Why I heart Social Media

It is well known that Media is everywhere and we are part of the Media. As we consume the Media content we are producing the Media content at the same time. For me, social media plays a big part in my Media life, I love and hate it at the same time.

I found that social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are ways to connect with friends you don’t see very often. It is designed to help people socialize virtually. You are interacting with your friends by posting and liking pictures of sports, travelings, great dining experiences you had, even thoughts about anything in life. So the social media apps are very versatile and people are more and more relying on even getting addicted to them.

At the same time, social media is giving people many bad experiences. Firstly the pictures users posting are only represent a tiny fraction of their real-life and almost always they are manipulated. So it’s creating lots of unnecessary anxieties to its users over their appearances, lifestyle through competitions of account profiles. And it also has cultivated more narcissists as time goes.

Secondly, the social media apps didn’t give the social feelings it supposed to do. On the contrary, it has made people a lot lonelier. Due to the popularization of social media apps, people are socializing less in the real life. You could be sitting next to them but they are still paying attention to the apps instead of talking to you directly. Given the fact that body languages and tonality of words are impossible to communicate through smartphones. The only communications on the apps are like/dislike buttons and words of text. Sometimes people misinterpret the messages online so it creates misunderstandings. And waiting for your distant friends to like your pictures or replying to messages can bring more loneliness. So it has destroyed the social vibes people are normally having in the pre-social media era.

To mend these problems I think the tech companies should help people communicate better by using technologies like virtual reality so people can communicate their body language online. And it should change their profits maximizing purposes. Instead of acting as a bridge encouraging people to interact more offline in the real world.



Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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