By Olivia Monzel
There are over 1.73 billion social network users around the world. From grade school children to the elderly, everyone seems to be using some sort of social network. These social networking sites have a positive impact on our lives. We are constantly being told that social media causes bullying and other problems. But, we look past those things to see the good in social media.
Social media has been known for starting the idea of cyber bullying. Having the ability to communicate with someone virtually gives people a chance to say hurtful things without having to face that person directly. Cyber bullying is not just done because of a computer. It is the people behind the computer screens that start the bullying. We cannot blame social media for this common problem. We should blame the people who think it’s okay to do it.
Ashley Watkins, an average high school student, was asked if she has ever been bullied while using social media.
“I’ve never been bullied on any social media website,” Watkins said.
Rachel Butler, another high school student answered the question, and said the same thing. Both have never been a victim to bullying.
But, being the bully is just as common. Many people are never the victim but the perpetrator.
“I don’t think I’ve ever bullied anyone,” Watkins said, “I’ve gotten in arguments with people but that’s about it,”
There is definitely a difference between being a bully and disagreeing with someone.
“I don’t bully. I know it’s wrong and I wouldn’t do that to another person,” Butler said.
Butler, like many others, knows that bullying is wrong and needs to be stopped. Many high school students know not to bully. It’s something children are being taught at a very young age.
Both Watkins and Butler are aware that social media can lead to disagreements between others. Watkins was asked if she has ever witnessed drama taking place between classmates. “Yes, people talking back and forth on twitter. Usually one person is being judgmental of the other,” Watkins said.
After hearing that, Watkins explained why she takes part in arguments.
“Because I can’t keep my mouth shut,” Watkins said.
Though, it was a humorous response, it does make a good point. No matter what, people are going to have conflicting opinions. If it isn’t voiced on social media, it will be voiced some other way. Disagreements are inevitable.
Social media has many positives that don’t receive as much credit as they should. It lets people communicate with others who could be far away in distance. It lets family members catch up without a long distance phone call. It’s easy, quick, and accessible.
“It gives me something to do and lets me see what my friends and family are up to,” Watkins said.
Watkins has similar reasonings to why she uses social media regularly.
Social media, above all, is entertaining. Being able to read posts and view pictures provides entertainment and feeds into our curiosity.
“It’s fun,” Butler said. A simple response that makes sense. If it wasn’t fun, why would people be on it?
Ann Smarty, a Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, wrote an article discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media.
“Social media has made it possible for like minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before,” Smarty said.
This is a positive attribute regarding social media. Social media isn’t just for finding out what everyone else is doing with their Friday nights. Social media offers people the chance to learn more and see through someone else’s viewpoint.
“I like it because I can let my family and friends know all at once what I’ve been up to. Whether it’s about my weekend plans or a big accomplishment,” said Chris Monzel.
Monzel also likes what social media has to offer.
Social media is used in many cultures. Some might experience negative situations like cyberbullying but that does not mean social media is a negative invention overall in our society. Social media gives people the chance to keep up with not only their friends and family but the world in general.