Social Media firms seem to attract controversy nowadays the way Elizabeth Taylor back in the day used to attract husbands or the Kardashian clan in the present day are magnetized to the paparazzi, meaning it’s a regular occurrence. One day it’s privacy issues, another it’s the harmful effects on teen mental health.
Social media covers a pretty wide umbrella, everything from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, to Media Sharing Networks like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Youtube, to Discussion Forums like Reddit and Quora, but they’ve all faced their share of controversies in recent years.
Critics have pointed out any number of ills, including increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts for frequent users; negative body image; identity theft and invasion of privacy; and increased addictive and stress-inducing tendencies.
Facebook faced so much backlash last year that it changed its name to Meta to better reflect its growing ambitions beyond social media.
Social media is busier than ever
Despite the string of controversies and negative sentiment, the Pew Research Center reported last year that 72 percent of Americans say they use some kind of social media site. Researchers say that on average people spend around 2 1/2 hours a day on these platforms. With the onslaught of the pandemic, these numbers have only gone up.
In my own life, I was late to the social media game, but dived-in without looking back. The little icons all dot my smartphone. Lately, however, my biggest beef with social media has been that I don’t actively post much anymore. Instead, I endlessly and mindlessly scroll, interested, but not really engaged.
I can’t be the only one.
Closer to home
So, where’s this lead us? I tell myself that I’m going give up social media, but in this day and age, it’s harder than it looks. Social media has seeped into every part of our life.
So, that leads me to ask: what have others done?
- Are you done with Social Media or just getting started?
- Where did you go? What apps are you using? What have you deleted?
What have you done?
Critics seem to see the negatives of social media without acknowledging the positives. I have been able to stay in touch with people, such as former work friends and distant relatives, and to refind friends from the past. It also enables closer relationships with some, such as church friends. Much of it is chatter, but there are also serious posts, support in times of stress. I mostly use Facebook, as that is what my friends use, but I also use Twitter, which I think has have faster feedback on current events when you want to know what people are thinking about a topic. I post a bit on Instagram, but am not really into it. Also use Pintrest, mostly for the fun of it and keeping up with things I’m interested in. I think I would be much more socially isolated without social media as a connection and window to the world. Oh, one more thing, if you blog, it is a great way to get new readers.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Good points Sheila. And yes, I’m probably just over-reacting to the criticism of social media that you see in the news. Like you, I mostly use Facebook, throwing in a few others as time allows. I’m probably reacting as well to seeing fewer friends post and participating. My goal is to keep using, but to stop the mindless scrolling. Thanks for the perspective. Much appreciated.
LikeLiked by 1 person