Curtis Gaines III, Staff Writer
Social media has been a controversial topic since its inception in the early to mid 2000s. With apps like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, the world is literally accessible at your fingertips. Although that can be a scary thing for some users, social media also has its benefits.
Social media is a great source for networking with people that you’d probably never meet otherwise. For musical artists and entertainers, their social media presence is equally as important as the work that they are promoting. Fame can be gauged by how many followers and how many likes they have on certain posts. The more views they receive, the more they open themselves to new business opportunities and collaborations with others in their respective fields. With social media, self-branding is more accessible than ever before.
According to Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Americans get their news directly from social media. Although validity and reliable sources can sometimes cause issues with news sources on social media, about 57% of users believe that the news is largely inaccurate due to unreliable sources.
Now social media features updated information, as if its happening in real time. Years prior, news could only travel so far due to the limited technology. News could only air at certain times of the day, and depending how important it was, sometimes it wouldn’t even make the news at all. With social media, people can get the most up to date information as soon as another person is able to share a post.
Social media platforms have made sending and receiving messages easier than ever. For millennials, it might be hard to imagine a world where landlines are the main source of communication. Landlines are phones that use wires instead of radio waves from a cell phone. They are typically stationary in homes and are declining in popularity due to the rise of cell phone usage. One of the problems with landlines is that without someone being home to receive the message, it’s useless.
Another popular form of messaging was sending letters through the mail. One of the issues with sending letters was the amount of time it would take for the recipient to receive your letter. With social media, messages can be received seconds after they are sent from someone else, allowing for immediate communication, possibly transcending thousands of miles. Accessibility for messages has never been so instantaneous without social media being a factor.
Social media is also a great source of entertainment. From sports to Spongebob Squarepants, there are plenty of memes readily available for users on social media. Platforms, such as the now-defunct Vine, allowed comedians to build a following through their ability to post sketches on their social media pages. While Vine may have died, sketch comedians like King Bach, Fatboy SSE and Haha Davis were able to maintain their popularity and following through almost every other form of social media.
Social media is at the epicenter of people going viral as well. Whether they’re heartwarming stories or the latest fail compilation, there are many forms of entertainment through social media. It’s also an outlet for people to expand their horizons for their advantage. By seeing a world where people can be themselves and accepted by their followers, it provides opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible.
Like the late Ben Parker once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” With the power of social media, using it responsibly makes our lives easier and more entertaining than ever before.