Social media is only as bad as you make it

Photo credit: Rewon Shimray

By Na’Caesa Pink | Contributor

With the steady pace and significant impact social media has brought into the 21st century, it was naive to believe that it could merely exist judgment free. It is undoubtedly known that the internet, along with social media, has rapidly developed and flourished in the last two decades. This spike in social media usage resulted in an increase in dissatisfaction toward social media and is commonly deemed addicting and depersonalizing by older generations.

Recent months have shown the complete opposite. Social media has connected the world in more ways now, than anytime before.

Within a three-week period of this year alone, people from all over the world have donated more than $350 million for the devastation hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria left this past fall. Furthermore, there has been an overwhelming amount of love and support sent out to the victims and families of the Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs shootings.

The ongoing debate of gun control laws in America has enabled users – whether it be Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – to voice their thoughts on the tragedies brought upon the U.S. because of the frequent mass shootings. The impact of social media has been so monumental that the users behind these posts are actively planning their efforts to amend the current gun laws.

Out of the top 10 deadliest shootings America has experienced, six of them have occurred during the lifetime of almost every student at Baylor University. The campus, as well as the world, remained up to date with the help of social media.

In the case of the most recent misfortunes, social media allowed swarms of global, live coverage of rescue efforts and volunteer work that took place.

Not only has social media allowed a place for unity during terrible moments in the world, but it has also shone a light to the goodness of the world.

Social media does not deserve the harsh judgment it regularly receives. It brings about as much good as it does bad.

Media coverage in 2015 went so far as to support the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for every state in America to allow the legal union of same-sex marriage. The immense support displayed on social media encouraged other users to take to their own country’s government offices and persuade the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The media has been a gateway into the most recent and prevailing news since its start. The world can now see and hear the most current events when they are actively happening, allowing people to become more aware of what is happening anywhere at any time.

Children and teens are the key contributors and are the most likely to be exposed to newer advances that come with social media. Older generations are at a slight disadvantage (if they allow themselves to be) as they were gradually exposed to the usage of the internet and social media. Children born in the ’90s, were almost immediately introduced to the technology and have a better understanding of what all it can do. Older generations seem to think that kids now are wasting their lives spending time on the internet. However, it is the 21st century and social media hasn’t even reached it pinnacle. It is not what you see on the internet that is devaluing the technology, it’s how you use that information to better your lives and the ones around you. Social media is only as bad as you allow it to be.