What happened to the days when talking to someone was either face to face, or on the telephone? Today, children and teens hardly ever speak to people face to face, even when in a public setting with people that they know. This is not only present in teens, but with most age groups. In today's world, instead of talking to someone face to face, social media has come along making face to face communication less common. At the same time, social media makes it possible for people who live in different countries, such as family, able to communicate with one another anytime.
"Social media is a great way to connect with my friends and family back home in Memphis, Tennessee," Lourdes freshman Kyle Sherman said.
Almost everyone has either a computer or a smart phone. These devices make accessing social media easy for people, whether they are on the go or at work or just bored stuck in the house. However, how many times have you found yourself working on a paper or doing a search on Google, and find yourself being pulled towards checking your Facebook or Twitter account? It is so popular in schools that some districts, such as Sylvania Public, have banned the sites on their systems. Students get distracted from doing their school work and go onto social media instead of doing a web quest or writing a paper.
According to Assistant Superintendent at Sylvania Public Schools Scott Nelson, social media sites are blocked in the Sylvania Schools network because they have not found an educational use for them yet.
"We will continue to evaluate social media and determine the negative things and see if we can make them educational," Nelson said.
Another problem prevalent in social media is cyber bullying. Formerly, bullying was something that was done face to face, such as picking on the kid at school by pushing their books out of their arms or calling them names in the hallway. Today, bullying is still done in schools, but it has also taken to social media sites and has become known as cyber bullying. Cyber bulling exists in forms such as posting mean things about someone on a social media site, like Twitter or Facebook, or sending a threatening message to someone on one of these sites. According to www.bullyingstatistics.org, over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their phones or the internet.
Online dating has been around for as long as social media has been around. Eharmony.com and Match.com are just two of the many online dating sites. However, did you know that not everyone is who they appear to be on these sites? A few years ago, a movie called Catfish was released. It is about a guy named Nev who meets a girl on Facebook. Nev and this girl create a relationship, and Nev decides he wants to meet this girl. Upon meeting her, he is told a bunch of lies until he is given the truth. The girl that he saw and received pictures of on Facebook and mobile were not, in fact, the girl he thought she was. The girl was someone different but was using another girl's identity as her own on Facebook, which broke Nev's heart. Although Nev and this girl are still friends through the girl's own Facebook account, this happens every day. Nev created a show on MTV (Catfish) showing people that you can be anyone behind a computer screen. Face-to-face contact ensures that you know who you are talking to is the correct person unless they are lying then well you would have to figure that one out on your own.
"Social media can cause drama, but at the same time it can be good. I met my girlfriend on twitter and we have been together for 9 months," Freshman Sean Westhoven said.
Now, not all of social media is bad. It can be used to connect with people that you haven't spoken to in years, or family that live in a different state or country. As of September 15, 2013, there are 1.15 billion Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users, and 5 million Snapchat users worldwide, according to Expandedrambings.com. Not only is social media used for just social reasons, but it is used for communication in businesses and schools as well. If you go onto Google and type in the search bar a name of a business you wish to know more about, chances are one of the first links to come up is a link to Facebook. The same goes for music groups, books, authors, movies, TV shows, anything. Almost everything and anything has something on Facebook or Twitter.
Let's face it, social media is here to stay, no matter how good or bad it gets. The types of social media we have today may be around tomorrow, or something new and better will be here. No matter, what it is not leaving anytime soon. If you do not wish to be a part of social media, you need not too, but it will continue to grow and change with or without you.