Why is social networking so popular? Most people are likely to argue saying it’s popular because it’s available. Some might also believe that social media is more beneficial than its consequences. Author Dara Greenwood from Popular Media Culture reviews research shows “a craving for positive feedback and validation may be the common thread that links a desire for fame with social media use” (qtd.in Dara 395). Today, most teens, kids, and even adults are using social media to feel validated. Instead of talking to someone face-to-face, people are starting to prefer texting or talking over the phone. Life without social media is nearly unimaginable for some people. The overuse of social media can have negative effects including addiction, cyberbullying, and education.
To begin with, I would like to tell you about my personal experience of addiction to social media. I have been “social” throughout grade school and up until sophomore year of high school. Talking to my friends, families, and talking in class was almost irresistible for me. I crave the connection and engagement that I used to have with my friends and families. I am not embarrassed to say I was addicted to social media intensely. Once you download apps or get into social media, you are bound to get addicted very fast. The internet has so many things that you can play or watch every minute. I had a negative mindset of spending time with my friends without phones. I thought it would be boring and dull hanging up instead, I spend my time calling them on Facetime.
Due to my habit of getting on social media, my dad would always yell at me for being on my phone during supper time. I would not talk to my family unless it was important. Last year, I realized my relationship with my parents and my brother, (who is also addicted to social media) had begun to turn bad. Spending quality time with my family became less and less. I preferred texting my mom asking when dinner was ready, instead of going downstairs. I would spend so many hours watching movies and browsing through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat feeds without realizing that I had wasted a whole day. After doing research for this essay, I’ve realized that being physically and mentally in the moment is far more important and satisfying than capturing them with my phone.
One of the main issues on social media is cyberbullying. Cyberbullies have used social media to their advantages to threaten people anonymously by posting comments such as: to kill themselves, calling them names, fat shaming, to not show up at schools, and lastly exposing their private pictures like nudes. This type of behavior would be unaccepted if it was to happen in schools or public places. Due to bullies being able to hide behind their computers or phones, there is no evidence as to who the person might be. For bullies, social media is the key, without the use of media most people are likely to restrain bullying others. Anyone online can become a victim, causing profound psychosocial outcomes. Being a bullied victim on the internet can lead to depression, anxiety, severe isolation. These symptoms can sadly lead to suicide. If there was no social medias or internet, there is a low chance of cyberbullying.
Social media also has a negative impact on education. Students start relying on sites like google because of the accessibility of information that is available This means, most students don’t pay attention in school because they know all of their questions on assignments or homework can be found on the web. Students’ focus on learning reduces as well as their ability to retain information. On top of that, students are also attempting to multi-task. They check their different social media accounts while in class or when they’re studying. This behavior leads to reduced academic performances. Students’ ability to concentrate is significantly reduced due to the distraction of them always checking on their social media activities.
Although social media has its negative sides, there are a few positive sides as well. Clayton in Social networking: Why It’s Really So Popular says “social media offer people a way to satisfy their desire to connect with others and meet new people” (392). Through Facebook, I have been able to connect with family members that live in other states. Not only do I get to see what they’re up to, but it also gives me a sense them that I’m there. Through social media, people can make new friends and build their relationships. Social media also gives different campaigns and associations to disseminate information and mobilize people. Many people debate and have various opinions about social media. While social media causes issues like addiction, cyberbullying, and education some people still wouldn’t forsake social media. They believe it’s vital in their life. What about you? Do you believe social media is unhealthy?