The Controversy of Social Media

Krista Laverty


Social Media can be both beneficial and hurtful to today's society. It gives us access to unlimited facts and entertainment at the tip of our fingertips! You're lost? You have a map at all times! Hear someone talking about a celebrity rumor? Google it and figure out exactly what they're gossiping about! Sounds great right? What about when you're at dinner with a loved one and you are having a really important conversation and their phone rings? They completely ignore you and focus their full attention on their phone. Social media is causing the younger generation to lose touch with one-on-one communication. Kids today do not go outside to play with their friends - instead, the video chat or sit in front of a screen together. Is that really a way to live?

Positive Media Portrayal

This article addresses multiple advantages of using social media. Some examples of the positives that they list are: worldwide connectivity, real-time information sharing, increased news cycle speed, and commonality of interest. All of these points are slightly different, but they all strive to reach the same goal - uniting the world as one by allowing information to be spread more quickly across the world, and by giving us an easier means to stay connected. This article used a cultural lens because it is talking about how those who use it can connect culturally. It also is an American based website, and social media is a prominent aspect of American culture.

Negative Media Portrayal

Thus article addresses ample setbacks that social media has posed for today's society. A few examples listed in the articles are as follows: social media enables the spread of unreliable and false information, those who use social media regularly tend to have lower grades and work performance, and social networking sites entice people to waste time. The points listed all give off the same general message. Social media poses as a distraction and causes those who use it to be lazy, and uneducated. This also uses a cultural lens to describe the topic. America is often criticized for being a lazy country, and this article focuses on how social media (which is prominent in our culture - as I previously stated) causes it's users to be lazy. This is a cultural reference to America.

Media Bias

Both article's address how media affects society. One article decided to focus on the negatives, making it seem like those who use social media regularly are uneducated and lazy. The other article focused on the positives, stating that social media was a good tool for communication and expanding your knowledge. The media took the exact same topic and twisted it two completely separate ways to construe your view on whether it is helpful or not.

Criticism #1

I have already explained how the two article's I chose used a cultural lens. Another lens that could be used to critique how social media affects society could be a Marxist lens.

Above is a link to a Youtube video explaining how social media can be used as a marketing tool to make money. The Marxist criticism focuses on money, and social media is used constantly to place ads.

Criticism #2

You could also look at social media through a historical lens. Think of all the times social media could have been helpful during the civil rights movement. If protesters had social media, gathering for rallies would have been so much easier. Look at Kony 2012. Social media sparked a worldwide protest to rescue those individuals. We could also look at how social media has changed communication over time. Before, people would write letters and have to send them through the mail. Now, you can send an email and they have it within 20 seconds. Is social media threatening our postal service?