I have a friend who lives halfway across the world. I know almost everything about her and she updates me about what happens every day. I met her over Facebook and sent her a direct message to her about one of her posts about mass shootings. Now we’ve known each other for at least two years. She tells me every time her crush brushes his hand on hers. How much it annoys her when her toilet doesn’t flush. She tells me me how much she wishes she could see me again. The first time I saw her in person we had so much to talk about. Even though we chatted everyday I was so happy to talk to her in person. She and I have so much in common.
I’ve only met her once.
And I miss her.
I can see how people will think this is unusual. At the beginning people start out as strangers but as you talk more and more you still get to start to know the person.
Their humour, their pet peeves, their habits.
It’s definitely different than meeting someone in real life but on chat you don’t have to hold back on what you want to say. Reactions are more raw, honest and unfiltered.
Raw reactions. Unfiltered remarks and harmful words. This could be the problem for most teenagers using social media platforms. Infact, 26% of teens have fought with their friend over something that happened online (Lenhart.) Personally, I have experienced pointless online drama but in the end as friends we all make up. Opinions are shared more and since you don’t have to interact in real life people are not afraid of expressing their opinion whether it is positive or negative. The expression “don’t feed the trolls” was made based off of social media. It means to not acknowledge the hate that you are getting. Without a doubt social media has many flaws. Social media will have people that disturb and annoy you (Landry.) Going off task is something that everyone does but social media just adds to the amount of time wasted. Scrolling through pictures looking at what your friends uploaded might be fun but not when it takes out 2 hours of your day. I easily find myself logging into my Facebook and talking to my friends while I am supposed to do my homework. I tell myself it’s only for a 10 minute break, or I deserve it but end up scrolling through my feed for hours and hours. It’s easy to get away with so who could possibly resist?
Many people have lost friends over social media, over pointless fights and spiteful comments. But many have made new friends, experienced a new way of interaction. As a student of an international school we travel to many different schools for art or sport events. This is a way I can meet new people who have the same interests as me. Social media makes it easy for me to talk to them even after the event is over. Two-thirds of teenagers say that they have shared their social media information with a new friend to stay in touch with them (Lenden).
Personally I feel like many teens feel more connected to their friends over social media. It helps them share their feelings and get support. Social media not only helps people open up about their feelings but also learn others feelings. The free and easy access communication given from social media is one thing that I will be forever grateful for. With just a few keystrokes you can catch up to your friend halfway across the world. I have friends from all over the world. They come from different areas of the world and travel very often. Over the years, many of my friends have moved to other schools in different countries. It hurts so much to say goodbye to them. The amount of tears dropped saying goodbye is countless, but knowing that I am still able to keep up with them over chatting and calling will make it hurt a little less. The way technology and social media has developed makes humans feel less shy and more connected.
In the world of social media many people are not afraid to share their opinion. Sometimes their opinions may not come out as the most pleasant thing to say to someone but usually it helps you figure out your own opinion or get another perspective. As a younger kid, I never had much access to social media so my only resources when I was curious were my parents. So now, social media definitely helps a lot. It also let’s me know when Donald Trump has stated another stupid remark which is some extra bonus points for social media.
Social media isn’t perfect. It isn’t the “best invention that has ever happened.” In fact, it is far from perfect. Many people have been hurt over stupid remarks shared on social media but it has helped humans connect to one another in a completely new and unique way. Friends can be updated about your vacations within seconds. Imagine how different human interaction would be if we didn’t have social media. The many connections made with social media from business contacts to best friend calls most definitely changed your life dramatically. All you need is wifi and an electronic device.