The interesting and unique world that lies within social media platforms is a place that truly fosters globalization like never before. For one of the first times in the existence of humanity people are connected everywhere with the click of a button. What used to be traditional forms of writing letters that had to be shipped across the ocean, can now be a simple message or post that is typed and with one click, sent off for the entire internet to see. Like anything else that is communication based, there will always be positive and negative interactions. Unfortunately, something that was meant to originally bring societies together is the same tool that has been used to virtually divide populations of people.
Social media houses a crowd of different voices ready to share their opinions, whether it be something as serious as divisive political issues or as fun as discussing new movies in the cinema. Opinions are not facts, but when it comes to social media, the opinions and beliefs one has puts them and divides them into a certain category that is vehemently opposed to values that are not their own. Presidential elections are now advertised on social media. Because the internet is the place that most consumers gain their information, some consumers take false information as fact and based their opinions on things that are not facts creating an entire society of people who are uneducated in the field of media literacy.
Determining if a source is credible or not starts with first doing researches about unbiased media outlets. Following a biased media account and taking their views as factual information can create ignorant populations of people. Sometimes these people are law makers, and influencers in communities. It is important that everyone from a grocery store clerk to the president of a nation cultivate some type of understanding for media so that misinformation isn’t spread so quickly. Not everything on the internet is true.
To further understand how to combat this serious social media issue, internet consumers just need to begin learning to unfollow accounts that are known for sensationalist or tabloid news. Having a social media account completely changes the entire media industry because now anyone with an active account can be journalist. News doesn’t just have to come from large media sources, it can come simply from uploading a live video. Although this makes the lives of journalists somewhat hectic, it can also benefit them to see all of the trends and videos consumers share to understand what type of content they want to see. Journalism no longer has to be picking and choosing the most important stories, it can simply be sharing the stories of many along with the ones that individual tells.
Social media creates a place for its users to become their own story tellers. For some users, this simply means posting about their daily lives and major life events. People no longer have to send out paper announcements if they choose not to because they have social media as a replacement. Engagement announcements are frequently posted to Facebook. Wedding and pregnancy announcements gain a large following and engagement rate once posted. Although it is unique to know what a high school friend is doing with their life, it can also create a world of detrimental comparison boxes.
Social media is an entire world filled with comparison boxes. From seeing friends getting cultural experiences in Africa to seeing a family member get promoted in their job, it can make some people feel less than adequate when they compare themselves to others. The dangerous part about comparing oneself to others on social media is that what people choose to share on social media isn’t their entire life. People completely pick and choose what to share on social media to show the parts of themselves that they want people to see. It’s almost as if people create a version of themselves that is what they wish all of them could be. Although the things they share may be truthful, it’s not the whole truth or the whole story. For these reasons, it’s important that social media is used as a tool to connect others not divide social groups.
Social media has the power to bring people and groups together the way it once was. There are still plenty of wonderful things that social media does and continues to improve. For example, social media creates a way for long distance loved ones to connect. For those that are unable to see family or friends due to living long distances from them, social media still allows them to see what is going on in someone’s life. It also has the power to reconnect old friends that may have lost touch. Instead of using social media as a way to compare and point out differences in each other, social media needs to be used for its originally cause which is connect humans across the globe.