For the past two centuries social media has been around to communicate with others. Over the years Facebook, twitter, the internet and other means of communication have evolved. The use of social media has spread throughout the world. Even Pope Benedict XVI sent out a twitter message during his weekly general meeting at the Vatican (Gifford). The use of social media may impact personal relationships, privacy rights, become a worrisome distraction, influence politics, and fuel democratic revolutions.
With many people communicating with friends and family online, debate is growing about whether that is healthy for relationships. Critics of social media argue that “teens are showing a decrease … from previous generations when it comes to expressing themselves and interacting with others” (Clemmitt). Critics also argue that many teenagers today are, “forgoing face-to-face conversations whenever possible in favor of writing on a Facebook wall or texting" (“Social Networking”). Critics believe that social media is making relationships difficult because it makes teens lack the ability to talk to someone in person. This negatively affects teens because talking to someone in person is a necessary skill for many jobs.
Although critics argue that social media is unhealthy for relationships, supporters argue that it helps them. Supporters argue that it “makes it easier for individuals to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues” (Clemmitt). They also argue that “most people use social media not to avoid others but to stay in touch with them” (“Social Networking”). Social media helps people make new friends and get to know them.
It has been continually argued that social media threatens privacy rights. Whenever someone uses the internet, “Every photo upload or click of a ‘like’ button deposits [their] personal data online” (Clemmitt). Critics argue that “as people navigate the Internet, social media … companies gather information about everything from what magazine articles they read to what times of day they log on to websites and whose birthday parties they attend” (Clemmitt). Companies use that information to target advertising. Critics say that the companies use of personal information “endangers ... privacy rights” (Clemmitt). But proponents say “it is a small price to pay for the benefits of online socializing” (Clemmitt). Since going on the internet is free, providers use advertising to keep their website up.
Another drawback of social media is it becoming a worrisome distraction. People “can … barely [go] ten minutes without checking their smartphones for twitter or Facebook messages” (Clemmitt). Their “social media obsession may [alter how they] think and learn” (Clemmitt). People are making new ‘checking habits’, they glance at social media like Facebook or Twitter about every ten minutes. People tend to have sleep disruptions because they “sleep with their cell phone and get up in the...