Social Media: Helping or Hurting our Society?

In the past twenty years the world has witnessed technological advances that we could’ve never dreamt of. Of these, the growth in social networking is most one of the most apparent. From Facebook to apps like Twitter, you can keep in touch with friends who have gone their own way and meet new people that would’ve been otherwise impossible to meet. You can support people in their dreams, help them by donating to their go fund me pages, and spread news faster than ever before; however, over time the same networks that have been so helpful, have also proven to be dangerous. This generation’s attention to our devices is making us feel isolated, putting us in danger of meeting predators, and has increased the risks of getting cyberbullied. We need to put limits on the use of social networking to protect our children, and teach them how to use it as adults.

Everyday, 50 percent of people from ages 18–29 get their news from an online source. Not only is this keeping people informed on what’s going on around the world, buts it’s at the touch of a finger. You can find out current events by simply pulling out your cell phone. AJ Agrawal wrote in Forbes, “While some may be addicted to their social media networks, it is one of the best ways to stay informed. Major news outlets, corporations and persons of interest use social media to deliver messages to the masses. “ This article points out many great uses for social media including, keeping people informed, updating traffic, and offering great support to those in need. The possibilities when it comes to these online networks is endless, reaching people on the other side of the world is as easy accessible is reaching your next door neighbor. You can donate to organizations at the touch of a button, helping people in need.

“Various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by the youth to create a voice for the voiceless. On Facebook, for example, groups like “Disability is not inability” are being brought up to make society more conscious of how they treat the disabled. Most of these groups are started by young people who see the essence of treating everyone equally and social media as the perfect place to spread that message. ” reported Kelly Austin on TeenSchield.

We are learning about the reality of today and because of that our children, with the right teachings, are more prepared for the world we live in. The internet is giving the next generation a chance to spread the love and start connecting with others. Even though cyberbullying has become apparent in our society, TeenSchield argues that this openness is educating younger generations and not guarding them from the reality of today.

On the other hand, is this exposure to the upset and wrongdoing in our world, at a young age, actually opening our children’s lives to dangers they would otherwise not have to face till otherwise much later in life? According to Growing Wireless, 56 percent of children, age 8 to 12, have a cellphone. This is opening enormous doors to inappropriate material, extreme cyber bullying and much more. Our kids are in danger of suicide due to the feeling that they can never get away from the people that taunt them all day at school. They can meet predators as soon as they sign up for any social media network out there. Danielle Reed on Love to know wrote, “A 2015 study conducted by the University of Missouri found regular use of Facebook could lead to depression if the site triggered envy in the user. One of the professors conducting the research said, “If it is used… to size up one’s own accomplishments against others, it can have a negative effect.”.” These websites have been proven to hurt us in so many ways, so why are parents allowing children to sign up for apps like Facebook before the age of thirteen by changing their birthday? We need to stop predisposing generation to unnecessary hurt that is spread on social media and teach them to be kind both in real life, and on a screen. We need to set healthy limitations and boundaries, both to inform young generations of the world we live in, but to also teach them how to use social media for the better of all people.

Both articles I read were very to the point on why social media is good or detrimental. In my personal experience I have seen it go both ways. Its hurt my friends and I in ways that could have easily been avoided but it’s also shown me the kindness of others. Kelly was correct with saying social media could be helpful but at the end of the day, it causes more problems in the long run. Danielle was right that these apps cause depression and create a barrier between you and the real world. Social media is such a dangerous game to play, one wrong move could take you down a very treacherous path. With limitations, the dangers of these networks would decrease and we could use them to benefit society.

We need to teach future generations how to properly use social media to help others and put limitations so these networks won’t be abused. If we do this apps like Facebook, Instagram, and even Youtube will start to spread love instead of hate. We will continue to grow in healthy ways without getting rid of social media, because whether we like it or not it’s here to stay.

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