What a time to be alive! A millennial such as myself is fortunate enough to be born in an era where social norms have exceeded our ancestral expectations. Information is only a click away thanks to the internet, there are drones being used in all sorts of ways and we even have hoverboards being utilized as a substitute for walking. Social media has also changed the landscape in ways we couldn’t even dream of 20 years back. But is social media all good? Are we hurting ourselves long term by relying too much on conveying our communication skills through an app? Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of social media.
We love to think we’re always right, but in reality we’re not. In the comfort of our own home we especially love playing arm-chair psychologist when it comes to judging the misfortune of others. Unfortunately those who engage in social media love to take it to a whole new level. Whether it’s clowning an athlete and bringing his personal life into it or judging a television star selfie, social media users will take shaming to the next level. Sadly, adults are usually the ones pulling the strings (or typing in this case). Makes me wonder why one is so comfortable tearing an individual down from their couch. Oh wait, now I know…
The Bad pt.1:
Shame is a tactic used to belittle the individual you’re addressing. As Dr. Brene Brown said in her book Daring Greatly, “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” Whether it’s about race, status or education, tactics like shame are used to show superiority over another person. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen people use shame as a tactic to attack individuals whose beliefs don’t align with theirs. Social media is a forum that allows one to express themselves through pictures or opinions. Constructive criticism is one thing, but hating on someone because of their views on a particular subject is ridiculous.
The Bad pt.2:
The aspiration nowadays for young people is to become “YouTube famous” or anything in the realm of social media popularity. It’s a numbers game for some folks, where the amount of “followers” or “friends” they have boost up their egos. Low self-esteem, insecurities, or just life in general can play a part as to how one uses social media. Instead of it being used as a way to pass time many find it as a utility to escape what’s really eating them from the inside.
The Good pt.1:
Finally some positive news! You may be asking yourself “is social media is all that bad?” My answer to that is no. If utilized correctly, it can be such a useful tool to get a whole new perspective on things. Special events like the Olympics or MTV awards have such a following, and it’s great to engage with like-minded individuals who may or may not like the same athlete or artist as you, but are able to communicate with one another and discuss on such topics. On top of that, who can pass up sharing a funny meme? I know I can’t.
The Good pt.2
Believe it or not I’ve actually made some cool friends off of social media. I hit it off with a few where we actually got to meet in person. Networking is an important facet of life. Whether it’s for work to spread your ideas or to branch out and form personal relationships, social media can play an integral role in creating those bonds.
Again, do I hate social media? No, but do I believe some form of etiquette can be used while engaging others? Hell yeah! If you have the decency to act right with people in person, why’s it so hard to use those same principles behind a computer screen?