Social media is now running the world, everyone is sharing videos, world news and terrorism attacks through sites like Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Everywhere you go, social media has a big influence on who you are and what your doing. About 78% of Americans have a social media profile. I am part of that 78%, and a majority of of my friends are as well. Social media has a big influence on my life. I use social media on a regular basis, and I am more social on social media than I am in the real world to people outside my friend group.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/teens-often-turn-smartphones-gateway-social-media/ This graph shows what social media platforms teens were using in 2015.
I wake up at 6:15 am and grab my phone to scroll through instagram and open all the snapchats. People plan their lives around social media, they order something from a restaurant and post a picture, they take pictures of what they are wearing, or what their doing. When the bell rings to get out of class, I go on social media. When I am in the car, I am on social media. A study conducted by CNN showed shocking results that teens spend about 9 hours a day surfing the web and on social media. I can’t remember a day I have not been on any type of social media. People become addicted to these apps and what others are posting, or if they get enough likes on their most recent post.
Social media affects many things in a person mentally, whether they fit the ‘perfect body image’, their popularity, or if they are following the right trends. Kelsey Hibbard, on an interview with BBC said, “in middle school I'd always been tall, and I was a bit podgy too”, when she saw how all the models and other people portrayed themselves on social media she did not like the way she looked.Caroline Nokes used to be part of the parliamentary group, which worked with charities and went to schools to talk about body image. She visited a school to talk to 12 - 13 year olds about this topic, "I ask them to shut their eyes and put their hand up if they have ever enhanced an image on Facebook. The more time spent on Facebook, the more likely people are to self-objectify They usually all put up their hands. she says. One girl said every image she uploaded had been altered.” When people look at others through social media they see something they like about them. Then they will see all the ‘flaws’ that they have with their own body. With the use of social media people will never be comfortable with their own body.
Social media is also a popularity contest. People are always wanting to get the most amount of likes, or the most amount of views or followers. Over the break I would see everyone's photos of their cruise or exotic vacations, while I was just in Westport. People post pictures of their things and their friends to show what they have. I go on vacation often and I post about it, showing people the cool things I am doing.
People who use YouTube get a plaque for getting a certain amount subscribers. This is saying that “Oh, a ton of people like you, here you go,” and someone gives them an award for being popular. Teens strive to be popular and have the most followers, because social media is teaching them that they should. In reality people should be comfortable with who they are, and social media is making them think that they should change.
If you walk into a room of teenagers, you notice that a majority of them are on their phones, looking at social media. When I am in an awkward situation I grab my phone and start snapchatting someone, or scroll through instagram. Because of social media, we are missing out of new experiences and opportunities. If I were to have the option of being on my phone or talking to someone, most of the time I would pick my phone.
People are and will always be bullied, it’s inevitable, but with the use of social media, it makes it that much harder to stop it. People can hide behind a screen and say inappropriate and unnecessary things to other people. They can always trace it back to the person, but it is much harder now with new advances in technology. Also people don’t always use fake names, because they don’t think that the person would get someone to stop it. In a survey done by NoBullying.com, it was found that 90% of teens saw people being bullied over social media and didn’t report it, and 50% of teens said that they would not or do not talk to their parents if someone was bullying them. In the movie Cyberbully, a teenager girl starts a profile and someone finds her and impersonates someone she knows. She gets close to the user and tells them personal information that they spread through the school. She does not talk to her mom because she does not want to delete the account. All of her friends know that it’s going on, but do not talk to an adult. Later in the movie she posts a suicide video, and that’s when her friends tell her mom. People should not let bullying get to the point of suicide. If I saw a friend was being bullied I would go and talk to an adult.
https://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-2014/ This graph shows the percentage of people who have experience or witnessed bullying. In the graph you can see that only 25% of people reported being bullied.
Using social media can affect your relationships with friends and family. Being on your phone for most of the time prevents you from having quality family time, if you are always checking social media you can miss out on fun things to do with your family. Also when teens use social media it can affect who their friends are. Social media can cause jealousy between friends. One gets jealous cause they have more followers, or likes. Friends can tag people in photos, people have complained to me about, “oh she didn’t tag me, I guess she doesn’t like me,” people take things on social media so out of hand.
Social media does play a big role in our lives. Although it can have many negative impacts on our life, it can also change the way information is spread. During many devastating times social media is there to spread the word and raise awareness. People might not know about current events if they don’t watch the news, but with social media, events can be shared and bring more awareness to it.
This graph shows the sites that use social media to take surveys to get information on topics. These sites use Facebook and other social media platforms to survey people as well as spread news. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/facebook-pew-report-2013-news/416380
With the use of social media comes less privacy. People don't care what they show and who can see it. Nothing is private anymore and anyone can get your personal information. "Whenever a user writes a post, shares a photo or likes a product's page, that user is sending a very large amount of data to everyone who is on his/her friends list, and to many agencies that aren't. These agencies comprise of advertisers, marketing analysts, other social researchers and salesmen. The information obtained can then potentially be shared with any number of advertising, spamming and marketing firms." People share one thing and anyone can get access to. There is no privacy when you use social media. Once you sign the Terms and Conditions, you are signing away your social media privacy.
When I am trying to do homework or focus on something, I am often distracted by social media. Social media affects our daily lives and how we view yourself and others. Social media alters the way we see our bodies, and it teaches us that being popular is better. If there was a world without social media teens would live a more stress free life. Because of the high influence of social media in teens everyday life, they feel that it is necessary to go on it and use it everyday. Teenagers lives should not be taken over by social media because it causes them to have negative thought about themselves, is a popularity contest, produces cyber bullying, and is a distraction.