Tweeting and friending used to conjure up images of birds and human contact.
Tumbling meant rolling down a sloped hill and “Myspace” referred to the personal area one
called his own. Today, all these words revert back to one image: humans spending unlimited
amounts of time in front of a computer screen, “socializing.” The generations that precede the
current are always looking for an outside force to blame for the corruption of youth, and today
social media takes the cake. This corruption has been the increasing cause of clinical illnesses,
behavioral changes, and suicide.
The invention of the internet brought many exciting avenues to investigate. World
Wide Web users quickly realized that they could easily make contact with people outside their
immediate area without ever leaving their homes or picking up a phone. Connecting with
family overseas or making cyberfriends hailing from exotic hometowns quickly grew to be the
norm and letters and phone calls quickly became obsolete. The first major social networking
site, Myspace, was geared towards teenagers and emerging musical artists. The site took off
running, with over 100 million users in three years. Myspace encouraged users to share
photos, feelings, thoughts, and build an arsenal of friends. Although Myspace use has since
declined, it has sparked similar versions such as Facebook and Twitter. According to the
Facebook website, the site is 800 million people, and growing fast. It is the number one site
used to connect with friends, musicians, companies. Facebook is also used to connect with
people that a user may not normally connect with. Being able to find people with similar
interests across the globe is now easily foreseeable. Another popular social media site, Twitter,
can be described as a smaller Facebook, where users “tweet” or post updates of what they are
doing or how they are feeling. They can also share articles, photos, and videos. The characters
are limited to 140, so the user must express their thoughts concisely.
At face value, these social media sites seem to be a blessing to the world. They allow
users to connect, express, and share. However, researchers are finding that this is not always
the case. The problem with these sites can be summed up by psychology professor at California
State University, Larry D. Rosen, PhD, “While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the
landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to
see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives,” (“Social
Networking” 1). Teens that frequently use Facebook are also more likely to be narcissistic and
have antisocial or aggressive behaviors. Depression and anxiety have also been on the rise for
teens, and the cause has been directly linked to the increased use of social media. (“Social
All these social media users are now...