Social Media

How is social media affecting our lives?

Who am I?

My name is Nancy Vang and I am a sophomore at F.L. Schlagle High School. I am 16 years old and I love to read, bake, listen to music, and I love candy/sweets. I love cupcakes, cakes, brownies, any kinds of sweets. I enjoy watching cooking and baking videos and I have always wanted to bake. I like to read and I also like using social media. Social media has become such a big part of my life and I'm sure for others too. I want to make a change in the future, and make life better for others. I would also like to help animals, the earth, and the ocean.

Essential question

How is social media affecting our lives?
I chose this question because social media has a huge impact on us. We use social media on a daily basis and I feel like we overuse it at times. Social media is such a big part in our lives that almost everyone uses it. We use it to share memories, to invite people to events, to do so many things and it's great. It can be used to do great things, and I want to know what kinds of things that it has potential to do. But at the same time, we tend to use it at the wrong time and place. I chose this question because I genuinely want to know what are the pros and cons of social media. I want to know how it affects and changes our lives.

Explanation

I know that many of us use social media. When used correctly, it does great things. It keeps us connected with relatives and friends who don't live near us and it keeps us updated. But it can also be a place where cyber-bullying happens. I also know that you can never trust anything you see on the internet/social media.
I hope to gain more information about cyber-bullying and how social media affects it. I want to find out if we abuse our privilege to use social media and how many of us actually use it correctly. I know that it can be used to do so many amazing things and I want to know what are those things. I hope that others will know how to properly use their social media accounts and know what effects it has on us. I would also like them to gain information about how social media affects our health and well-being, and what good things social media is capable of doing.

What is social media?

Social media are websites and apps that allow you to connect and share content. It also allows you to participate in social networking.

Negative

There are many negative things about social media. It is very addicting, we use it on a daily basis, it makes cyber-bullying easier and it wrecks our writing. Social media make us lazy in writing, getting up and doing something, and just being productive in general. We are so used to using shortcuts for words like 'brb' and 'cuz' that sometimes we forget how to spell some words. It also provides a false sense of security.

Addictive

Social media is used widely and although it does help connect you it can also help you become disconnected. It is addicting. We spend so much time on social media/phones that sometimes we forget to look up. Most of us would rather stay home and be on our social media accounts. Studies show that 63% of Americans log into Facebook daily and 40% of us log on multiple times in a day. About 2/3 of those people admitted to having trouble relaxing when they are unable to use social media. Instead of being productive, we would rather spend more time surfing the web and watch videos. We tend to spend more time on our social networking accounts than with our family. Honestly, how often do you see people outside without their cellular device out? Maybe it is just where I am and where I go but every time I am out, be it the park or just anywhere, at least one person has to be on their social account.
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5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now

Cyberbullying

Social media makes cyber bullying easier. You can bully someone as "anonymous" and no one will ever know it was you. People take advantage of that fact and use it to express their superiority to their victims. Study shows that 95% of teens have seen cyber bullying and 33% have been victims themselves. An app that makes cyber bullying easier is snapchat; a video messaging app that was created in 2011.

SNAPCHAT

Snapchat allows you to send videos that, once viewed, disappears, making it easier for bullies. It also allows you to post videos and pictures to your story. Posting "stories" of who they're with and what they're doing can often make other children feel left out. Sometimes, teens will know this and purposely leave certain people out. A survey conducted by Enough is Enough, an organization that aims for internet safety, found that 95% of teens have seen cyber bullying and 33% have been victims.

FOMO?

FOMO is the acronym for "Fear of missing out". It occurs when we feel pressured to be doing what everyone else is doing, to attend every event, party, hangout, and to share every experience we have. It can cause anxiety and cause users to be confused as to why everyone is having fun without them. Social media also makes us compare our lives with others. It makes us think that our lives are less and that we need to do certain things to fit in.

It also encourages attention seeking behavior. How often do you see someone posting a troll comment? Post pictures of themselves and put themselves down? People like this want attention, but then again, everyone likes attention. When someone post pictures of themselves saying, "I look ugly," they want the attention. They want people to comment and tell them that they're not ugly or this and that. Another way is trolling. How often do you see someone posting a troll comment? Their goal is to make someone confused, mad, upset, and conjure all of these emotions and then have them comment. Sometimes it is obvious that they are looking for attention but there will always be some people who will give that attention seeker exactly what they want.

School & Writing

It wrecks our writing. We are so used to using "text language" that sometimes it is hard for us to switch back in appropriate situations, like when we are in school. We've become so used to auto-correct correction our words and leaving out punctuations that we don't use them anymore. Well, we do but not as much as we should and sometimes we use put them in the wrong place. Teachers say that the usage of social media is damaging students' writing skills. They say that we have become so used to "leaving out punctuations and using abbreviations." 68 percent of teachers say that digital tools make their students more likely to take shortcuts and not put any effort into their writing and 46 percent say that these tools make students more likely to "wrote too fast and be careless." Physical writing is disappearing because more people are depending on electronic devices.

