For this week’s blog post, I have decided to venture away from health and fitness and focus on social media and how it impacts our society. I want to preface everything by admitting that I consider myself a social media novice, and I am not a giant hit on Twitter or Facebook. However, I do have a Facebook account, but I don’t post much content and I don’t have Twitter at all. Smartphones are something that is also absent from my repertoire (shocking, isn’t it?) because I find them to be an extra expense that I do not need. The Internet is something that I feel one does not need to be constantly connected to.
Now that my self-disclosure has concluded let’s dive into the nitty gritty. According to Merriam-Webster’s site, “social media is defined as forms of electronic communication (such as websites) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc” (www.merriam-webster.com). It doesn’t seem that long ago that what we know today as “social media” did not even exist, but our society has gravitated towards the Facebooks and the Twitters of the world. In my opinion Facebook and Twitter are good in the sense that people who feel uncomfortable airing their feelings to a parent, family member or friend face-to-face have another option. However, cyber-bullying is a problem with Facebook and Twitter. Stopbullying.gov states that “cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology”.
A person can say whatever he or she wants to someone without saying it in a face-to-face confrontation. This is a very low act in my opinion, and this is the most negative aspect of social media. In this case the media is being used to bully the person when they are not physically in the person’s presence. On the other hand, social media can be used to bring awareness to cyber-bullying because people can create a Facebook page dedicated to stopping cyber-bullying. That’s the positive side of social media, awareness can be made about events, health conditions and bullying in general.
Another large problem in the social media era is that people have a hard time staying off of their darn phones. I am not trying to sound like an “old man” type, but I feel that there needs to be a limit to smartphone use. In my opinion, one does not have to be glued to their phone, there are books and I’m not one-hundred percent sure, but I believe that newspapers are still in print. Obviously, I am being sarcastic, however I do believe that society as a whole could learn more through face-to-face interaction or reading a book that is more educational than a Facebook newsfeed. I am not the most social person in the world, but perhaps you and me could all try to be more social and stay off the social media when we are out in public.