Crazyspark1

United States

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Just a girl following her dreams <3

Social media: Is it good or bad?

March 11, 2017

We have constant access to the internet. Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Facebook, Pinterest, we have it all. This can be a good and bad thing. 

On one hand, social media is good because we are able to keep in touch with friends faster, we're updated with news that could give us good information about the world, and sites like Pinterest can be a great source for inspiration. Instead of sending a letter that would get there DAYS later, we can send texts that will get there in SECONDS.  These sites also allow a great place to discuss important topics. You can widen your knowledge way faster and learn other people's view with simple online comments. 

On the other hand, we are always distracted. We never take the time to take a walk outside or hang out with our families. We are increasingly having less and less face-to-face time. It can also be really bad for your self-confidence if you're constantly comparing yourself to pictures on the internet. As we become dependent on likes or views, our lives start to become a popularity contest.

Forbes states: "While some may be addicted to their social media networks, it is one of the best ways to stay informed." They continue  " Major news outlets, corporations and persons of interest use social media to deliver messages to the masses. With items posting immediately, the public stays informed. Some issues cause controversy, but social media does more good than harm in retrospect." Forbes concludes it has increased marketing exposure and helps deliver messages about safety to the world.

While Social Networking agrees about staying informed, they think social media is very unsafe and detrimental. They cite GuardChild's findings that "29% of 'internet sex crime relationships' started on a social media site. Furthermore, in 26% of 'online sex crimes against minors,' perpetrators distributed information or images of the victims via social networks." Social Networking also states that Cyberbullying is a big problem: a productivity killer that damages relationships.

From my personal experience, I think that social media is bad. While I do agree with Forbes' perspective, I think it is a HUGE distraction. I know it is. I use Snapchat every day. Since one their latest updates, they have added articles from Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan, making it easier to get to silly information. Snapchat has a thing called "streaks"; it's the number of days in a row that you've contacted that person. After you start these streaks you have to go on SnapChat every day or else you lose the streak. The thing I hate most about this is the way people react if you lose a streak with them. They become seriously offended and think you have a problem with them. I've actually gotten very annoyed with streaks. It has become tiring and foolish. But I continue to use SnapChat and their streaks because I don't want people to react that way.

Most importantly is that I spend increasingly less time with my family. And I know it's bad, but I continue to get on my phone. I always check it to see if I got a notification or an update. I try to push myself to get off my bed and go downstairs. I don't like saying it, actually I hate saying it, but I'm addicted. Looking at social media became a trend. After school I would hop onto Instagram, check my Facebook, or go through the countless articles on SnapChat. My parents got quite annoyed. I'd like to think that if someone took my social media away for a day or two that I wouldn't care. While my friend, could not go a day without social media. She starts having withdrawals after short periods of time without SnapChat. I find this as a huge problem. 

When you start having withdrawals, I find that pretty bad. 99daysoffreedom is a site, which encourages people to stay off of Facebook for 99 days. Computerworld.com says the study revealed how bad addiction to social media can be. Computerworld says "Participants intended to quit, wanted to quit and believed they could quit (for 99 days), but many couldn't make more than a few days." Computerworld says this addiction has a lot to do with FOMO "Fear of missing out". They also talk about something called "Network Effect", this is their explanation "A network effect is the idea that any network becomes more valuable as more people connect to that network. The phone system is the best example of this phenomenon -- you have to have a phone because everybody else has a phone." I can relate to this effect on a personal level. 

Sources: 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/03/18/its-not-all-bad-the-social-good-of-social-media/#7f702a8b756f
http://socialnetworking.lovetoknow.com/Reasons_Why_Social_Networking_Is_Bad 
http://www.computerworld.com/article/3014439/internet/social-media-addiction-is-a-bigger-problem-than-you-think.html
 

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