Impact of Social Media on Society

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Updated: Apr 07, 2023
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While the two teenage depictions couldn’t be more different regarding background and perspective, “Generation Like” and “Growing Up Online” documentaries both portray some interesting theme commonalities about juvenile characters between them, and this essay on the impact of social media on society aims to discuss how the internet influenced different teenagers generations.

The “Generation Like” documentary explores the present-day culture of teenagers and their ultimate impact on the world of promotion and marketing. It illustrates the relationship between youth and social media and how marketers obtain a connection with them on online platforms. On the other hand, the “Growing Up Online” documentary intends to take the viewers into the private world that teenagers have created on social media networks. It exhibits elements of fear in parents and teachers as they try to keep minors safe from online predators, who surprisingly believe that these fears are misplaced.

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The similarities between the youngsters in both documentaries are pronounced, and they deserve scrutiny. Both films have evidence to show that the adolescents have portrayed their quest for fame and attention. In “Growing Up Online,” one of the teens, Jessica Hunter, is seen to reach the extent of rebranding herself online to Autumn Edows, a model and a Goth artist. It is through posting her provocative photographs on social media that gave her a massive amount of followers. The once-reserved girl confessed that she felt completely different, out of herself and famous. The case is not different as for the “Generation Like.” We are enlightened of a young woman spending her better part of the day on social media platforms for her favorite film, “The Hunger Games.” She is driven by the urge to be recognized as one of the top fans of it out there, and she achieves this by… We cannot look right through the fact that social media has deprived these teenagers of self-love, contentment, and appreciation of who they genuinely are.

The aspect of exploitation and ill-treatment of the teenagers is vivid in the two documentaries. In Douglas Rushkoff’s “Generation Like”, it is shown how the company uses the youth’s interests to enable them to market their products and create a feeling of involvement for the target audience. To our shock, it is later noted that some actors never interact with their fans as they hire companies to create an online image for them. The idolatry of the false image apprises a detrimental effect of social media on society since it is merely taking advantage of teenagers who have not embraced self-value, given that the admired celebrity not only assumes a fantasy personality but also seems unreachable and the owner of an unreal standard.

The virtual society that the teenagers take pride in is not different in “Growing Up Online,” as online predation is on the rise. John Halligan’s son, Ryan, hanged himself in October 2003 after months of repeated cyberbullying in school and online. During interrogation, his father claims to regret putting a computer in his son’s room and allowing it to become so much of his life. Time is an essential aspect in the life of any human being, especially the youth, and it should be used productively. Contrastingly this time is used by naive teenagers to benefit other identities. We feel the impact at its peak when it is the cause of death by hanging.

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Although the two groups of teenagers in the documentaries bear some superficial similarities, their differences are explicit. Whereas in “Growing Up Online,” parents and teachers are in fear of the potential harm that could happen to the minors online, we have the parents in “Generation Like” encouraging their children to join online platforms; such as the teenage girl that developed an avid online following under the encouragement of her mother. We seem to have teenagers living in two completely different types of societies. Present-day societal impacts of social media manifest themselves in the form of unethical videos and pictures, unwanted messages, anti-religious posts, and links among people causing disagreements and misunderstandings.

In conclusion, it is certainly evident that social network has become an area of interest to be voiced in society. Impacts of social media on society, especially in teenagers, from both films include time wastage which has rendered them unproductive in their real-life surroundings, detachment from the real world, and living in self-denial. Although it has got its merits, its demerits cannot be ignored and should be treated with due attention and care.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the effects of social media on society?

The impact of social media on society is extensive and diverse, encompassing both favorable and unfavorable consequences. On the one hand, social media provides a space for people to connect and exchange thoughts, which can be beneficial. However, it can also have negative implications, such as facilitating the dissemination of false information.

What is the role of social media in the society?

Social media plays a complex role in modern society. It serves various purposes such as facilitating communication with loved ones, keeping up with current events and gaining knowledge, making transactions, and engaging in diverse activities. Moreover, social media empowers individuals to voice their perspectives and exchange their thoughts.

How will social media affect the future?

The future of social media is not clear, but its ongoing expansion may have several implications. One of the potential outcomes is that social media will become increasingly vital for individuals to stay connected and up-to-date. Alternatively, social media might get more segregated, with people gravitating toward echo chambers that validate their own beliefs. Finally, social media could turn more commercial, with more advertisements and fewer openings for user-generated content.

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Impact of Social Media on Society. (2022, Feb 08). Retrieved from