Social media has become a staple in today’s society. Many apps including Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter have become captivating sources of entertainment.
These apps allow us to keep up with friends and family members from all over the world at the touch of a button. But as great as the advantages of social media sound, are all of these applications hurting or helping society as a whole?
Social media has a way of mesmerizing its users and people, especially children and teenagers, who spend hours at a time on their phones. It’s so addicting that people are using technology as a crutch for learning and not experiencing the joys of everyday life. But what causes this addiction?
These apps actually appeal to the natural dopamine that is in the human mind. Dopamine causes us to explore, yearn and examine.
According to Courtney Seiter, a social blogger for the Buffer app, dopamine is activated by unpredictability, reward cues and small bits of information.
Social media has all of these characteristics, which result in people constantly checking their phones and clicking on notifications that pop up on their screens.
Another pitfall of social media is the collective information, comments and opinions that are shared on these platforms instantaneously.
There is something called “selective perception,” which occurs when a person chooses to see what news and messages they want to see. This selectivity can lead to misinformation and misunderstanding, ultimately resulting in conflicts.
When on social media, people are connecting with others that they barely know.
Social media users think a follow on a social media platform is equitable to an actual friendship. Social media puts an unnecessary standard on how life is supposed to be lived. Take, for example, the movement of #RelationshipGoals.
This hashtag ruins the perception of what actual relationships are supposed to be. Some use the hashtag to gauge the value of themselves and their relationships.
Even though some claim that they are not affected by what they see online, social media has a subconscious effect on people to find the perfect match. In reality, there is no perfect fit for a person.
You have to be able to accept the good with the bad when it comes to finding a partner.
Although there are a lot of negative aspects of social media, there is a litany of good things that can be classified with it.
It has opened up endless job opportunities and new avenues for people to create revenue for themselves. Many people use it as a medium to monetize their talents and specific skills. Apps like Instagram and Twitter even pay people to post about their everyday lives.
Podcasts are also a growing fad. Podcasts consist of one or more persons collectively sharing their ideas and posting them to the masses.
Social media has also given people a platform to expose the pressing issues in society. For example, Colin Kaepernick has used social media and his NFL platform to expose the issues of police brutality in America.
Nike saw Kaepernick’s movement picking up momentum and decided to do a Nike campaign on social media with him. This caused controversy, but it is also sparked conversation, which is necessary to improve social issues over time.
Social media’s prominence has constantly grown over the past decade in our society. It will be interesting to see how we will continue to use it.
Will people use it as a tool to make connections and do good? Or will social media run rampant and negatively affect our society?