Social Media Bullying
Social Media has evolved in many ways throughout its many years, but like most things that are influenced by the people, that evolution isn’t always a good one. Since the early 2000’s, when social media was created, it has gone down hill from the beginning. It has become a place for people to go to see what they want to look like but quite possibly never will. It has become an easy place for bullying and putting others down, whether intentionally or not. It has become a place that spreads misinformation. Lastly, it has become a place that steals personal information from users with or without them knowing. With all these things on the minds of the users, we’ve all become seemingly okay with them and continue to use these applications in our everyday lives.
To begin, social media has become a place for people to see what they want to look like but possibly never will. When scrolling through any social media application it’s almost impossible to go without seeing a model somewhere. An airbrushed, photoshopped, and filtered model that is. These men and women are the standard of beauty in today’s world and when they are shoved in the faces of users every 3-4 posts it becomes difficult for users to not think that is what they should be looking like as well. Businesses go about finding the most beautiful and handsome models to show their clothing or products to entice buyers into thinking “if these people could wear this or use this product then maybe I will look just as good doing the same” when that is simply just a twisted idea businesses are displaying.
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In fact, it doesn’t stop at businesses using professional models; in today’s world anyone can be a model, or “ambassador” as they call them, for any company. With the correct look that is, if you have the look or style a brand is looking for they are likely to contact you to represent their product line. It’s no secret that these brands only contact the users with thousands of followers therefore making the smaller accounts wonder what they are doing wrong or why they don’t look like those people when they are simply not doing anything wrong except being their true selves. On social media, you can create the life you want people to think you live rather than the one you really do.
It is very rare that users will share a “bad” picture of themselves or one “all natural” and if they do so they are called brave. When did it become brave to let others see the real person behind the screen? Another large impact on self confidence regarding social media is the number of likes or followers a user has. The more likes a person gets the more popular they seemingly are or the more friends they have meaning they must have a better life right? Actually wrong, according to socialmediatoday.com, buying followers or likes has been known to cause accounts to be banned or have had higher rates of negative comments because of speculation that these accounts are in fact buying their way to the top. So, it seems as though no matter what you try to do on social media, self confidence is bound to be bruised.
Secondly, social media has become an easy place for bullying and putting others down. According to pewresearch.org, 59% of teens have experienced online bullying or harassment. Oftentimes the bullying doesn’t stay online, it is often what is posted online that causes the face to face bullying. Direct messages have made a more secretive outlet for harassment.
Although that is a large number itself it doesn’t stop at teens, many adult celebrities have experienced mass amounts of bullying to the point of deleting accounts or disabling comments on posts. It is almost impossible to not encounter a negative comment on a celebrities post. Bullying has become the norm for some as they can hide behind their screens and type the things they would never say to someone in person. In some cases, users will post their in person harassments on their social media making it an outlet to show off and humiliate the victims. Whether it is showing off the bullying, doing it in comments, or direct messages, bullying on social media is a large part of why social media is harmful.
Another key point is that social media spreads misinformation and leads people to believe incorrect information. There are many fake news websites whose only goal is to spread news that is not confirmed or just isn’t true. Users such as the elderly who may not fully know how to tell that these articles are fake are believing these fake stories and it is likely instilling fear in them. Many younger users are also subject to believing most of what they see on social media. Many of these misinformation sites have an agenda of targeting one singular group to make them look bad or like they have done something that they may not have done.
In our world currently a large topic of misinformation has been COVID-19. A study published by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, states that roughly ? of social media users are getting incorrect information about this virus. With something as new as this pandemic it is difficult to know what is true and what is not, therefore lots of misinformation is being spread without even knowing that it is in fact incorrect. This is the entire problem of social media, it can all be one very large lie and most wouldn’t know about it. While social media is being helpful to quickly spread important information, it is deciding who is spreading the lies that is difficult.
Lastly, social media sites have recently been very well known for stealing its users information with or without them knowing. Social media sites often make their money with targeted ads. These targeted ads are made specifically for the user based on what they like. These sites get this information based on the things you google, the things you search within the site, the apps downloaded on the users device, passwords the users are using for accounts, etc.
All of these things are allowed because of the policies the user accepts but rarely reads. Almost all applications have policies stating the things they can and can not do with the users information, but according to business insider, 90% of people accept these terms and agreements without actually reading the terms. Facebook for instance has 2.45 billion users, meaning that over 2 billion people have no idea what information Facebook can take from them.
The evolution of social media has to be turned around in order for it to continue bettering society. The media will continue to fall into a downward spiral of hateful comments and false news until there is more restriction on what can be posted. If these limitations are strengthened, people will be less likely to bully others, spread misleading information, and steal others virtual belongings. Social media is supposed to be a safe networking platform where people can share ideas, reveal updates in their lives, and other positive things to better our lives. The media needs to turn itself around, or it will continue this downward spiral of no return, and tear down many lives along with it. The media may not be able to turn itself around for the better, but sometimes you have to break things down before you can rebuild them.
Cite this page
Social Media Bullying. (2021, Jun 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/social-media-bullying/
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