Social Media & Social Relations (Written by Catherine Owusu (@FendiDupree))

social_media

How often do you check and/or update your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day? What purpose do these social media sites and applications serve to you? Most young adults utilize social media to voice their opinions or to simply to stay in-touch with current events. It quite obvious that our generation (Y-Generation) has become extremely involved with the virtual and online world. Often, individuals live vicariously through social media outlets. People often feel empowered by them and believe as though they are making enough of an impact through their digital stream of consciousness. When someone tweets their opinion about a topic, how often do they become proactive and take action towards fixing that problem in the real world? Social media users have legions of followers who view and digest their every opinion so the aforementioned user perceives that they are making an effective change. What that tweet or post really is, is a misconceived feeling of empowerment. Do not get me wrong, yes, your voice is being heard and yes, there are people who may take heed to those words but in reality, it is common for us to read, analyze, maybe comment on the individual’s words, and keep it moving. Those positive feelings stop and stay in the virtual world and because our lives are lived through them we fail to realize this. For instance, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, started through social media! What empowered their stances was that action was taken up in the real world, those individuals used social media as an avenue to formulate decisive plans and expand them to the masses. I will definitely say, I am guilty of voicing my opinion but not actually taking action. Yet, through the happenings in our world it is starting to become clear how detrimental this is to our society. We latch on to the new controversy, talk about it and once it dies down, we forget about it and wait for the next controversy to arise. Then that controversy’s cycle in our virtual world begins again. Social media is much too often a pacifier to our frustration and concerns. Social media is fun but if you would like to use it to evoke change, use it as a launchpad and proceed to take action in the real world.

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