Social Media Impact

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RBHS students use their phones during a lunch period.

Georgia Godier

Modern day social media began with MySpace in 2003. Followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and many more. Nearly 2.1 billion people have social media accounts today, which has changed the face of socialization, impacting the world in both positive and negative ways, though arguably mostly negative.
One of the opportunities social media has given the world is the ability to connect with people from the past and all over the world. One would think this is a positive thing because we would get the chance to talk to old friends or connect with people of similar interest regardless of how far from one another we live. But this could actually be a negative thing because this makes it hard to leave your past behind and move on with your life.
Apps such as Skype and Oovoo have given people a great way to communicate with loved ones or friends face to face, even when they’re far away. Even texting and Snapchat have changed the way people communicate. Since 2011 millions of people have been sending so called ‘snaps’ to each other, there are 173 million daily snapchat users worldwide according to BusinessOfApps.
Live streaming and uploading videos allow people’s lives to be recorded and seen by others. More than 360 million users watch Facebook Live regularly, and Live videos are watched three times longer than other video content, according to Martech.zone. When many people take an interest in them and watch their live streaming, this makes them feel important, and obligated to stream or post more. Instead of taking a video of something, try to enjoy it physically and live in the moment rather than worrying about sharing a picture to the world.
Social media have also had the biggest negative impact on relationships. It gives people the opportunity to reconnect and rekindle things with the people they’ve had former relationships with, whether they’re married or not. Social media also make it easier to cheat because of the quick communication and the ability to almost ‘never have your partner find out.’ 10 percent of internet users who are married or partnered say that the internet has had a “major impact” on their relationship, and 25 percent of cell phone owners in a marriage or partnership have felt their spouse or partner have been distracted by their cell phone when they were together.
Even mental health issues have occured because of the influence social media have on people. Turns out, when people mindlessly scroll through their social media feeds while sitting on their couch is not good for their physical and mental health. Social media is also addictive, and once you start, people can’t hardly pull yourself away from it. A number of studies have found an association between social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and eating issues. Often, many people on Instagram or Facebook start to compare themselves to others on the site, which is mentally unhealthy. A 2015 study by the University of Missouri found that regularly using Facebook could lead to symptoms of depression if the site triggered feelings of envy in the user. And the younger a person is when they start to get social media, the more negative effects it will have.
Not only has social media impacted our communication, but it has also impacted our work and businesses. Businesses can reach their customers at anytime on social networks, and it’s a great way to advertise and get hundreds of people to see what your selling.
Ninety two percent of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80 percent indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. It also allows people to get fast feedback from customers and creates a faster way to purchase items like on Amazon. This has impacted other businesses in a negative way by putting them out of business.
Since the 1990’s we have relied too much on our phones; we need to stop being on our devices all the time and actually go out and interact with people. It doesn’t help that almost all school work is online now along with being on our phones every day, but maybe take a break from social media every once in a while and go back to writing on paper.