Social Media is for Idiots…

Photo Credit: Fabia Wood. Book Stack. 2016

Growing up in a generation which is described as the Digital Age, we are forced to ask the question… ‘Is Social Media for Idiots?’ Many people from the generations above mine, who cannot grasp the idea of social media, and don’t understand how to use it; will automatically answer yes. Although… just because you don’t understand something, does it mean that its stupid? Or are you stupid for not understanding it? Also, if you ask people from this generation and those below, most people will answer no. But is social media for intelligent people?

I have a theory.

‘Is Social Media for Idiots?’ Yes, and No. There is no correct answer. There are pros and cons to using social media and people can also be idiotic for not using it correctly or wisely.

Firstly, those people who cannot understand the ways and ideas of social media are slightly idiotic. These types of people would rather undermine and judge the social media platform as a whole, instead of learning about it and all the benefits it has. For example, marketing and advertising for businesses; especially small local businesses who now have the ability to reach worldwide audiences rather than depending on flyers and word of mouth promotion. Staying connected with loved ones is also a benefit of Facebook which allows people to post statuses, photos, videos and allowing comments, likes and messages between active friends; Facebook also encourages reuniting of lost family members. Social media encourages globalisation and promotes the ability to contact anybody, in any country, at any time; etc.

Secondly, and most importantly, people who do use social media can also be extremely idiotic. As a community we have developed a need for acceptance online. Social media is challenging our self-worth and self-respect because people are now so dependent on the amount of followers, shares and likes they get for each post in order to feel good about themselves. But…

Social media doesn’t measure your worth.

People have become so obsessed with their online profiles and the way they are being perceived across the social media platform, that they are losing the abilities to love themselves and live their normal day-to-day lives. Everything is about posting it online for all your followers to see, people can’t go to a coffee shop without Instagramming it and hashtagging relaxtiontime. But are you relaxed? You went out of your way to show everyone your coffee and talk about how relaxed you are, instead of putting your phone away in your bag and just enjoying the freshly grounded coffee beans in front of you.

Thirdly, a new career path has stemmed from the popularity of social media. Celebrities such as Kylie Jenner who has 83.8 million followers on Instagram and Charlotte Crosby who has 5.5 million respectively; have flourished their businesses through this. By using social media as their main business platform, they get a certain amount of money for posts which are seen by millions of people worldwide. YouTube has also increased the chances of everyday people to become celebrities in their own right and entrepreneurs for their brand; such as Zoella and Tayna Burr who now have their own makeup and cosmetics brands, as well as published books and global book clubs. This challenges the original question, ‘Is Social Media for Idiots?’ because these ordinary people have not only become famous from the comfort of their own bedroom, they have also opened their own businesses and are expanding them further globally.

Social media is good for spreading news. Twitter increases the ability to get current events talked about amongst large crowds of people. Hashtagging on Twitter allows a community of people to discuss an event or topic in one place, also if a hashtag gets a certain number of tweets, it becomes a trending topic which is highlighted in the search page. The most talked about tending topics will be found at the top of the page, making it accessible to everyone and encourages people to talk about the topic more; for example, today’s number one hashtag is #InaugurationDay which consists of 61.6K tweets about Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.

Personally, I think I can be idiotic and intelligent with social media. I am part of the generation who depends on social media, and the number of followers and likes makes me feel accepted and successful within myself. I constantly Tweet and Instagram irrelevant things for an aesthetically pleasing profile. Although, I also use social media smartly. I use Facebook to contact my family members who live in Australia and keep in touch with my friends who live all over the country. I run a YouTube channel and a bookish Twitter page to connect with other people globally who share the same interests as me.

So I ask you… Do you think that social media is for idiots?

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