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The effects of social media

March 14, 2016
Claire Kim Sunny Hills High School  11th grade

By Claire Kim
Sunny Hills High School
11th grade

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Teenagers and adults automatically reach for at least one of these apps on their phones several times a day. Characterized as the most popular forms of social media, these outlets of communication easily absorb the user’s attention and allow for him or her to freely interact with massive numbers of people. Despite the positive aspects, social media also possesses drawbacks, such as decreased productivity and a false sense of connection.

Facebook chat rooms, Google Hangouts, and Tweets prevent people from developing a personal, meaningful relationship with others. At first, these forums appear to aid us in fostering numerous “friendships.” However, users have a difficult time differentiating between virtual and actual relationships. Because of social media, people do not need to physically meet with the other person to create a conversation; instead, multiple people can be added to a chat with the click of a button. A false sense of connection creates a barrier between the user and his or her follower on social media because most of the time neither of them has spoken face to face with the other person.

On the other hand, social media has increasingly become a highly debated issue in the workplace because it supposedly decreases levels of productivity. Even at work, employees find themselves constantly checking and updating their social media accounts. However, as long as they are responsible, some workplaces allow for more flexibility and freedom, whereas other companies view it as a distraction and prohibit social media use altogether. Whether it does or does not decrease productivity depends on the workers themselves and how they decide to manage their time.

Social media’s increasing popularity results from the massive, but efficient use of communication. Although it creates virtual, meaningless friendships, social media possesses the benefit of quickly reaching out to someone during a time of urgency. Also, family members that live separately from each other can connect through social media such as Skype, Facebook, and Instagram because of features like video calls and direct messages. Because of its large audience, social media can connect people from around the world and allow them to keep in touch.

Overall, social media’s pros and cons depend on the way it is used by the person. Therefore, it is recommended that users do not utilize social media as a way of establishing relationships, but rather as a means to expand already developed friendships. As one of the fastest growing aspects of technology, social media is slowly adapting itself and gaining acceptance from society.



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