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The 2000’s: An Internet Era

Camille Joiner, Staff Member

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The 2000’s: An Internet Era

Social media has now become a big part of many people’s lives making their interpersonal interactions more difficult every day.  

Life moves fast and the Internet even faster.  Answers are available at the click of the button, text messages take seconds to send and receive, and likes on an Instagram determine your popularity.  Online Platforms have provided the world an outlet to stay in loop and keep in touch.  There are currently over 2.1 billion people on social media according to a study done by LinkedIn.  Older generations complain that the youth always has a phone in front of their face. Although there is some truth to this, younger generations should be using social media to their fullest advantage as it can open many doors to them providing them a better future.

Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media can be used as platforms to educate others on current world issues.  Political change can be facilitated as hot topics can be easily discussed through the comments on posts or replies on Twitter.  Even the simple 140-character tweet can be enough to inform someone.  Apart from the educating aspect of social media, it can also be used to build businesses.  Many small businesses begin by selling their product with Instagram as their primary means of advertisement.  Online platforms also provide an outlet for people to showcase their talent.  There are numerous success stories of people on Instagram who create a life for themselves simply by having a popular Instagram.  If people use social media to their advantage, they can end up flourishing as opposed to becoming mindlessly addicted.

The virtual world has become a world of its own and can easily disconnect you from the real one.  It isn’t uncommon for people to live a Hannah Montana lifestyle on Instagram, but in reality live a lot more like Miley Stewart. People are more concerned with taking pictures for their Instagram than the actual “Instagram-worthy” moment.  Social activities are becoming increasingly less social as people are more concerned with which filter makes them look the most attractive  It isn’t hard to get caught up in a whirlwind of who is getting the most likes? The most followers? And how can I be that?  This is where the Internet has its downfall.  Its addicting aspect can take away from real life conversations as people are staring more at their phone than the person in front of them.  It is not uncommon to see a group of people hanging out together, yet all on their phones.  Teens are spending more than one-third of their days using media nearly nine hours on average, according to a new study from the family technology education non-profit group, Common Sense Media.  Social media has potential to be an enlightening and creative outlet for many people, but unfortunately many people get caught up in their status in it.  Yes, they can get addicted but the solution is not to get rid of social networking.  The better solution is to inspire them to use it as a means to stay connected and informed, not just as a time waster.     

Social media is not going anywhere, in fact it will only become increasingly more important.  Never before in the presidential elections has social media been used to promote candidates and gain votes.  Businesses, politicians and other figures of authority will be using this tool to their full advantage, and everyone should be doing the same.  The internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time; the virtual world is what can keep us connected, motivated, educated and inspired; just make sure you use it wisely.

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The 2000’s: An Internet Era