Social media is like a coin, with two different sides on a single entity. It’s why I have a love-hate relationship with social media, just as I do with anything technology related. For all of the positives that it brings, there are waves of negatives that come right along with it.
I love the foundational essence of social media. On oxfordictionaries.com, it is defined as: “Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” I love being able to maintain relationships with friends from overseas, while also being made aware of news stories that I might otherwise be oblivious to. I also love the opportunity to engage in commentary with individuals from around the globe on televised events, sports and society matters.
One of my biggest loves is the ability social media has to expand your network. Countless connections can be made with individuals near and far, making social media a brilliant career tool. The potential to make others aware of your services, brand or business at the tap of a finger is amazing. When used in the right way, social media can be incredibly effective.
On the other hand, I hate the increasing banality of social media and how its foundational essence has been twisted. As more and more social media platforms are created, an over-sharing of our lives has unfortunately become the norm. This has led to people letting us know what they had for breakfast on Twitter or Snapchatting a party every two minutes, rather than living in the moment.
I hate the insecurities that social media can ignite, with individuals wishing that they looked like a certain “social media star” or others wishing that they were living the lifestyle they’d seen displayed by some on social media platforms. However, what so many don’t realise is that a lot of what can be seen on social media is fake or fabricated to make some people’s lives sound more exciting.
Ultimately, I hate all of the cruelty, crazy and communication breakdowns that social media creates. Cyber bullying, airing dirty laundry in public and “keyboard warriors” attacking others because they can hide behind their screens. The list could go on.
We’ll be discussing social media at my next youth forum on November 15th, 6.30-8.30pm, at Project B (1 Bell Hill, Croydon, CR0 1FB). Come along to have your say.