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Effects of Social Media
Before the internet was invented, people were using letters or postcards to make a connection with their friends and families. People started to use the internet around the ’90s, and they figured out they can communicate with each other easily. Then social media applications entered our lives. With social media, people can create new friendships, learn something new, and even create a big move for everything such as political, economic, social, and other spheres. However, social media comes with benefits. Also, it causes too many problems in our lives. Social media has changed our ways of communication, relationships, and affected everyone’s life.
People are changing their ways of communication every day with the help of technology. They can send intercontinental messages and calls for free in nanoseconds. Also, most of the social media applications are free, which is pushing people to use social media easily. As a result, people stopped talking with each other in their real lives and started to use social media, and messaging applications for communication, which affected people’s communication skills. Nowadays, social media applications are developing technology too. Technology firms and producers are trying to create new products according to social media users behaviors. According to an online article in Washington Post in 2019 by Arthur C. Brooks, he mentioned how people reacted the telephone like people will drag to being asocial and they will not go churches or concert-halls anymore, some people called telephone enemy of the Republic 150 years ago when the telephone invented, but phones changed our communications, and their predictions were irrelevant and one-sided. “We made progress by learning how to use the technology beneficially. As a rule, today we are the master of traditional telephone, not servant” (Brooks, 2019).
Social media is also affecting our relationships while people are spending their time on social media. After social media started to grow and expand, social networks allowed users to share their events, photos and videos, highlights from their life. It felt to people like they were creating bonds and improving their relationship with their friends, families even with foreigners but, at the same time, this created other problems. In his article on Forbes, Andrew Arnold pointed a study by Havas Media about the impact of social media on people’s lives when they often enlarge their status and posts on social media, and 3 out of 4 of users think that social media can destroy or slightly hurt relationships (Arnold, 2018).
Also, social media is affecting everyone’s life. People can easily manipulate or mislead others against something on social media. Most social media users are not checking the credibility of the source of news or posts they see on their social media timelines. People neither believe those posts nor check the references. That causes another effect on users’ life. Social media users get used to accepting faulty posts or do not make a research about them. After the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, people started to see news about how U.S. citizens get manipulated by Russian social media trolls. According to the article on The Guardian by Tom McCarthy in 2017, Russian social media trolls and automated bots developed pro-Donald Trump messaging and news and people were manipulated to give their vote to Donald Trump. That created another impact on everyone’s life.
On the whole, social media has already made a massive impact on our lives. Social media has changed our ways of communication and relationships. It also has enormous positive effects on individuals like showing individuals how to make new friends, connect to large groups, discover new hobbies and interests. Social media has also made it possible to communicate and make friends from different countries and develop relationships. At the same time, social media has adverse effects too. Users of social media are not spending quality time with their partners, families, and friends. Instead, they are hooked on social media to look up what is happening in the lives of others. As a result, social media cause problems in relationships. Also, people are vulnerable to dangers on social media as some users are sharing almost everything about their lives pretty much with everyone, and sometimes social media users are followed by strangers. Those strangers may be targeting those people for their evil aims, and they can easily approach their targets through social media. Therefore, social media users should be careful when they start a conversation or keep interacting with strangers. Also, social media users are straightforward to manipulate. Most social media users are not checking the source of news or their shared posts, and they believe them easily. People must use the benefits of social media, and they should be aware of harms. Social media has changed and is still changing everyone’s life.
- Brooks, A.C. (2019). Social media should be a complement to real life. Not a substitute. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/social-media-should-be-a-complement-to-real-life-not-a-substitute/2019/06/14/c07e1cb0-8c86-11e9-adf3-f70f78c156e8_story.html
- Arnold, A. (2018). Why Millennials Need To Reduce Social Media’s Impact On Their Relationship. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2018/03/21/why-millennials-need-to-reduce-social-medias-impact-on-their-relationship/
- McCarthy, T. (2017). How Russia used social media to divide Americans. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/14/russia-us-politics-social-media-facebook
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