Social Media: Beauty or Beast?

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Social Media: Beauty or Beast?

Rubin Kang, Staff Writer

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Social media is a fickle creature; it can be used to tear down a person or to build them up. It can be used to foster mutual understanding or to create divide.

Social media has become thoroughly integrated into all aspects of our modern-day lives. In fact, social media has become integrated to the point that it functions as a vital part of our social interaction, almost more so than person-to-person interaction. Think about how often people check Instagram, use Snapchat, or log into Facebook. Some people invest hours of their day into social media and others take that even further, structuring their whole lives around their respective media portrayals.

The infatuation with social media is partly due to the unprecedented freedom to portray yourself in any image that you want. Social media provides the opportunity for you to project your ideal self onto whichever platform you choose to use without filters. Many of the platforms provided by social media present the opportunity for people to connect with each other on an unprecedented scale and to bridge differences. The potential in using social media as a platform to create deliberate open dialogue is unparalleled and was implemented skillfully by various communities to create social change and bring about acceptance. One such community was the previously closeted LGBTQ community, which found the open nature of social media liberating.  

On the other hand, due to the very same amount of freedom social media provides, abuse is inevitable. In our modern day society, abusing media is a common occurrence, and it is a tremendous waste of the opportunities that social media provides. People constantly use platforms to harass each other, target differences, and tear down others’ self-esteem. The usage of social media to blackmail others has made headlines in the past, and is just another example of how media has provided another means for interperwsonal harm.

Engaging with social media properly means utilizing social media to its full potential. In order to use social media fully, it means recognizing that as a functioning member of society it is our responsibility to create change through media. You have a responsibility to use social media with integrity.

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