Social media taking over

Sarah Prins, Reporter

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr. What do all of these sites and apps have in common? They are all classified under the label, social media. Their main goal is no longer centered on keeping connections with friends and instead have become solely focused on feeding our egos, paying these social-networking companies millions of dollars, depriving us of our privacy, and overall, doing more harm than good in today’s society.


In the earlier days of social media, the main goal was to reach out to meet new people or to stay connected to friends and loved ones. These earlier social networking sites helped create a sense of unity. Many of us are familiar with Facebook and Instagram, but now these forms of social media have changed the social networking game.


Social networking is affecting our society in ways we are not consciously aware of. Specifically the way we perceive ourselves and others based upon the popularity of our social networking sites.


“The nature of the social network, in many ways, aids and abets a superficial way of judging both others and the self,” Aaron Balick states in an article on the website, Minds work.


This thought perfectly encompasses what is wrong with social networking in terms of our egos in today’s society. These various sites we regularly use now like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, have the same main goal; get the most followers/friends and get as many likes as you can otherwise you are not considered “cool” or “popular.”


Social media has not just contributed to the rise of the egocentrism ways of today’s society, but through successful marketing ploys it has become a growing enterprise. Just this September, Facebook was estimated to be worth more than $200 Billion, and now generates 62% of its total advertising sales from mobile ads.


Teens, are constantly a part of the social media scene because that is considered the norm in today’s society. We are so engulfed in keeping up on latest trends, and attempting to become more popular, we end up surrounding ourselves with these mobile ads that are used by Facebook and other social networking sites. Not only do we subject ourselves to millions of ad campaigns on a daily basis, but  in the eyes of marketing predators, we are also considered to be very impressionable and therefore easy targets for advertisements.


It is no secret that today’s youth have targets on their back, not just marketing wise, but also in the sense that nothing we post on social media stays secret anymore. Our privacy is constantly being threatened. In 2010 a report on social networks revealed that 25% of users with a Facebook account did not use the network’s privacy controls or did not know there were any. Although this percentage does not seem that significant right off the bat, if you stop to think about the billions of people that use this site daily, that percentage starts to look bigger and bigger. Those who do use social networking sites without proper privacy controls become prey to online criminals that use personal information to steal the identities of online users.


Identity theft is not the only prevalent privacy issue in todays society. Social media poses another threat, against student athletes and those entering the workforce who have posted something online they might regret. Just a few weeks ago at our school an illicit photo posted of a student athlete was leaked to an administrator. We, as present day teenagers and young adults, no longer have the luxury of having personal lives that stay personal. Once a picture surfaces on the internet it remains there for scholarship committees, college administrators, and future businesses to see. We must be more cautious than past generations in order to prevent things we aren’t necessarily proud of, from getting out into the public.


Privacy, an egocentric society, and target marketing are all prevalent issues in today’s social media sites. These sites have become similar to that of parasites, feeding on present day generations, the payment being both our privacy privileges and our money. We are not usually fully aware of how much we end up subconsciously paying these big social media sites. The advertisements they post on their sites are used to target the youth and get you to spend more money.

Instagram and Twitter have increasingly become more popular and the one main thing they have in common is they both feed our egos. Modern social media have posed an unwritten challenge, which is to get more likes and followers than the rest of the users. All of these negative components to social media further prove that these social networking sites are more detrimental to today’s society than in past generations.