Social media has both a positive and negative influence on our communication within society. Some individuals see social networking as online communities that help to promote increased interaction with their peers. On the other hand, others see social media sites in that they are preventing face-to-face communication from occurring. This point is important in showing how social media influences our social life and societal interactions.
Social media sites have increased in popularity over the years and the user base has gotten larger. Social media site users now range from teenagers to individuals over the age of 50. As social media continues to make advances, the age range of users continues to increase. Having certain features, such as direct message and video calling, helps intrigue people to using these sites. More and more people are using social media which can influence the benefits of the sites.
Social media sites have played a large role in shaping the politics. Growth on social media sites has often moved faster than the development of rules and laws regarding their use. More than one quarter of US voters younger than 30 obtained information from social media about the 2008 Presidential campaign. The White House joined twitter to reform the government so that it is more efficient, transparent and more creative. US officials have seen social media as a way to increase the number of people who vote in the elections and for laws.
Social media helps to spread information faster than any other type of media. Social media users often report events before the traditional media outlets. Since there are so many users of these sites, information can be dispersed very quickly among people. Social media sites have been used to deliver breaking news about events, such as the Paris attacks, the Ebola outbreak, and the Boston marathon bombing. Important news and information often take too long to reach the public, so social media is a good way to speed up the process.
Social media can help rid social stigmas in society. Social media sites provide teenagers with a way to discuss touchy subjects such as mental health, sexuality, and reproductive health that they otherwise wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about in person. An example is that twitter is used by the Sticks and Stones campaign to reduce stigmas surrounding mental health and learning disabilities. Gay people often use social media to help them in promoting a greater social acceptance of homosexuality in society.
Colleges and Universities use social media to recruit students and to maintain them. Most 4-year college institutions use social media sites as a way to recruit students. High School athletes may post videos of their competitions or new skills on YouTube that colleges will look at to decide if they want to recruit them as a student-athlete. Colleges will also use social media to promote their school with their national ranking and what crucial research they are working on to better society.
Social media helps provide rapid communication and information disbursement during a time of crisis. Since social media can spread information so fast, it is often used to spread word about an attack or safety issue. Over one-third of law enforcement say that they use social media to alert the public of emergencies or disasters. Facebook users that are in a crisis area can mark themselves as safe and check to see if their family and friends are safe. For example, during the Paris terrorist attacks, locals tweeted their personal addresses alongside the hashtag #PorteOuverte to offer shelter to the people who were stranded.
Social media facilitates political change. Social media provides social movements with a method to organize, gather information, and put people into action to make a change. Social media was used to mobilize a gun control movement after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The students used Twitter to promote protests that drew more than one million participants throughout that nation and led to thousands of people registering to vote, specifically for the gun law.
Social media sites can help students achieve better grades in school. Students from around the world use social media to discuss educational topics and to talk about school assignments. YouTube provides students with an opportunity to view educational videos about subjects they are learning about in school. College Freshman use social media sites to build networks of new friends and feel socially integrated within their school. University groups often use Facebook to promote the events they are holding, such as meetings or activities.
Social media offers teachers a way to collaborate with others and communicate with their students outside of the classroom. Social media helps teachers to streamline the information they are presenting to their students in an engaging fashion. The majority of college faculty use social media as a source for teaching and communicating with their students. Social media is a good way for teachers to share information and resources with their students. The use of social media in the classroom leads to more collaboration among the students and an increase in the student’s participation.
Students who use social media a lot tend to have lower grades in school. Social media may distract students from getting their homework done or studying for an exam. Almost one-third of teens say that using social media negatively affects the quality of their school work. Students who use social media have a drastically lower GPA than students who do not use social media. A study found that spending 4 hours on social media, a student’s average GPA drops one full grade.
Social media enables the spreading of false and unreliable information to the public. Social media helps to spread information fast, but that information is not always true. It has been found that lies spread six times faster than the truth on Twitter and false news is often retweeted more than true news. Almost 65% of people who use Twitter have encountered fake news that they later discovered was true. Even when the false information is corrected, the number of people who see the corrections is lower than the number of people who originally saw the false information in the first place.
Social media facilitates an increase in cyberbullying among younger populations. Over 50% of students have reported being the victim of cyberbullying on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Social media allows people to create fake profiles and attack students using their words without having to face the consequences of their actions. The victims can be emotionally hurt and be put at an increased risk of committing suicide. Teenagers and adults can both be victims of cyberbullying, usually just in different contexts.
Social media leads to cheating on school assignments. Students are able to post photos of questions from standardized tests and exams on social media, that allow other students to see questions and answers from the test that they have yet to take. A student can direct message a friend on Twitter or Instagram and talk about an exam for a class (the questions and answers), which is strictly prohibited by teachers and professors. Students may delete their posts or messages to cover their tracks and attempt to not get caught. However, once a student does anything on social media, even if they delete it, it can be found and traced back to them.
Social media can harm students in their chances of being admitted to college. College administrators can scan Facebook profiles for evidence of illegal behavior by the students that have applied to the school. A little over one-third of college admissions officers check an applicant’s social media accounts to learn more about them. Some admissions officers discovered information that had a negative impact on the admission chances of the prospective student. This just proves that fact that once a student does anything negative on social media, even if they delete it, it can be found and traced back to them.
Social media leads to people spending less time interacting face-to-face. People reported that they spend less face-to-face time with family in their homes the more that they used social media. It has become more common for people to sue social media while they are out at a social event with their peers. Some individuals even use social media or text during meals rather than talking with their family. People younger than 25 even go to great lengths to respond to social media and text messages while having sex.
Social media use has been correlated with personality and brain disorders. A study found that social media use was significantly associated with increased depression among adults. People who are addictive to social media use are more likely to have negative thoughts and be narcissistic. Children who use social media for more than three hours on a normal school day can suffer from mental health difficulties compared with children who spend no time on social media sites.
Social media has the power to provide us with a form of social networking to connect people and causes. Humanity’s greatest desire is to belong and connect, and social media provides us with a way to do that. We can share what we love, and it reminds us of what we all have in common. With the power of social media, we have been able to raise about 1 billion dollars for nonprofits throughout the country and around the world. We can use social media to better the society and world we live in
There are many drawbacks of social networking sites that affect the user. People who use social media may have regrets about posting something and have shared information that they might have not normally shared in public. Users of these sites can create a fake profile to avoid dealing with the consequences of their actions, which negatively affect the online community. Every post and action made on a social media site leaves behind a digital footprint which can impact a person years later.