Is social media really as social as it seems?
How many times have you checked your phone today? Your Facebook? Your Twitter?
Social media has become a huge part of everyday life, and many people criticise the effect it has, especially on young people. Teenagers and young adults use technology in almost all of our daily activities: from tweeting a friend, to uploading pictures on Instagram, to checking our Facebook notifications. Some people see this constant usage as evidence of addiction to social media, but others defend it as a normal part of modern life and communication.
The biggest criticism is that using social media online makes us LESS social in real life. We can become obsessed with checking if we have new notifications or messages – up to hundreds of times a day. This can lead us to ignore people around us, and there's nothing more annoying than trying to talk to a friend who is texting someone else! Often, people confuse social media with reality. Having lots of Facebook friends doesn't mean having a connection with those people in real life, and we forget that somebody's 'image' online doesn't always reflect real life. Lots of people only post the good things, so we believe their lives are perfect, and we spend a lot of time trying to achieve unrealistic standards.
But I believe that although these concerns are sometimes valid, social media has opened up many new possibilities, especially to young people. It allows me to stay in touch with friends around the world, see their pictures and hear about their adventures, and I can find my old classmates too. I can follow my favourite bands and actors along with news websites. Social media is also a great way to promote causes like the ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised an enormous amount of money for charity. Facebook has even been used to organise protests from Syria to Hong Kong. Social media has a lot more uses than just posting 'selfies'!
In my opinion, social media being a big part of your life is not necessarily a bad thing. Although using technology to the point of reliance is unhealthy, and being addicted to your smartphone means you can miss out on real life, using it in the right way, to connect with friends and stay informed about world events, is a huge advantage of modern times.