Social Media’s Impact On Society

Social Media’s Impact On Society

Stop staring at a screen all day!

The growing popularity of social media networks and applications has had many positive and negative implications for society.

Social media has revolutionized the way we view ourselves, the way we see others and the way we interact with the world around us. While social media has many positive implications, including promoting awareness of specific causes, advertising businesses and helping foster friendships between individuals who may have never met without social networking, the over-usage of social media networks can also lead to negative implications.

While there are countless exciting improvements in technology and social media have greatly increased communication across cultures and positively brought attention to events around the world, it is imperative that we examine the negative implications that social media usage has had on the human experience.

The overuse of social media is a global problem impacting all generations, and research has shown that substantial internet usage can have a highly negative impact on our mental and emotional health.

As the popularity of social media sites continuously grows, networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram continue to evolve. Three positive implications of social media include advertising, networking, and self-expression.

From an advertising perspective, social media offers a great outlet for charities, businesses, and individuals to promote themselves. Social media can be used as an outlet for global organizations to bring awareness to the causes they support and spread positive news that traditional media often doesn't cover. In addition to making advertisements more accessible through social media, these networks have helped foster relationships and connect people around the world.

Social media also allows for self-expression and can serve as a creative outlet for individuals to express themselves, share their artwork and share their voice on specific topics. Being able to express yourself in a healthy way is a very important part of the human experience, and social media can be a great outlet for young adults.

An additional benefit to social media includes following inspirational social media accounts, such as fitness or health inspired Instagram accounts, which can be motivational to followers.

While social media has greatly benefited society, too much of a good thing can always lead to negative effects.

Heavy technology usage often leads to addiction, especially in teens and young adults. However, this addiction is not limited to the millennial generation, as more and more adults from older generations are starting to utilize social networks to stay connected with their friends and families. Spending countless hours on the social sites can distract the focus and attention from a particular chore or assignment.

Along with the struggle to remain attentive, many people who overuse social media or use social media networks as their main form of communication report feeling anxious and depressed after overuse of social media.

Symptoms of anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be triggered by the overuse of social media, as individuals are constantly concerned about their posts and communicating with others.

Social media also causes many young adults to compare themselves to others and envy a life that may not be attainable since many brands and individuals only share a small percentage of their lives online. It is important to remember that an Instagram or Twitter may just be a reflection of the "best" parts of a person's life and isn't an accurate representation of them as a whole.

It is imperative that teens and young adults remember that social media does not always portray the whole story and that having genuine communication skills is more important than social media.

Allowing social media to prevent you from experiencing genuine human experiences, such as spending time with your family or spending time outdoors, can be very unhealthy.

In an article entitled "Tweets, Texts, Email and Posts," author Tony Dokoupil explores the story regarding a man named Jason Russell. Russell forwarded a link to an internet documentary called “Kony 2012," which shared his deeply personal web experiences regarding African Warlord Joseph Kony. The film received more than 70 million views in less than a week.

While the film brought awareness to the issues facing African children and child soldiers, the sudden fame had a significant impact on Russell. Russell began obsessing over the number of views received and eventually underwent what doctors now call a temporary psychotic break.

After posting a quote by Martin Luther King, "If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward," Russell took off his clothes, went to the corner of a busy intersection and repeatedly slapped the concrete with both palms ranting about the devil.

This is just one example of how social media can have both positive and negative implications on an individual, as the fame has caused severe mental health implications for Russell, but also brought awareness to a growing epidemic of child soldiers.

While I personally have not experienced mental health implications over the number of likes I’ve gotten or have not gotten on a post, I do tend to “obsess” over it. If I don’t receive the desired amount of likes on a picture I have posted on Instagram, I’ll just delete it.

The more likes I get, the better I feel about myself.

This is something I have been trying to work on since the number of likes I get shouldn’t affect how I feel. Many young adults equate a part of their identity or self-worth with the number of likes they receive on a post and forget that a post does not define who you are as a person and should not change the way you view yourself.

My social media usage has decreased significantly, but I still worry about the number of likes I receive because I want to use social media as a way to express myself and share my ideas with others. Remembering the purpose behind what I am posting and trying to identify the purpose of what I share on social networks helps me identify if the number of likes matter.

Since I started college, I have extensively examined the effects that social media has on a person. Specifically, I have explored how social media usage affects my own generation. It may seem obvious, but I’ve noticed that I do best in classes when I am on my phone less.

