How has social media changed us?

Olivia Stafford

Social media has consumed young people and has changed the way we communicate.

From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are submerging  ourselves into the digital world, oblivious to what is going on off our screens.

Fifty-one percent of people ages 18 to 24 said that it would be difficult for them to give up social media, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Social media has become the main means of communication and connection but can deter people’s authenticity.

A 2018 EarthLink article explains people’s profiles as their own personal brand; we post how we want to be perceived.

From what we are eating, what we are doing, who we are with and political views, each post caters to how we want others to see us. While we continue to consume that information, it is unclear if we actually care.

There’s a pressure within society to look and act a certain way, and we forget it’s possible to just be ourselves.

People manipulate photos to make themselves look better and overthink what they are posting because they fear it will not receive enough attention. We are communicating to advance our personal brand which in turn is skewing our reality.

Social media is beneficial. It helps companies advertise and people connect and express ideas.

However, the amount of time that young people spend on it can be an issue.

Seventy-one percent of 18 to 24 year olds  said they use Snapchat multiple times a day, and 55 percent said they use Instagram multiple times a day, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Overall, social media makes communication easy and instant: to make plans, we don’t need to call our friends.

We no longer need to talk to people for them to know what we’re doing, we can just simply post.

With such a limited amount of research, it’s hard to draw conclusions regarding the extent of the impacts social media has on us, but young people’s worlds increasingly revolve around it.

From how people display their lives to the connections that are easily made, social media is an important part of today’s society.

While it changes the way we communicate, we need to know it can be misleading.

Social media is only going to become more prevalent and we can’t forget about the impacts it has on communication.