How Social Networks Affect Our Society

Diamond Scott, Columnist

How do you perceive the world? Is it through the number of hearts you see under a post you made that influences what you wear or what you do, or is it what’s physically taking place around you? Everyone views the world differently, but in this day and age everything is circulated through social networks.
Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are just three of the social media apps that have a huge effect on our society – in both a positive and negative way. The development of these apps has changed the way we live and function. Of course, none of this would exist without the internet, where you can surf dozens of apps and millions of websites.

According to Kit Smith, a writer for Brandwatch (a listening platform), the internet has 4.54 billion users, 3.725 billion of whom are active social media users. Additionally, an average of 7.6 million people has social media accounts, and the average daily time spent on social media is 142 minutes a day. This means that people are connected to the whole world constantly, which can prove to be useful or even fun, but also be dangerous or hurtful.

Advantages of social networking include communication, ease of access, and cost. In seconds, one can access important news and broadcasts that are shared and viewed worldwide. One can easily obtain information on any subject in an instant, and entrepreneurs can promote a business at no cost.
Of course, there are some disadvantages including bullying/harassment, loss of face-to-face communication skills, and false self-image. Cyberbullying is still an issue that hurts everyone and has dangerous consequences. Some users have become dependent on using keyboards and phone keypads so that when they are face-to-face with others they become awkward and can’t convey thoughtful spoken words. Users who spend significant time using certain apps only see themselves in those apps. Those false realities they created become their truth, and they think that’s who they really are.

Social media has both advantages and disadvantages for our world today and it’s hard to say if it’s truly positive or negative. In the end, it depends on how you use it; each of us has the power to make the internet safer and better, while also challenging us to not spending too much time online.