Dr. Tom Fink
The Effects of Social Media
With more than two billion monthly active users, Facebook has taken over the internet by storm. Although interactive media platforms were previously around, once Facebook was launched in 2004, it took off as the leader of this era and is now essentially responsible for the age of social media. Facebook was the first social site that globally brought people together intimately, transcending physical boundaries to merge the lives of us and our loved ones. Despite connecting us with our friends and family, there are many adverse effects associated with the use of this riveting communication tool.
Privacy is a serious problem many have with Facebook, which monitors computer activity outside of the site for advertisements. The company fine tunes ads based on what computer users search on the web. While this may be helpful to some, Facebook monitors activity without consent of users, purely for profits. In fact, there are now more than two million active advertisers on the social platform and in 2015, Facebook boasted 22% of worldwide mobile internet advertising revenue, most of which were not regulated. If Facebook is advertising to the extent of receiving such a high revenue, just imagine how many people they’ve monitored in order to fine tune the ads for their viewers. Additionally, there were “thousands of Russian ads that were created to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election”, according to Wang. Social media has the power to not only intrude on our privacy but to disrupt it by presenting us with contrasting views, such as Trump has the capability of being a good president, in order to manipulate our choices in major as well as minor personal decisions, like voting for him.
Another problem with social media is that many people aren’t who they portray themselves as online. Precisely, false representation plagues social media. Celebrities, as well as everyday individuals, illustrate glorious lives for their followers that are far different from how they regularly live. Rented exotic cars, jewelry, clothes, and sneakers gifted from companies for the purpose of advertising, as well as piles of cinematic use money are posted to celebrity accounts daily, brainwashing society into thinking that their lives aren’t as enjoyable because they lack the glamorous lifestyle of the upper class. This poses a negative impact on humanity, which may even lead to the feeling of an unfulfilled life. Another aspect of misrepresentation that poses a threat to society is ‘catfishing’, which is the act of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. The practice is so popular, it has a television show based on people being catfished and exposing the deceitful individual. The most serious problem with catfishing is pedophiles can very easily target and manipulate younger children by posing as a young child, as Facebook...