Social Media: News Source or Popularity Contest

Social Media: News Source or Popularity Contest

Is Social Media REALLY that good for us?


When I say the word "Facebook" what is the first thing that comes to mind? A social media source? An outlet to vent? A time waster? Or something that has become a critical part of your life the past few years? Many of us are constantly checking who "liked" what and seeing what other people are doing. But if you really sit down to think about it, what's the real meaning behind Facebook? In other words, why does it exist? I mean, we have survived the majority of our lives without it, but now, many of us panic if the site goes down for less than an hour, like it did on September 28th. Facebook sometimes seems asinine to me. But, on the other hand, it can be an amazing vehicle for useful information, catching up with long lost family, friends, and fastest route to breaking news anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye.

But, sometimes people post and "like" the weirdest things. From saying what they are doing for every moment of every day to a rant about someone's boyfriend. Some, if not most, people who use Facebook seek some sort of attention. Many people in society base their popularity on how many "likes" their status or how many comments they get on their selfie. Obviously, "likes" shouldn't define their life. Unfortunately, though, society today sometimes sees Facebook and other social media as some kind of popularity contest. For example, the fewer friends someone has (half of which they probably have never met in real life) can really make a person feel unwanted or not feel good enough. I have seen many people (including my own friends) get upset and depressed, just because they didn't get enough "likes" on a photo or status, or because they don't have enough "friends."

Obviously, we're all partially motivated by a need for acceptance, but it's crazy how we as humans "fish" for comments and approval from others, even from some Facebook "friends" we don't even know personally! That isn't what life is all about. People need to understand that life is about going out and meeting new people and experience things that can benefit them. Fifty "likes" on a selfie you just posted isn't a real life experience. In a general view, all social media in some way is skewed. Meaning, that the whole story of what you are seeing isn’t there in its entirety. Other social media websites, such as Twitter is great for seeing up to the minute news and information, but who really wants to see someone post what they are doing at every moment of every day. The same can be said for Instagram. I mean, who really wants to see the same picture in 30 different filters.

Instead of looking for likes and comments on Facebook and other social media, people should try to actually hang out and get a bite to eat or go for a walk or a hike. Another way people need to realize that life is not about how many likes you get, but by experiences you have with positive people around you. I, myself, was one of those people who was constantly on Facebook and always looking for likes and always looking to see how many likes I got on a photo, or on a status or something similar to that. The same can be said for me with Twitter and Instagram. Recently, I have started to slowly distance myself from the social media craze, and just using it to communicate with friends I haven’t talked to or have seen in quite some time. Ever since this change, I’ve noticed that I’m not procrastinating as much as I used to and I am enjoying my life a lot more than wondering what everyone else is doing in their lives. I can focus on my life and what I want to get done in the future.

I think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media can be related to opening up a refrigerator. When someone opens up a fridge 20 times in the same day, they are going to notice that nothing changes in the refrigerator, the food that was in there an hour ago is still there. The same can be said for social media. Things sometimes just don’t change on these websites. The only way things that are going to change is if you stop looking at it 20 times a day and actually do something productive. This way, you can focus on bettering your life and not wondering what other people’s lives are all about.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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