In the past decade, the amount of internet users has proliferated replacing bygone forms of media and entertainment with a skyrocketing trend among all ages know as social media. At its basis, social media is a website or application that enables users to create and share content or to participate in social networking which is the form of communication through social media. With social media capturing the internet’s attention, as many as 65% of American adults use social networking sites. Erik Qualman states that “we don't have a choice on whether we do social media, the choice is how well we do it” (Qualman). As social media gains popularity amongst adults, the influences of social media branch off into youth creating a rapidly increasing social network audience among all ages quite contrary to the audience observed in the past decade. While social media may appear to be aiding a variety of youthful people to discover their proclaimed identity through technology, social media is gradually eradicating humanity’s social interaction as online communication becomes one’s voice.
The concern arises when examining the repercussions of social media such as cyberbullying and the significant decrease in social interaction amongst younger generations exposed to vast amounts of technology and media. Furthermore, social media may seem to be a harmless tool that can be utilized for socializing with acquaintances through technology, yet many youthful people do not realize that technology-oriented form of interaction is not a natural human aspect. In addition to the deficiency of natural human interaction caused by socialmedia, social media is invading other areas of human life such as school, work, and relationships.
Prior to the invention of social media, household telephones were commonly utilized for communication with friends and family, whereas with social media, the natural interaction of conversing by voice is void. Social media eradicates the presence of conversing by voice, therefore, many people feel more secure when conversing via social media. By means of social media, people have regulated contact with society in order to increase their self-esteem. Albert Einstein, one of the most astute figures in the 20th century, quoted: “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots” (Einstein). This quote often applies to younger generations made up of millennials and post-millennials. Many people argue that in a certain aspect Einstein made a valid point in his reasoning while others tend to rebut his philosophy.
With the many rapid advances being made in technology and the internet, people express concern for the future of society as a whole. Many people argue that theoretically, social media is having a negative impact on youth (typically teenagers) by decreasing the amount of socialinteraction, whereas others are in disbelief of the “decreasing” amount of social interaction amongst youth. Self-identities play a big role in social interaction, yet a person’s self-identity is partially derived from social media. One’s self-identity is developed by self-awareness and gaining feedback on achievements. With the recent invention of social media, people are tending to base their identities solely off of the latest trends over social media, and the blatant image of the “perfect person” that has undermined every positive self-images of oneself. Whether it is “the perfect body-image” or “the perfect personality” being propelled towards people, many people feel the lack of confidence which degrades their self-image.
Before social media’s existence, many people lacked these degrading feelings of self-image, yet the tide has turned. Society is now incessantly veered to the prominent teaching that self-image is the very basis of humans, and if one has an inferior self-image, that person is inferior to society. Subsequently, there becomes a loss of identity when one becomes wrapped up in “all the hype” on supposedly Facebook or Instagram. Society as a whole is not perceiving the detrimental outcome of the negative brainwashing social media can have on people. Society has simply become immune to popular influences and believes that the way of popular self-image pertains to what each individual’s self-image should be. “Self-identity is no longer self-identity, meaning derived from the self, but rather is an identity projected onto us by popular culture and in no way an accurate reflection of who we really are” (Taylor).
On the upside, as much as social media has reduced self-identities, social media has made a positive impact on society when used in a constructive manner. Social media can positively affect society by providing a canvas for a ravishing masterpiece. Many people find it easier to express their self-identities in an environment desolate of the anxiety a real-life situation possesses. Along with the ease of anxiety, social media has provided society a unique opportunity to create our self-image through the means of a “digital museum.” There are many routes available on social media. One can easily mask their identity through social media due to the fact that social media allows for more control, especially when it comes to customizing the layout of one’s profile. Contrary to hiding one’s identity, a person can reflect on their self-image without having any anxiety from peers.
In conclusion, social media has many drawbacks in terms of the expression of identity when people feel obligated to blend in with popular idols that are adorned across social media, whereas others may simply articulate their identity throughout social media. Individuals can either construct a synthetic identity that deviates from their true one, or construct a bona fide identity projecting their personality and qualities to the outside world. Coming to a conclusion, social media does not affect the identity of the individual, rather how the individual handles socialmedia is what affects their identity.
The effects of social media on language and communication
Social media's had both positive and negative impacts on language and communication. Communication can be described as an act or a process between sender and receiver using words, sounds or symbols. Having the ability to communicate effectively is definitely the most important life skill to learn. Providing us the opportunity to not only understand, but to connect with the people around us. Communication provides links, which bind an association together in order to evolve common understanding Rodgers etal (2002). Social media is our link to sharing breaking news and to communicate with larger audiences from all over the world.
As a result, if you happen to have family or friends who live out of state, you can instant message or "FaceTime" them to keep in touch. In addition, emojis as well as acronyms such as BRB (be right back) have added major elements of nonverbal communication. So, if someone is unable to see you at the present time, you're still able to express yourself by using an emoticon. Not to mention you can post photos and share them on your Facebook instead of having Grandma wait by the mailbox for those lovely class portraits.
Also, a lot of events have taken place in the past few years that we wouldn't have known about if it wasn't for social media. In regards to the recent police brutality incidents, only the officer's side of the story would have reached media not the victims nor bystanders. Then, you have the #FlintWaterCrisis hashtag which reveled to America how contaminated water in the city of Michigan resulted in more than 6,000 children being exposed to high levels of lead and a series of health problems.
Furthermore, it has become the norm for people to communicate through technology most no longer know how to interact when face to face anymore. During a party, few people are actually taking the time to communicate verbally. Most rather text friends in the same room or tweet about how much of a good time they're having. I've watched families while dining out for dinner, take calls and even their toddlers are glued to a smartphone or tablet. Social networking sites and technology as a whole takes away from the time we would spend telling loved ones about our day and that's truly unfortunate.
