In today’s society where technology has become more advanced and developed, it is no surprise that there has been a significant increase in social media usage. Beginning with the introduction of pagers to Myspace in 2003, the market has only expanded. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg founded the social networking company, Facebook, which immediately became an internet sensation and sprouted inspiration for Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Snapchat in the following years.
These media platforms have garnered much fame and attention for their features to share photos, videos, and personal opinions instantly with the click of a single button. Supporters of social media claim that it is the “easiest form of communication plus its free” according to student Noah Chung from LACES High school.
Recently, at the Korean American Coalition Model United Nations, Students were prompted to engage in a formal debate discussing the benefits of social media. Although I initially sided with the group fighting for social media, I quickly understood that there is more harm than benefits.
Although social media is a free way to communicate with peers and form networking connections, the fact that it is so easy to share one’s thoughts can lead to rash decisions. One example may be “racial tweets” and “angry rants” that are posted without fully considering the consequences of sharing something that will never be completely erased from the global web. Laura Lee, a famous YouTube personality with over 4 million followers, was caught up in a controversy with racist tweets that dated back to 2012. Ultimately these tweets ended up severely damaging her entire career.
Another argument that is frequently raised is the use of social media to spread news on political campaigns and controversial topics. Despite the use of social media for campaigning and providing the latest news I can confidently say that most sources are not as reliable as they seem. There is a common misconception that the news provided on these platforms give the “full story” of a certain issue. However, many of the news articles and stories that appear on your feed are specifically tailored by the media sites by using past search history and following accounts. Director Adam Chong of MUN agreed to this statement as he recollected, “It’s very rare to see articles that do not fit my political viewpoints”.
Finally, I bring up the point that social media has caused an increase in cyberbullying and social pressure. Student Allison Lee of Crescenta Valley High School revealed, “ I realized that when I hang out with friends they spend the majority of their time on social media. Most people in our generation only post to gain a lot of likes and comments which builds up on the social pressure of a perfect feed and social life”.
Ultimately, the question is raised. Is social media really as beneficial as it seems?
Caroline Kim, Grade 11
Crescenta Valley High School