Over the past ten years, social media has taken over the world with young people innocently being the driving force for it’s success.
It’s clear that social media is a great medium for communication, friendships and even works well in workplace environments. With this, social media also acts as a news outlet allowing us to keep up to date with what’s happening in the wold.
Social media is a young peoples game as they simply dominate it. Any trend, popular opinion or music success is somewhat in the hands of what young people share on social media day in and day out. For example, this year we have seen trends throughout. From the popularity of people jumping out of car doors dancing to Drake to the viral video of the yodelling Walmart boy. These are seen as more comedic trends, however young people have also participated more serious things like the shifting of feminist ideas and helping things like the #MeToo campaign rise to the surface of mainstream media. TV has arguable become an outdated form of media for older people due to sites like YouTube and Netflix taking over.
However, social media does come with its cons. Recent studies show that the rates of depression in young people has risen due to social media. It creates anxiety, depression, loneliness and body image insecurity. I think it’s difficult for people who use social media to accept the negatives because it’s not the most simple thing for us to understand. We need to realise that when we follow people online, we only see a sample of their best experiences, relationships and memories. This comes with them making themselves look as attractive as possible to their audience. Whether we want to accept it or not, watching people share their joy online whilst we aren’t feeling great ourselves is only having a negative impact our lives. It leads us to compare ourselves to a misleading representation of someone else which is essentially ‘fake’. This creates our insecurities.
We should be more aware of ourselves when using social media and we should try our best to make a safe place for all people. If social media seems to be impacting on you negatively (e.g. insecurity), taking a break is completely fine and is actually a pro-active step to take. I know from experience that taking breaks from social media is genuinely a refreshing thing to do, especially during busy periods in you life like the exam period. Even after my exams, I took a few weeks away from social media and visited both London and Paris in that time. Not using social media whilst away made me more aware of my surroundings which allowed me to enjoy my time in those places a lot more. In addition, if taking a break isn’t an option for you, a great thing about social media sites is that you are in control of who you want to follow. Unlike other media outlets, a lot of content is forced down our throats.
Therefore, after reading this blog post, I urge you to take the time to really think about who you follow online and why you follow them. Maybe you’ll start to contemplate unfollowing those who you only follow because of their popularity etc. After all, social media is great as long as you keep your content personalised.