Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, even MySpace, in my opinion, have single-handedly changed the world we live in. We use these social media websites to stay in touch with friends and family, share aspects of our life with others, and let’s be real, make our day- to-day lives seem a little bit more cooler than they really are.
I will honestly say that I use social media, probably more than I need to. I grew up with instant messaging, which turned into MySpace, which turned into Facebook. The way I use social media has changed throughout the years as well. When I was younger, before I was allowed a cellphone ( I was 16, which is so “old” now), I used social media to get in touch with friends. I would use AIM to make plans with friends or see what was going on. I used Facebook as basically a form of texting, posting status updates with every boring thing I was doing everyday ( Homework, dinner, then probably watching a movie later. Plans anyone?). The older I got, and the more technology changed, the less I used social media to actually “talk” to people ( at 18 I was finally in the smart phone club). My status updates and posting dwindled; I wasn’t writing on people’s walls or tweeting people all the time; really I used social media to just stay updated with the times:post some pictures, look at people’s pictures or shared links, laugh at silly videos, and more recently stay updated with world events.
I use social media. But I hate social media.
The past couple years, the use of social media has changed.
People use Facebook and Twitter as news sources. Instead of reading the newspaper, watching the news, listening to AM radio, people rely on social media for world news. I am not going to lie and say I haven’t done this either; However, I inform myself of world news pretty much everyday through different sources- BBC, NPR, CNN, NewYorkTimes, etc. I make sure to read different news sources, to make sure I am not only receiving one bias or perspective. With social media, this is hard to do, because what an article says that was shared by someone is the truth, right? Social Media has created a laziness in people I have never seen before. It’s a laziness that makes the brain suffer. Not everything that is shared on Facebook or Twitter is the absolute truth, or the only news source, or the only opinion. Go out- do more research on the matter, and learn about it from different perspectives. Your own opinion might change, you might learn something new, or gain a new respect for something you may not have had before.
Over the past couple months, it is constant fighting and arguing on social media, and to be honest I am sick of it. Just because someone has a different opinion than you, doesn’t make that person evil. Just because someone chooses not to share something that “everyone” is, doesn’t mean that person doesn’t care about that issue or event. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t mean that leaving hate comments and bullying them is acceptable. Bashing another person, doesn’t make you the “winner” or “right”, it makes you an asshole.
There is so much hate and opposition in society right now. I see it in person; I see it online.
I am 22 years old, and I like to stay updated on the current trends and world events. When I am with my friends we talk about everything and anything- from celebrities, to last weekends events, to politics, to religion. We talk face to face, listen to each other, respect each other’s opinions, but more importantly we accept another’s perspective and belief. We may not be the most educated about every discussion we have, but we have them, and we respect each other.
Social Media has made it so easy for people to hide behind screens. People argue and tear each other down. They disrespect people, call each other horrible things, knowing they never have to do so face-to-face. Social Media has made people into cowards. It is so much easier to disagree and bash someone behind a computer, than it would be in person. This is the new normal. But why? Why have we let Social Media become what it is?
One day, there are hashtags everywhere, and people posting about how this world needs peace and love; then the next people are making fun of another, arguing because of something someone shared, bashing each other, and spreading hate.
I am annoyed and frustrated that this is how we use social media now.
I like social media because it allows me to take Buzzfeed quizzes, creep on my High School crush, look at my neighbor’s vacation photos, and stay in touch with friends in different countries. I like to watch cooking tutorials, and read silly articles about college, and see who my Disney Prince would be.
I don’t like social media because it has become something that angers me. It has become people’s news sources. It is where people let their frustrations out on each other because of something someone shared. It has created isolation. It has created cowards. It has dumbed people down. It has become a place of negativity and hate.
It is place where people hide from having REAL conversations, REAL friends, REAL personalities, REAL LIFE.
The most ironic thing about this post? I am posting it on social media.