Advanced Essay #2 - The Darker Side of Social Media


This essay is to show parts of social media that we never truly think about and to introduce how it can affect us from being human. I can’t say that I am happy or unhappy with this essay as I struggled with this hard and at the time this whole assignment was announced I was having a personal problem I couldn’t control at all so yeah. If anything I would want to just look back at this and just change my writing process entirely as I was not under my normal in-school influence and more personally distracted then normal.

Social media and online life is something we get easily hooked with. We use social media to listen to our favorite musicians/singers, we use it for personal pleasure, and we use it to interact with one another from very far away differences. It would be surprising if there was something we never use social media for. The only thing I have to say I was surprised to find out about the internet that people use it to make a memorial that should’ve been about a few days into an eternity.

We “find ourselves” online through either anonymous identities or names we either think are funny, representative, supportive, or realistic to ourselves and our interests to the internet forces us to makeup to use their services. We find those similar to us via filters and search bars that guide us to groups with other people that share our own believes, interests and culture. This one I am against doing for personal reasons but we also use social media to try and find our “Soulmate” for multiple reasons. We also use social media to quickly transfer money by using something like paypal or make money by streaming or uploading videos for the world to watch and donate if they wanted on Youtube and Twitch. Youtube and Twitch are more than ways to make money online but they are more easy to do, their bigger reason is to let people express themselves and their interests or (mostly)whatever its users want to show.

So this is when I learned social media was a unending memorial and these were two bits that I felt were quick to the point in “Ghosts in the Machine” by Jenna Wortham about her views of death and the internet. “Perhaps the most profound side effect is that death no longer obeys any laws of finality... When funneled through social media, death lingers longer than a traditional mourning period might call for”. So when I read this article and specifically these parts I was both surprised and confused. I was only surprised as I did not expect it and I was initially thinking that there was no way this was real. What confused me was why did people do this so long after the death of someone? There's no reason to keep going they’re gone, the time of grief is over, time to move on in life and let them rest. Not go to their twitter or facebook page every month and writing something about the person.

Now, this quote from Sherry Turkle in her article “Stop Googling. Let’s Chat” I understood apart of me that I didn’t expect to see and learn from me constantly using the internet whenever I can for personal entertainment “In 2010, a team at the University of Michigan led by the psychologist Sara Konrath put together the findings of 72 studies that were conducted over a 30-year period. They found a 40 percent decline in empathy among college students, with most of the decline taking place after 2000. Across generations, technology is implicated in this assault on empathy”. I just didn’t know what to think of me as a person as I have multiple different things of me that could be reasons of my own lack of empathy but I never thought about social media being a factor in it. When I think about it now I can think about bits and pieces of my life where I can see it visibly the lack of empathy but it was mainly for other reasons not just social media.

When it comes to the death of a relative I don’t feel anything for myself or for my family as the relatives that did die were those I either never heard of/forgotten about or those that I never had a true connection with but to try and think if that lack of empathy was because of my constant use of technology I just can’t think or just be in a complete mess in my head.

If I had to compare our use of social media I want to say smoking because it’s something we get addicted to thinking were fine as everyone else is doing it, that it’s legal in the nation, it relieves stress (to those that believe that). The one thing we never understand until it’s too late is how it affects us negatively. Sucking us of being human in the real world while we socialize on our phones even if we’re a few feet from each other.