Interacting and communicating with your family and friends has been a concern for humans for many years. One of the main methods of communicating from long distances has been by hand or animals. Being social animals ourselves as humans have always relied on communicating to have better relationships. In the 1980s computers and social media become more common in the average home people would communicate through internet chats.
One of the first social media sites that came around was six degrees which started out in 1997 and had only 3.5 million active users. This became the first simple end to end messaging site which would enable you to upload and make friends with other users but was later shut down in the early 2000s. Around the time the only people who had access to the internet and social media were seen as wealthy.
The invention of blogging became popular and social media began to become popular within society. Social media websites such as Flickr and Myspace became popular and gained importance. Through this in early 2005 YouTube came out and changed social media creating a new way to communicate with each other from long distances. It was only later in 2006 when websites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook became popular and accessible to more people around the world making it a simpler way for people to commutate. This became a big impact on everyday life because the number of users everyday would fluctuate meaning the world was becoming more familiar with social media connecting it to everyday life. Myspace was created in 2003 but only became popular in 2006 making it the number 1 social media platform this created a digital transformation in everyday life because people would no longer have to meet up in person when they can communicate over social media. As humans, we are always either paying for time or finding ways to save time and social media gave us that opportunity.
Mobile phones created apps and websites which allowed you to access social media at all times which saved costs of not having to pay for texts and calls all the time, this broken down the barrier of communicating leaving us spoilt for choice. Social media websites such as Facebook became the leading social media platform giving advantages such as communicating and connecting with family abroad and interacting with their profile also it offers a space for people to keep up with your interests and hobbies. Facebook became the ‘social norm’ to have an account allowing users to add their friend’s colleagues and family. As humans, we are now “spoilt for choice” more videos are watched online from websites like youtube rather than people watching TV.
Having the privilege of social media became abused by everyone putting their trust into the platform. This allowed people to actively keep tabs on what you got up to with your everyday life keeping everyone constantly informed posting personal information on the site. This has made it easier for people to track each other down and reconnect with old friends and even make new acquaintances.
There are many pros with social media and how it had made us excel as humans but there are many cons and downfalls that comes with it. One thing I realized was social media allows a sense of escapism from reality to its consumers. Which can lead to toxic traits such as not knowing the difference between real life and how social media views you. This gives users a sense of filtered reality from people realizing on social media you can create a different character online as to who you are in real.
When using social media people are constantly following and watching each other lives, on social media people only show the good in their life and not the bad. This lead to jealousy and people judging themselves by comparing it to others which can also affect people’s mental health. Between the year 2010 and 2015 the suicide rates for teens rose, this was also from things such as cyberbullying and media depicting “perfect” lives which link back to mental health. More than 1/3 young people experience cyberbullying. Which backs up my argument that the use of social media should be taken in small doses as too much of it can lead to the wrong things. I’ve always said social media doesn’t control how you think but controls what you think about.
As we get older and deeper into the age of social media the younger the age of people using social media gets which also shows it’s taking over in a bad way.
One of the main positive impacts of social media is how it has changed marketing and advertising for businesses. Many businesses around the world have amplified their brand to a wider target audience. Before social media came around only the large companies could afford to have a wider reach to its consumers now small companies can have the same reach enhancing brand image and popularity. Companies like Facebook and Apple are one of the biggest companies in the world and goes to show how much it is important in the world from people using their phone constantly and advertising through the device we constantly use.
In conclusion, I believe you should always take social media in small doses but don’t allow it to control your life. It will continue to change our society and always have its advantages and disadvantages but it comes down to the user and how they decide to use it whether you use it to enhance your life or control your life depends on how you utilize it.
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