Advertising/Public Relations, technology

Social Media. A blessing or a curse?

Adding someone you don’t even know as a friend on Facebook. Asking someone for their Snapchat username the second you meet them. Stalking someone on Instagram. These are all things that have become the societal norm in 2017. Social Media is everywhere and anywhere. Everyone from your 10 year old sister to your 75 year old grandfather has some form of social media nowadays. But is that good or bad?

Well, from an advertising standpoint, it’s good. People are easier to reach and more connected than ever before, making marketing a breeze. However, from an everyday standpoint, it could be bad due to cyber bullying, being TOO connected to our phones, and creating negative self images due to what we see on social media sites.

I personally love social media. At 15 I was obsessed with Instagram, posting a new photo every hour basically. 5 years later, I never even check Instagram and haven’t updated it in months. What’s my current favorite social media site? Probably Snapchat. My Snap story always has interesting and funny content (to me at least). Photos of my dog, the ever-popular dog filter selfies, snapshots into my everyday life as a college student, all make their way onto my story for my friends to see. It’s an obsession, it really is and that’s the problem.

Nowadays it seems to be so hard for people to just disconnect. Everyone is always texting, tweeting, snapping, posting or emailing and its making face to face conversations less likely and more obsolete. I mean, how many times have you texted the person sitting right next to you? Social media and technology in general for that matter, are great ways of communicating and staying in touch but they also are creating a distance between people. “While social media has greatly benefited society, too much of a good thing can always lead to negative effects. ” (Shellabarger, 2016)

This is the unfortunate reality. Too much of anything can be bad for you. I mean, hell, even too much water can kill you, yet water is completely necessary for human survival. By “too much” I’m not even just talking about too much screen time or too much monitoring of social media sites, there’s also just too many different forms of social media out there now. While yes, they all are slightly different and do cater to different types of people and different things, they all are becoming more and more alike as well. I mean, what’s next? Microsoft Office stories?

On many social media sites, Facebook particularly, you’ll often see videos or articles from sources such as Buzzfeed, talking about a 20 something year old guy or girl giving up social media for a while and then talking about how it “changed their life” or was an “eye-opening experience”. While I think it’s great that they feel that way, I also find it sad that they literally had to go through that much effort just to actually feel connected with humans again and actually just not use social media. A better reason to give up social media would be like what these girls did.

While doing some research on social media, I came across an article that talked about “being able to live forever through social media”  which is crazy, right? Not as crazy as you might think. Facebook, Google and Twitter already collect data about you for marketing purposes so what if instead of using that data to generate ads catered specifically to you, they instead used that data to straight up generate posts from you? Just another way that we are utterly TOO connected to social media! Nobody cares what you “think” after your dead, dude. Go haunt people and scare small children for fun or something, not worry about your Facebook status.

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