In today’s society, social media is all the rage. If people aren’t posting a selfie or updating all of their Facebook friends on the latest vacation that they took, are they really relevant?
I recently conducted my own survey on Griswold High School’s social media usage. When asking my peers if they enjoyed using social media, 100% of the survey participants said yes. In an ironic and unexpected turn of events, the same 100% of the participants also said that they believe that social media is used excessively.
Prior to social media taking over communication, people got out in the world, they took photos, and made memories that lasted a lifetime without a post on some sort of outlet. These days, the memories made on Snapchat only last three to ten seconds. Instagram selfies and photos are often altered with filters and Photoshop, and Facebook posts are often judged by how many likes they get. Let’s not forget Twitter and how it has recently affected politics, with President Donald Trump using it to get more millennial attention.
Social media is also a way for information to travel the world, whether that is news of the latest shooting, or the newest trend that could be taking lives. The Tide Pod Challenge recently became an issue. Children and teenagers posted videos of themselves and friends eating Tide Pods to show that they could eat it without dying. This challenge not only took the nation by storm, but there were also fifty-three reported cases of those who were hospitalized due to the consumption of the pods, according to the New York Times.
There are many negative things that come along with excessive social media use, such as sexual predators, scams, cyberbullying, and other dangers, like the Craigslist Killer. The killer was someone who lured his victims in by purchasing things from them online, and just robbed and killed them in the end. These things could really affect those who use social media often, but there are many ways to stay safe on social media, like using all of the privacy settings on the accounts used.
When used safely, social media can be a good way to communicate and keep memories online and share with long distance friends and family members. Helix students prefer a variety of apps. Snapchat took first with 63% of participants using it the most. Instagram took second with 25% and Facebook took third with 13%. Also included in the survey was Twitter, although no one voted for it and said that they preferred to use it.
Even though all of the participants in the survey said that they believed social media was overused, ten out of the twelve surveyors said that they prefer to communicate face to face rather than to use social media to communicate. Face to face communication proves to be more effective, because tone is, obviously, more clear during the conversations.
Social media may have some negatives and some positives, but if used safely and properly, it can be a good way to communicate and keep people updated on their lives. When going off to college, I will be happy to use social media to keep my family members updated on how I am doing, and I think that many will do the same; however, at the end of the day, the face to face communication is something that will not only be missed, but something I and many of my peers will be happy to use when we see and talk to those we care about.