Grades

Not only does it impact our writing but it also impacts our grades. We are constantly on our phones/social media that we don't really pay attention to what the teachers are saying. Researchers found that different types of social media use ties in with different academic problems. Studies found that those who spend more time on social media spends less time on their academics, although studies have not found a direct link between social media use and academic performance. It distracts you from homework and schoolwork. We procrastinate and sometimes it gets to the point where we don't even know what happened to the time. I have done this many times before; in the mornings, during school, and at home while doing homework. I do it a lot, maybe a little too much but it's just so hard to put down the phone sometimes.
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Security & Safety

It provides a false sense of security. We need to be careful about what we put out on the web because once something is posted it will be there forever. Even though we change the setting, it will not protect us and what we post. Also, our personal information could be out there just waiting to be plucked up by people. Never give out your social security number, drivers license, or anything that is valuable; things that should not be given out in the first place.

You can talk to someone who you think is your dream guy/girl but in reality it is a 50 year old pedophile. The internet is never a safe place no matter how safe you think it is. We don't really know who we are talking to. It could either be the person we think it is or it could be someone who is 40 years older than you.

Positive

There are many great things that social media allows us to do. It allows us to connect and reconnect, lets us be creative, and it helps people who have low self esteem. We use social media and it makes us familiar with technology which is good considering the fact that more jobs require computer and social networking. Social networking allows us to be a part of a virtual community. It keeps you updated and you can plan an event without having to actually meet up which is great if you are constantly busy. We can find people with similar interest and contact people halfway across the world. There are limitless possibilities.

Self esteem

Social media helps people who experience low self esteem. People who are more anxious or socially insecure are more likely to use social media because they feel more safe. They feel more confident behind screens and are more likely to be more active. People who do have low self esteem can take advantage of social media and bond with others so that they can be less insecure. It is a great thing that we can use to help us become more confident in ourselves and build friendship.

Business & Jobs

Social media gives businesses a huge opportunity to get customer attention while building their image. It provides a perfect place for businesses to advertise their products and gain more customers. Thousands of people review products using videos through YouTube which is then usually shared on Facebook and many other sites. If the product is given a good review then more people are likely to buy it. It also makes it easier to communicate with customers. Companies can reach out to each customer individually and improve their product or service.

Social networks has allowed companies to look at what you do and post to see if you are what they want. Applying for jobs are easier and being familiar with technology is good. When we use social media, it helps us build social networking skills and communication skills, which is used in almost every job.

Friends & Communications

A few decades ago it was difficult for us to connect with people but now it is easy. Communicating has never been easier. We can be connected with friends and families on basically any social media site. Social media also helps us make new friends. We meet many different people everyday and sometimes those friendships can be strengthened through social media. If all works out well, you can even meet up and hang out. Talking with someone eye to eye will always make you closer. Social media helps us make new friends by allowing us to talk to anyone from anywhere. We are able to meet people from the other side of the world through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites. These sites gives us the option of meeting people and fitting in with others when we don't feel like we do. Social media has also changed how we communicate with people and maintain relationships. Websites like Twitter has made it easier for people to gather information, share the news, and many more.

Empathy

It helps us empathize with one another. When people are having a problems, they tend to post it on Facebook or other sites and they would usually get a response or responses with how to deal with it. When we post up our problems onto social media people would post in the comments about their experiences. For example, if I had depression and posted about it, I would probably get some help from people who have experienced it before. These people will tell me how they got through it and they would give me tips on how I could overcome it too. They will help me realize that although it feels like I'm at the lowest point in my life, I will be able to conquer it just like how they did.

Creativity

Creativity is a big thing, well to me it is. When using social media, we are allowed to post up our creativity and let it out. Apps like Pinterest and even Snapchat gives us that chance. Why Snapchat? Well, because it gives you the option to draw. I have seen some pretty amazing drawings people have done on Snapchat and I was thoroughly impressed. Pinterest gives us the chance to pin down crafts and DIY's (do it yourself) that others post up so that we could try them out later. We can also post up recipes, home decor, paintings, drawings, crafts, and just about anything that we want. Businesses use creativity to make their product different too. They have to find a creative way to advertise it and at the same time catch the attention of others. There are many ways we can be creative on social media.

Reflection

I learned a lot of things I did not know or thought of before. I learned that there are perks to social media but also disadvantages. It gives us many, many opportunities and we do use them to the fullest at times. We emphasize when we use social media, something that I have never really thought about until now. I never thought of it that way and I do agree that social media is a place where we do emphasize with one another, but at the same time it is also a place where we are put down. There are many people in this world who just want to hurt others and bring them down. I learned a lot of new information while doing this project and I hope that people realize that there are pros and cons to social media and how it affects us.

In my opinion, social media affects our lives positively and negatively. It gives us opportunities that we may never have if we didn't use social media but at the same time it is taking away other opportunities too. I feel like the more we use social media, the less time we have with others because it is so addictive. It is addictive but it helps us emphasize and it helps people with low self esteem. I, for one, can agree with this. I am always a different person when I am talking to someone on Facebook or behind a screen. I tend to be more open and less insecure about myself. I would say things that I probably wouldn't say to them in real life and I am sure I'm not the only one who does this. Social media helps us but at the same time it is taking away and affecting us negatively.