Opinion

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Rapidly growing technology that consumes the mind is not a new argument. Just as psychologists obsessed over television in the 1940s, today there are piles of studies that state the possible dangerous effects of social media.

One article from Psychology Today explained how Facebook can negatively impact mental health, making individuals more depressed, jealous and anxious. As young people use a platform like Facebook too frequently, they become bombarded with thousands of glorifying posts from their friends. This pool of self-glorifying photos can lead to depression and self-deprecation.

You might agree that it’s hard not feel discouraged when you see your friend’s exciting post from a trip to Europe when you’re sitting in the library. But the truth of the matter is, that friend probably posted from a table away from you. However cliche it may sound, like everything in life, moderation and control are key in finding day-to-day happiness.

Each of us can self assess how many times we open Instagram or check Facebook notifications and each of us can diminish that time spent. Perhaps you find it vital to tweet once a day, if that’s the case then not checking Twitter for the rest of the day. Regardless, these changes should be personal and self-improving.

“Social media can and will be destructive if someone allows themselves to be sucked into the lies of comparison, false approval and waste of time,” Madison Roberts, a sophomore studying media communication from Mesa, Ariz. said. “[But] it can be a fun and interactive tool that allows people to keep in touch, uplift others and be inspired.”

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are all fun tools for socialization by tagging friends in relatable memes or inviting guests to an event. Just like fashion, our profiles are outlets of personal expression where we present our individual aesthetic and voice. Though still incredibly popular in younger generations, as college students enter the real world, they will discover how social media pages are becoming much more important than we might have realized.

“From a business standpoint, social media builds credibility by interaction and helping customers understand a company’s purpose,” Bryce Drawe, a social media director for the Student Programming Board from Hurricane said. “As with everything it can be a two-edged sword … it all depends on your perspective.”

Whether you plan on working in the marketing department for a large company or not, we all must maintain our personal brands which require the same amount of care as Apple or Coca Cola. Including resumes, portfolios and letters of recommendation, employers are also turning to social media pages to learn about potential employees. Each personal platform should accurately reflect who we are.

Technology continues to progress and media advancements won’t be stopping anytime soon. Social media is a form of communication in both personal and professional settings to improve and continue relationships. It is true that having a social media account isn’t crucial to living a positive life. However, in this time of emojis and virtual reality, being behind the times might hinder future opportunities.

 

Story by 
Ansleigh Mikesell
reporter3@suunews.com

Photo By
Unsplash
William Iven for SUU News

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