Social Media – a globalized platform that provides the power for every individual to have a magnified voice, inflicting their opinions on the rest of the world. This media device transcends any past media platforms as it combines social, political, and monetary influence in user’s posts. These institutional vehicles such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook personify a false sense of reality, giving the illusion that every individual has the opportunity to achieve the same quality of life. Unrealistic standards are created in each post as such are usually promoting a quintessential version of self-image.
This facade generated by influencers is detrimental to the plethora of young social media users who idolize these influencers, looking to them in a role model fashion. A sense of urgency to grow up expedites how quickly kids looking up to these influencers mature. They are engaging in more sexually and verbally explicit content as it is easily accessible which contrasts greatly with past generations who grew up without such communication devices at hands. This is the reason that adolescents are caught up in situations such as accidentally leaking nudes or racially offensive language or drug use being caught by a camera and posted across the different social media platforms.
Social media has deterred children from taking the customary childhood route. Kids are no longer growing up, going to the park to spend time with their friends, or riding bikes to the end of the block to meet up with neighbors. Rather, the technological advancements that today’s society has created kids who use social media to communicate and play games on the internet with other children, instead of physically hanging out. It is putting children at a disadvantage, giving them less interpersonal skills due to the amount of time they spend on social media and internet related platforms.
In years to come I see social media turning into not just an internal criteria of self-worth, but an external one. I believe five years from now, social media presence will be used as a monetary value, and perceived self-worth by society dictates social class. This would be something reflective of Netflix’s Black Mirror episode “Nosedive,” where each individual lives life, rating each social media and in-person interaction on a five-star scale. The higher the rating the higher social class and more opportunities and amenities available to the individual.
Jacob Hall, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Spring 2019 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: What is the future of social media? How will it evolve in the next five years?