Columns Opinions — 31 January 2018
Opinions:  Is social media positive or negative?

When making a decision, it can be very difficult without knowing the pros and cons of the situation. The more information that someone has when making their decision could really affect his or her thoughts, especially when it comes to social media.

The positive effects of social media include building relationships and connectivity. When building relationships online, they find people who they can relate to, people who they can learn from and people who share the same interests. This connectivity allows for accessibility and awareness. It enables accessibility to “friends” or “followers” because they are literally at someone’s fingertips. It also enables awareness by informing others about something that has happened, so they understand the base of the problem and can share the news, which hopefully is good news.

Social media can be considered many things, whether it is negative or positive. Even though social media has positive and negative effects, the negative effects may outweigh the positive. As many people continue to be on social media more and more every day, they face the risk of “self-destruction.”

Social media, according to research, can lead to more cyberbullying, low-self esteem, inadequate social skills and bad choices. Cyberbullying can cause anxiety, depression, isolation and even suicide. Social media lowers people’s self esteem when they do not get as many ‘likes’ as they thought they would, or when they think that life is not as perfect as the ones they see online. Low-self esteem limits someone’s ability to find any positive self-worth. Their social skills are affected when they would prefer to stay home and be on social media than talk face-to-face with friends. Their social skills could potentially connect with low-self esteem when they would rather stay within their own social group than to be judged by “outsiders.”

When it comes to social media, there are two sides, and it is really difficult to be fully on one side. Social media, on one hand, can be very time-consuming and addictive, but on the other hand, it can be very convenient and informative. Everyone has their own choice to make about social media, but what might affect someone, good or bad, might not affect someone else the same way.

Article and photo by staff member Jenna Weers

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