Jesreel Cruz

Audrey Choate and Clare McCoy debate the pros and cons of social media usage.

Social media: Is it good or bad?

February 9, 2023

Social media is breaking down a generation

The advent of social media in the early 20th century fundamentally changed human communication and its impact on the world. It was something that, for many, was the hallmark of a distant and hopeful future; a future that would revolutionize the almost completely analog world of the previous century. Truly, it seemed to many as something described in a fantastical science-fiction series or a quixotic hope for the future. However, the starry-eyed idealism of the onset of social media services seems to have largely faded. Perhaps, despite the glimmer and grandeur of instant long-distance communication, the technology is not totally without flaw.

An obvious detriment of a certain type of social media usage is the gradual antagonism of critical thought. While a condemnation of all types of mass electronic communication is clearly flawed, it is not Luddite-esque to question how social media impacts the way people think. Independent research to prove one’s claims is en vogue no more; to attract like-minded individuals, all one needs to do is create a video that glitters with flashing lights and catchy pop-music. News headlines decry this phenomenon with terms such as “misinformation,” but neglect to recognize the true significance of such patterns. Many are not just misled, but are actively opposed to the idea of truth itself.

Social media is inherently seductive in nature; many websites are specifically designed to keep one’s attention for as long as possible. For many, social media provides an endless stream of dopamine, an escape from the stressors of everyday life. While many commentators remark that young people should simply go outside in lieu of phone usage, they fail to consider what “outside” has become. It is not a surprise that, as a reaction to growing environmental concerns and endless suburbanization, many would rather stay inside. Indeed, in most of American suburbia, the best place outside of the digital world to connect with friends seems to be the nearest grocery store or a dying mall nearby. 

The average woman or girl that frequents social media is constantly met with a sea of beauty advertisements and subtle promotions of ever-changing beauty standards. It is a true mark of a deeply sick society in which eighteen and nineteen year old girls are urged to start early Botox in order to prevent wrinkles later in life, to remove the buccal fat that cushions and protects their face, and to undergo increasingly dangerous and perilous procedures to fit a wealthy beauty executive’s idea of the ideal womanly form. The end goal of this is, as most things in America seem to be, to pursue a profit, even at the cost of the sanity of young girls. 

However, even considering all of its flaws and negative impacts, there still remains something quite awe-inducing and marvelous about the instant, worldwide communication network that social media brings. Perhaps many do not realize the true significance of the handheld mobile device that they use every day, that within it lies the summation of human intellect and prowess, and the poetry and meaning of everyday life.

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A social platform presence is for the better


Jesreel Cruz

Audrey Choate and Clare McCoy debate the pros and cons of social media usage.

Social media has been a hot topic since its birth in the early 2000s. A plethora of thoughts from all around the world can be shared in a matter of seconds, revolutionizing a new way of communication. And while many thought it would be temporary, the growth of platforms has proven that these effects are here to stay. Despite all of the negative things said about social media, when used in a healthy moderation, it can bring positivity and be useful.

Sites like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook can all be used to talk about current events, such as elections, fashion trends, music, and more. The abundance of information accessible online is an unbelievable tool we can use to keep ourselves educated and aware. Unfortunately, fake news is a growing problem, but the focus should be on taking down the misinformation – not mislabeling the platform as entirely corrupt. This everyday education being normalized has proven to be beneficial in updating the public on issues that matter. Before social media, the average teenager did not put in the effort of being informed, leading to more misinformed voters down the line. Teenagers now have become more impassioned with things that matter, instead of being oblivious until they become older.

Like many of my peers, social media helps me discover new music every day. Anyone can create songs that at least one person will find and fall in love with. It’s such an incredible thing to have so much music surrounding us at all times. People with true talent can be discovered easier than ever before. This doesn’t just go for music too, it applies to all forms of art like poetry, paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc., which may inspire others to discover new passions.

For many people, exposure to new hobbies and ideas through apps like TikTok and Instagram awakened something in them, sprouting a lifelong passion. TikTok’s ease of use makes finding new content incredibly effortless. With around a billion monthly users, anyone and everyone can explore new things like crocheting, painting, cooking, gardening, etc., where people can give tips and suggestions to newcomers to any community. The development of seemingly antiquated pastimes have sparked so much joy in these newfound online circles.

Communication has vastly changed in the new age of media. It’s easier now than ever to have access to all of your peers at the touch of a button. When kids move, they can stay in contact with each other in the long term, like a new age type of pen pal. Through texting, calling, and more family-oriented applications like Facebook, families can stay closer together, even through vast distances. People can even find long lost relatives through the infinite accounts on the internet. For better or for worse, social media is here to stay. If regulated with healthy moderation, we can reap the benefits for generations to come. 

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