Tweets, Posts, and Hashtags–Oh My!

Navigating Life on Social Media

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Maddy Renda, Staff Reporter

In today’s society we hear a lot of different things about social media. Whether it’s good or bad. Some believe social media corrupts the young mind. Some believe the exact opposite- that it helps brighten the young mind. Which is true?

With social media, like everything thing else, there’s negatives. One way there’s a negative on social media is the fact that there is a new type of ‘status quo’. Unreal expectations for both males and females. A new standard to live up to. People, teens mostly, base their confidence off the amount of likes they get on a picture.

Another issue is harassment known as cyber bullying. If it’s someone you know, or an anonymous account sending random hate, it still affects everyone involved.
One big issue with social media is decreased productivity. Social media is all consuming, making it easy to forget your responsibilities. This leads to decrease in grades and much more. Up on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media at 3am, but you couldn’t get your work done? Now not only do you stress about that, but you are also experiencing a lack of sleep.

Now social media isn’t all terrible. There are just as many positives as there are negatives. According to a CNN.com survey, one in five teens say having social media helps them feel more confident.

Although there may be a lot of trolls out there, buts there’s still good in the world. For example, our very own school Indian River, has several anonymous hate pages that are currently active, but one unknown do-gooder has made an “Indian River Compliment Page.” Nobody knows who it is nor does anybody have any ideas. This Twitter page is known for having random people, Indian River students, submit anonymous compliments over direct message. The page then posts the compliments and tags the person mentioned, but not the person who submitted the compliment. Not only random pages do this, but also people we encounter everyday.

Another positive of social media, besides spreading the love, is spreading the word. Having a bake sale? Post it on Facebook. Need a petition signed? Post the link on Twitter. Have a cause you need to get out there? Well social media is the perfect way for information to quickly get around. So many causes, petitions, and movements, have been created via ‘hashtags’ (#). #BlackLivesMatter #YesAllWomen, #IStandWithAhmed, etc.

This is not to say that viral content popularized with hashtags is always a productive use of anyone’s time. Early 2015 the controversial dress argument began. With two hashtags #BlueAndBlack and #WhiteAndGold. I’m sure you saw it, anyone one who has social media has had to have seen ‘The Dress’.  And we will not even talk about about how much of some lives are wasted by Tumblr and 4Chan…

One of the best positives for social media, is getting to be social. You make internet best friends & even people who you’ve seen at school but have never talked to. Social media allows you to do that without actually being face to face, which sure, may also be a negative, but talking to strangers on the Internet is just breaking the ice!

“Social media is both good and bad,” says Thai Swiger, 15, a former student at Indian River Highschool, “Good because you can bond with people who have the same interests but bad because people can bully and harass you.”

What are your thoughts on social media?