The Impact Social Media Has On Us

Technology is constantly changing. Our technological advancement as a society is exponential. Phones and computers get more powerful than we could ever imagine, and then they get even more powerful. But even though we can use technology in many positive ways, we can also use it negatively.
There are two significant problems involving technology: illegal dark web dealings and the effect of social media. Social media is used primarily on smartphones, and smartphone manufacturers and social media companies design their products to be addicting for a reason. That reason is advertisement revenue. The longer users look at their screens; the more money tech giants will make. The user’s attention becomes a commodity that is bought and sold. But attention is not the only thing that interests advertisers. Personal information is precious to big tech. Advertisers will pay websites like google to collect as much information as possible to cater to the users. As Edward Tufte said, “There are only two industries that call their customers “users”: illegal drugs and software.”
Social media does not only take advantage of its users. It also affects the mental health of the users as well. On social media, the feed that the user receives is the posts of other users. Usually, they will post pictures of themselves being happy and having a good time. Things like “likes” and “comments” were intended to be positive social media features but negatively affected the users. Sometimes people don’t get as many likes as someone else, or they didn’t get as many as they wanted. This leads many kids to envy someone else’s life and happiness and feel depressed about their own. It is no coincidence that teenage suicide has been rising steadily at the same rate that social media gains popularity.
Social media is also very convenient. It removes the face-to-face aspect of human interaction. People, especially kids these days, are getting too comfortable with the virtual way of socializing. People cannot form genuine, meaningful relationships with anybody on a screen or over the internet. We are becoming less social and awkward. Ironically, social media is making us more anti-social in society.
The convenience that social media offers make bullying easier. Because people post most of their lives on the internet and share it with everybody, they become more vulnerable. Bullies and hackers take advantage of this vulnerability and leave kids broken. Kids have to endure other kids calling them names and other kids attacking their insecurities. The sadness that kids are left in is immeasurable and social media enables it.
Social media leaves today’s youth depressed, lonely, anxious, and suicidal. Bullies take advantage of vulnerable people causing harm to them. Users might sometimes not get as many likes as they wanted, leaving them to feel insecure about themselves. So the impact of today’s technology on today’s kids is exceptionally harmful, and it is not healthy for our society. The best way to fix this is social reform. If our community looked at social media the same way it looks at illegal drugs, we would be so much better off. We would save kids from depression and suicide. Kids would be less anxious and mentally healthier. Relationships formed by kids would have meaning and purpose. That is the society that I want to live in.

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