People are claiming that social media has stopped them living their lives to the full.
In 2016, Twitter averaged 317 million active users every month! That’s a lot of people; all enslaved by social media’s tantalising grip. I'm one of those 317 million; I’m 16 and just like every other teenager I’m on most social networking sites- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the list goes on, and, although I don’t post much, I'm always looking at what other people are doing. But there are some problems stemming from social media.
The most annoying part is the notifications. I can be happily going about my day, chatting to my friends, doing my work and then my phone vibrates! “So-and-so has just posted a new picture” whines my phone. To be perfectly honest I do not care what so-and-so had for dinner, yet I find my self unlocking my phone and having a look and I have no idea why? Suddenly I'm too busy looking at someone else's life that I’m not paying attention to what is going on right in front of me in MY life. I can’t be the only one stuck under the “notification curse”, can I?
My generation also use a significant lack of verbal communication. At lunch nearly every group just sit around on their phones looking at what other people are doing instead of talking! Occasionally a conversation may start but often it stems from and surrounds a funny post someone has just seen. My group of friends is exactly the same and sometimes it gets a bit boring. As well as this; instead of discussing plans face-to-face, at school for some reason we wait until we get home and group message each other. This leads to a large amount of miscommunication on where we are going, what it will cost etc. This generation no longer talk to each other properly, without a phone out in someone's hand, without one notification going off, and this needs to change.
Of course social networking has serious problems relating to it. For example, cyberbullying. With the rise of social media it is now to easy to say something horrible to someone and not worry about the consequences. Just because you can't see their reaction doesn't mean that the constant “banter” isn't slowly beating their self-esteem to a pulp. An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyberbullying, with 1.26 million subjected to extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis. This number is just too high, social media is ruining these young people’s lives. I’ve been lucky; although I’ve never been “popular”, I’ve also never been bullied. Yet I can assure you, I am one of a dwindling number.
Social media is great; it allows us to talk to family and friends abroad, to send a message to people within a matter of seconds. But social media is also taking over peoples lives slowly but surely. Some teenagers are struggling to get off their phones and hold a conversation, some teenagers are using it as a weapon and some are getting slapped in the face every time they open their phone and see an ugly comment someone has written. Social media is stopping people from truly living their lives, so, please, get off your phones and live your life!