Social Media and it’s influence

Now this post is inspired by The Steve Harvey Show and the #SocialMediaSummit that I just happened to be watching. I was very surprised and impressed by the questions, answers and opinions that were expressed on this show. It really did grab my attention.

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Social media has grown rapidly within the last 10 years. It has impacted and changed a lot more than anything else has. There are a lot of things that social media has caused; some good but others not so much. It’s the people in life that make social media but somehow, social media seems to be on a level of its own.

But have you ever thought about the good and bad sides of social media?

Take a look at this…

1. Cyber Bullying

socialmediaIf you look at how much different social platforms there are, there is a vast amount of apps that young people of today are exposed to. It is so easy to sign up to any of these without no “Terms & Conditions”, security ‘red flags’, age restrictions etc.

Social media allows for people to make friends without any distractions or interruptions. With the single click of a button, you can meet someone new.

It was hard to tackle bullying in person but to now have to deal with cyber bullying; trying to catch people with an online presence? That’s just taken things to a whole different level.

I was watching a Criminal Minds episode and these children were befriending someone on a social network and the next thing you know, they are committing suicide. Even though the program is just an adaptation of reality, things like that have been reported on in the media and news.

Should children be allowed on social media? If so, what do you think the age limit should be?

2. Impacts on #Dating

Dating; a process that should be so symbolic and enjoyable has become a different sort of ‘ball game’. Now back in the day, apparently according to my parents, ‘dating’ used to be called ‘courting’; it was a respectable time and an honorable process. Men would take their woman out, to restaurants, the movies; treat her well to show her that he’s serious.

Nowadays, social media has become the ‘middle man’ of relationships.

Dating websites has removed the authentic and genuine process of ‘meet and greet’. You don’t even have to see them in person today to want to get to know them or be with them tomorrow.

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How do you know someones’s online presence is how they are in real life? Shows like Catfish have proved this.

Websites like Tinder or Match.com encourage women to leave an lasting impression so that a man can look on you and like what he sees and that’s a major downfall. The roles have switched with social media. Women need to realize that we are a reward; the only person that should be making an impression is the man. Once us girls start looking at ourselves as a prize, a jewel; we will be treated that way.

Being in a relationship becomes harder because dirty laundry is aired in public. The reason why celebrity marriages are so hard to maintain is because they can’t sort things out in private. Social media has faded the lines between public and private.

It’s not everything you need to post about, so why do we do it?

3. Impacts on your #Career

Jobsite, Monster and Indeed allows you to sign up with or for their service through Facebook. Automatically when you see that, everybody wants Facebook. And then obviously there’s no point having a profile, if you don’t post anything.

But you can’t just post anything; you have to be careful what you post. Especially, if you want to have a career one day; employers look at your online presence for some sort of insurance policy. Anything you post, once you become an employee at their company reflects their reputation and standards.tumblr_lqmh6tNcIu1r2nfeho1_500

Is freedom of speech challenged within the world of social media?

4. Impacts on #Politics and Beliefs

Sharing your own personal views on social media can seem, nowadays, to be quite tedious and incriminating. What you believe in is respective to you, what you hold dear no one else has to but you shouldn’t have to compromise what you believe to be true.

However, sharing this publicly; even though we live in a supposed age of “freedom of speech”, “freedom of rights” etc. sometimes it’s not as simple as that.

Recent changes in legislation regarding sexuality, race and gender makes it quite hard for someone to have an opinion on any of these topics. You can have an opinion but be careful to share it, especially if it’s offensive. Which brings me back again to the question I asked earlier:

Is freedom of speech, rights and expression challenged within the world of social media?

Think about it…

5. Internet Safety and Parents

Hacking and identity theft has grown in the last couple of years because social media has also seen a drastic change in its users. Many people only have the standard social media networks (demographics between 30 and above) but with young people, there is a need to be on the latest networks and the ones that everyone is talking about.

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It seems as though, when one social network is created; another one is just around the corner and the next… and the next. Social Media Networks will continue to grow.

When we save our card details or even just personal details on the Internet, who’s to say someone who is a pro at hacking, can’t steal our information?

There’s a social network called Ask.fm. If my younger sister didn’t tell me about it, I would have never guessed such a thing existed. The aim of this network is to ask any question anonymously where no one knows who or where you are, the only thing they have to identify you by is a username. I don’t think it’s as safe and secure as that. I’m sure if someone was to breech these laws, they could find someone especially if that person said something offensive.

Another Criminal Minds episode brought to my attention of two young girls who met a boy on social media and arranged a meeting with him in person. It turned out that this boy was actually a grown man, what happened next wasn’t anything pretty.

How can parents be sure that their children are safe and wise on social media, if they don’t even know the person behind the computer is who they say they are?

Having an online presence as well as a physical one makes it 10x harder for people to get to know others. Social media has allowed people to hide behind a farce, to paint a picture that is contrary to the person they are in reality.

How do you know who to trust?

This is not a post to spark fear, it’s one to raise awareness. I love social media, possibly because I studied media in university and that’s my job role at the moment but for everything I do, I always weigh out the good and bad, never excluding the other.

Maybe we should all do the same.

Happy Blogging!

2 Comments

  • Carla Doria Posted January 14, 2016 3:23 pm

    There’s no recipe for using social media correctly. Children and Teenagers are so vulnerable at this time that I think it’s quite hard to control what apps they use, what they write, who they connect to, etc. I’m starting to believe that there should be a minimum age for them to have access to social media and to own smartphones in general.

    • Apphia Patten Posted January 14, 2016 4:51 pm

      Thanks for reading my post and this comment. I totally agree with everything you have said and suggested. Hopefully, if children are raised and taught correctly, they will be able to see the warning signs of social media and be internet wise and smart 🙂

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