Social media is the worst best thing to happen to modern society. It reflects the rapid development of technology and culture in the 21st century in both positive and negative ways. The countless forms of social media we utilize each day (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) give us a new perspective on life and interconnectedness that was unprecedented until the past ten to fifteen years. Through these platforms, the way we communicate and live our lives is drastically changing every day. In my opinion, the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to the way social media influences our lives.
The damages social media causes in one's life far outweigh the benefits. If we reflect upon how much time can be consumed by scrolling through social media instead of reading, learning, and engaging with others face to face, we can realize how inefficient our lives have become due to this distraction. Not only is it unproductive to use social media but it can be dangerous; distracted driving from using cell phones causes thousands of car accidents and deaths every year. These applications are developed to be time consuming, difficult to put down, and outright addicting. Ultimately, nothing will ever replace living in real time.
Even the effects on mental health from social media use can be devastating. The issue of life comparison is prevalent on these platforms; users show off the best, most "Instagrammable" parts of their lives, only letting their followers see the shiniest, most jealousy-enticing moments where their skin and brows look "on-fleek" and they seemingly vacation every weekend in Mykonos. Many people, including myself, feel as if they can never live up to the unrealistic life standards social media presents. Despite common belief, "likes" fail to enrich a person's life. While these can be temporarily self-assuring, true self confidence cannot be found through technology.
Regardless of the negative implications of social media, these applications have also undoubtedly provided a platform for global communication that makes the world seem smaller than ever before. Social improvements are able to gain ground faster than ever, allowing grassroots movements to go viral and gain support in days, if not hours. The spread of ideas in society can lead to development of new concepts and positive change; collaborators all around the globe can work together to make a difference in our world and solve problems effectively. With these platforms, we are able to use a global lens in our everyday lives.
Despite the positive applications of social media, real-life interactions are at the core of our identity; as humans, we need human communication and community. Social media does not provide a real facet of this, even though it has the potential to bring people together. Although social media has proven to be an effective platform objectively for bringing people all around the globe together, is it really good for us to be this connected in a way that isn't truly personal.
Savannah Wix, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Fall 2018 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: Is social media more harmful than helpful to society? Discuss the good and the bad.