on the media on various sites such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
People in distress can communicate with professionals they never would’ve met if it weren’t for social media.
“I think just as damaging as social media can be, it can … help to build self-confidence, too,” said Eileen Masio from CNN.
Nobody has all the correct answers. After all, one can always argue on both sides of the argument. Instead of asking whether social media is good or bad for the population, we should be asking how social media can be used for good.