By Trent Moore.
In recent months The Heritage Gazette has published many articles with the aim at proving that social media and screens in general have a negative impact on our modern society. While many of the points made are true to some extent, it is important to notice the myriad of benefits we get from screens and social media.
Cultural Idea: Social media destroys self-confidence and limits real life social interaction.
The Facts: Many studies have shown that there is no connection between self-confidence and social media intake. For example, according to a report last year by the nonprofit child advocacy group Common Sense Media, one in five teens said social media makes them feel more confident, compared with 4% who said it makes them feel less so (Wallace). The second idea, that social media and screens limit real life social interaction, is proved inaccurate through a recent survey. In the survey of more than 1,000 13- to 17-year-olds regarding how they view their digital lives, 28% said social networking made them feel more outgoing versus 5% who said it made them feel less; additionally, 29% said it made them feel less shy versus the 3% who said it made them feel more introverted (Wallace).
Conclusion: Contrary to popular belief, social media not only has a small negative effect on teens, but it has a huge positive effect on self-confidence.
Cultural Idea: Social media and the internet allow too much information to flood our brains.
The Facts: While it is true that the amount of digital information increases tenfold every five years, it actually brings in an era of unheard transparency for all companies (Rendler-Kaplan). Companies now are rated on social media sites and are much easier to access now than ever before. Before you ever set foot in a restaurant, you will be able to assess how good of an experience you can expect to get there. One other reason that an insane amount of information is a positive thing is that you no longer have to guess how to do something. Rather, you can now look up any topic, and learn ‘how to’ extremely quickly.
Conclusion: The internet and social media’s massive knowledge of almost everything allows us to accurately gage companies and allows us to do many things with just a quick search.
Cultural Idea: Social media and screens impact younger generations negatively due to fake or bias information put out on the various sites.
The Facts: It is very true that false news and reports are going to come out, and it is true that people will read and believe them. But the news is also more accurate than ever before. One journalist relies heavily on social media and the internet to gain accurate information about how the American people feel. The journalist conducted a survey which said, “Our survey findings also indicate that more than half (53.8 percent) of all U.S. journalists regularly use microblogs such as Twitter for gathering information and reporting their stories” (Lars). The other important thing to point out is that there are thousands of people who will ‘Fact-Check’ others online. This will actively cut down on wrong or inaccurate content.
Conclusion: Even though there are many false reports on the internet, social media and the internet allow for journalists to create correct content for all users to see and read.
In digital age in which we live, it is important to stay connected, updated and healthy through the use of social media and the internet.
Lars Willnat and David H. Weaver, “The American Journalist in the Digital Age: Key Findings,” news.indiana.edu, 2014
Rendler-Kaplan, Lucy. “Is Social Media a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?” Social Media Today, 13 Sept. 2017, http://www.socialmediatoday.com/smt-influencer/social-media-good-thing-or-bad-thing.
Wallace, Kelly. “Social Media Positive for Teens? Maybe!” CNN, Cable News Network, 7 Oct.