Social media, since it started, has taken over our lives, in some good ways and some bad. I am not really sure when exactly this era came about, but it has since taken full control of how we see ourselves as a culture, how we view others, and how we connect with one another. For instance, we aren’t really having deep conversations anymore, we mainly are building conversations through what is on our phone. We use social media even while working as a form of marketing one’s brand and connecting with users. We also use it as a way of showing the world a different version of ourselves we wouldn’t dare portray or show in real life. It is also used to bring people together as a group with a definite interest or to reach a common goal.
Yet, as a culture we never talked about how social media will look or affect us later on in life.
How can we learn or study how social media affects us later down the line. As stated by Lee Humpherys... “in the next five years, many people will be coming on for the first time through their mobile devices and chances are they will be using social media.” “As such, mobile social media can both accelerate the rate of exchange and broaden the potential audience of such messages.” Social media impacts us all in different ways there can be positive outcomes as well as negative. “ People with serious mental illness are increasingly turning to popular social media including Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, to share their illness experiences or seek advice from others with similar health conditions” (Naslund). As we know when sharing this information it could have positive and negative effects.
“People with serious mental illness report benefits from interacting with peers online from greater social connectedness, feelings of group belonging and by sharing personal stories and strategies for coping day to day challenges of living with a mental illness” (Naslund). This is a wholesome outcome dealing with mental illness and social media, but as we all know there are usually more negative outcomes because of how we let social media dictate how we see ourselves. However, we still don’t know what social media truly is and how it truly affects people.
“Social media is made up of various user-driven platforms that facilitate diffusion of compelling content, dialogue creation, and communication to a broader audience. It is essentially a digital space created by people and for the people and provides an environment that is conducive for interactions and networking to occur at different levels.” Granted this is a scientific study definition of what social media is, yet it still has its complications. “ Many scholars explore the behavioral side of social media and interestingly, some find factors that prevent users from continuing its use. Turel and Serenko (2012) warn against excessive use of social media sites, which can result in strong pathological and maladaptive psychological dependency on social media.” There are so many pros and cons to social media that you are not sure which you should side with.
How this relates back to media literacy is that social media is a new form of media, something that isn’t television or a print version of media. Yet, it is the type we use constantly now, to either feel connected with others or to tear others apart.
Social media will continuously affect how mentally advanced we will be because we will probably continue to get more weak minded over time because we rely on it so much.
In all, social media will continue to be a part of who we are now matter how advanced we get logically, social media and the power of the internet will always be one step ahead.
Naslund, J. A., Aschbrenner, K. A., Marsch, L. A., & Bartels, S. J. (2016). The Future of Mental Health care: peer-to-peer Support and Social Media. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 25(02), 113–122.
Kapoor, K. K., Tamilmani, K., Rana, N. P., Patil, P., Dwivedi, Y. K., & Nerur, S. (2017). Advances in Social Media Research: Past, Present and Future. Information Systems Frontiers, 20(3), 531–558. Springer.
Humphreys, L. (2013). Mobile social media: Future challenges and opportunities. Mobile Media & Communication, 1(1), 20–25.
Carr, C. T., & Hayes, R. A. (2015). Social Media: Defining, Developing, and Divining. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 23(1), 46–65.
Johnna Solan is an aspiring writer/author who lives in New York. She has always had a passion for writing even when she was younger. Johnna likes a lot of different things depending on her mood for the day, but writing has always been the one number as well as creating various scenarios and ideas in her head. She also love to read. Her preference of genre is romance, but she does like to expand her palette every now and then. Johnna hopes to write more soon, even for the film and television industry.