Even though this may seem obvious to you, sometimes it’s the most simple thing that we overlook when it comes to social media usage. I have strongly considered joining the “unplugging” movement, but I can’t bring myself to do it. If that doesn’t say something about the effects that social networking sites have on a person, I’m not sure what will.

Unplugging is taking yourself off of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even though my social media usage has become less of a problem, I still struggle with remaining off my phone and being involved in the “real world."

Social media has impacted our society for better and for worse.

It is up to us to decide how we view social media and how we allow social networking to either benefit or harm our lives. It is imperative to remember that the genuine human experience of being able to communicate in person, network in person and form relationships with others outweighs social media. It is also important to remember that the number of likes or shares you receive does not define who you are or your self-worth.

The more educated I become and the less time I spend on social media, the more I realize that there is a lot more to life than sitting behind a screen all day long.

Cover Image Credit: LinkedIn

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What I I Learned As A Daughter Raised By A Northern Mama In The South

"Bless your heart" actually means "Are you that frickin stupid!"

My life is pretty crazy, part of the craziness is being raised by a northern mama in the south. My mother from New Jersey moved down to Georgia when she was 22 due to high housing taxes. Four years later she met my dad (a southern whose family has been in the south for many generations), had my brother and me, later got divorced and I was primarily raised by my Mama.

She has taught me a lot of Northern and as much as she didn't want to, she also taught me some Southern things. I also learned the differences and similarities between Northerners and Southerners. Some of them are hilarious and some are just straight up facts.

The Southerners have their own dialect. They say yes ma'am, no ma'am and yes sir, no sir. If you don't say yes ma'am to your mama in the south, you can expect hell to go loose. They also say Y'all when referring to a group of 2 or more people. Its pretty fun to say it and I use the word all the time.

Northerners, on the other hand, hate it! I once kept saying yes ma'am to my mom's sister when she was doing my hair for junior prom, after three "yes ma'am" responses. She looked me dead in the eyes and said if I said yes ma'am one more time, I will be the 1st person ever that will be burnt with the curling iron on purpose.

Needless to say, I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the appointment. My mom personally hates the word "Y'all" and for a while tried to correct me whenever I said it. Thankfully she gave up and I say Y'all to my heart's desire.

Northerners tend to have a bit of their own dialect and I personally like it better. The New Yorkers tend to have a rough accent and their favorite phrase is "Forget about it!". Some Southerners tend to hate it as much as the Northerners hate their dialect.

Another difference is that the Southerners LOVE football, more specifically college football. As a football fan myself (Bulldogs for college and the Falcons, and Giants for NFL) I describe myself as mediocre compared to some of my friends who will yell and curse at the T.V and this throughout all the games.

The Northerners will tend to be like this during rivalry games, playoffs, and the Superbowl. Unless they root for the Patriots (personal opinion I am not fond of Tom Brady or the Patriots due to their numerous scandals) then they act like the Southerners. Which is rather unfortunate because the Patriots are the Alabama Crimson Tide of the NFL.

The Southerners can't parallel park to save their lives, while the Northerners have to.

The Northerners can't stand the heat like how the Southerners can't handle the snow.

Southerners will say sweet things but they actually mean sarcastic or insulting. For example "Bless your heart" actually means "Are you that frickin stupid!" The Northerners will just tell you straight up how it is.

Northerners know their pizza and bagels and the Southerners know their BBQ. Both have high standards for their respective food. If y'all ever want to make quick money, Open a Pizzeria or bakery in the South and do it how the north likes their food or open a good BBQ place in the North and you will make some huge money.

Both groups love hunting like in Wisconsin they plan their school year around hunting season. In the South, they just flat out skip school. They both like to show off their kills.

Both groups hate traffic and tolls. Like they will find ways to take backroads in order not to deal with traffic.

Though the things I learned from being raised in the South by a Northern Mama, I learned to understand situations from both sides because of my own experience of not being on one side of a spectrum.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Poetry on Odyssey: Under Stress

A free verse poem describing feelings of being overwhelmed.

She always tried her best

Never tried to impress

Everything turned to a mess

Didn’t know what to confess

She always felt less

Kept under stress

Wanted to progress

Didn’t know what to guess

She always wanted success

And to be able to express

Her whole entire process,

But didn’t know how to distress

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