HI, im writing a paper on the negative effects of the media on girls. It is suppose to be a persuasive research paper
Is there anything i should add/delete. Please feel free to leave any suggestions. THANKS :)
Final Research Paper: The Media's Negative Effects on Girls
What is beauty? Is it having a skinny body, a blemish free face, and long blonde hair? For some girls it is. Beauty is a main concern for many girls, especially as they are growing up and going through adolescents. They admire women in magazines and on television, dreaming to be just like them. Unfortunately, what they do not realize is that no one has the perfect smile, perfect skin, or perfect hair.
The media puts forth an image of beauty that is unattainable. They do this by showing unhealthy stick-thin girls with "flaw-less" attributes. In the sick world of marketing, the companies that produce an item to sell, such as make up, depend on the insecurities of females. The companies use thin girls with a perfect complexion and a killer smile to flaunt around with the product they are trying to sell. When girls see this, they think to themselves, "Oh I wish I looked like that." or "This is how I should look, the way I look right now isn't right." Because we only display thin girls in our media, girls feel as if that is how they should be. The media negatively influences girls' perception of body image, which can cause eating disorders and low self-esteem.
There have been plenty of studies linked to the negative impacts of body image caused by the media. Here is an example of one study found on thebodyproject.com, "In 1999, Anne Becker and Rebecca Burwell of the Harvard Eating Disorders Center found that media exposure dramatically increased the incidence of eating disorders in the island nation of Fiji. The researchers chose to study Fiji both before and after the introduction of Western television programming to the nation. Before Western TV arrived, most Fijians subscribed to traditional ideas of beauty: larger bodies, bodies that would be classified as obese in the West, were considered the most attractive. Large bodies were seen as evidence of a person's health and high status; slim bodies were thought to look sickly, and were seen as indications that the person suffered from a lack of food and/or a lack of friends and loved ones to support them. Only three years after the introduction of Western (mainly US, UK and Australian) TV programs, the number of girls and women who reported vomiting to control their weight increased five-fold. 74% of girls reported feeling "too fat," and 62% reported dieting in the last month. And furthermore, girls who watched more television were more likely to evaluate their bodies negatively. Interviews with the girls and young women demonstrated that they were attempting to emulate the thin Western actresses they saw on television." This gives you an image of just how powerful the effect of media is. Within three years, the media antagonized the traditional larger bodies of the Fijians from the symbol of wealth, to the sign of unattractiveness.
According to Sarah Grogan, the author of the Body Image book, western society generally associates slenderness with happiness, success, youthfulness, and social acceptability. Being overweight is linked to laziness, the lack of will power, and being out of control (Grogan, 6). With the media portraying thin models on TV it is easier for us to make that association. According to an article entitled "How does Today's Advertising Impact on Your Body Image?" Advertisements emphasize thinness as a standard for female beauty, and the bodies idealized in the media are frequently atypical of normal, healthy women. In fact, today's fashion models weigh twenty-three percent less than the average female. Sixty-nine percent of girls in one study said that models influence their idea of the perfect body shape. With girls looking up to the thin models and women on TV, it only seems natural for girls to want to look like their TV idol. Girls try to look like their idol on TV, however the more they try, the more disappointed they become with their body image. According to Kidshealth.org, body image is how you view your physical self - including whether you feel you are attractive and whether others like your looks. More and more girls are becoming unhappy with the way they look because they do not look the way that models on TV look. This not only makes girls feel as if they have to be thin to be beautiful it also leads them to believe they have flaws, instigating girls to view themselves in a negative manner. Because we only show thin people on TV, girls feel the pressure to achieve society's version of female beauty, and when they cannot, they feel unattractive and it often leads to negative consequences such as eating disorders and depression.
Self-esteem is all about how much people value themselves, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. A person who has high self-esteem will make friends easily, is more in control of his or her behavior, and will enjoy life more. Unfortunately, because of the way that people portray girls in the media as thin flaw-less models, girls feel as if they have to measure up to that. Although some forms of media are trying to challenge the current standard of beauty such as the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which uses women of all ages, colors, and shapes to advertise it products, it is not enough because according to cleancutmedia, sixty-two percent of girls feel insecure about themselves.
The most common justification of the current standard of beauty is that it promotes health by encouraging people not to be overweight, however what people do not realize is that according to the South Carolina department of mental health, seven million women in America have an eating disorder. When girls see the image of thin girls on TV, the dissatisfaction with their bodies causes any women to strive for the thin ideal. This leads to negative body image and in order to combat their negative body image, they resolve to go on diets, which unfortunately lead to eating disorders. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is when one participates in self-starvation in the fear of being fat. Because many models and actresses are so thin, it makes anorexics think their skinny bodies are normal. Bulimia nervosa is when a person overeats, which is then followed by a feeling of guilt or shame, which then leads to reactions such as crash dieting, doing a lot of exercise, and purging.
The damaging power of the media is a growing problem, not only in the U.S., but in many other countries too, and in order to change the current standard of beauty from thin flaw-less women to women of all sizes, shapes, and colors, we must start from within. In order to combat the negative effects of media on girls, we must emphasize mental growth. By encouraging girls to try new things, it can give them a sense of accomplishment. This can increase girls' self-esteem. Realizing that the models we see on TV are airbrushed and retouched is another way girls' can help improve their self-esteem as well as their body image. Because girls realize that girls' on TV and in magazines have been retouched and edited, they will feel more secure knowing that not even they people on TV look the way they look on TV. According to Grogan, changes need to be made at the level of the individual in order to reform our views of the girls' on the media. Women and girl should reject traditional media conceptions of body image completely. Wendy Chakis argues that women need to reject traditional cultural ideals and celebrate the "natural body". This means that girls need to accept the fact that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.