Do Your Followers Make the World Go ‘Round?

Posted by LeeAnne W
Featured image by Jason Howle

How many people do you think woke up and the first thing they did was check Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook or some other connective social media website? According to Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 90% of Gen Y, those who were born between the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, check their phone before brushing their teeth, getting dressed, or even eating. This is no surprise considering how easy it is to access these sites with just a touch of an icon or widget. However, just because it’s easy to open apps, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to take in what you will come across.

Tech Minds Think Alike

Social media sites are very efficient in connecting people from all across the globe in a matter of seconds. Many people find others who relate to feelings about topics they like and dislike, home life, emotional states, and thoughts that make up the character and personality of a person. Sites can bring people together and let them know they are not they only experiencing what is going on in their lives. Being friends online can also improve relationships with “real world” friends. In a study reported by Common Sense Media, 54% of teens said that social media benefited their relationships in contrast to only 4% who said that it had a negative effect.

Teens also mentioned how these websites made them feel better about themselves and lose some of their shyness. Social media allows many to have a voice, gain attention, and find people who give feedback which could boost your ego or deflate it completely

Fifteen Minutes of Retweets

Part of the reason social media is so addicting is because of the rush of emotions it gives people. People are more likely to use apps when they get positive results from other users or players. It’s natural for people to seek attention and popularity, but when do we know if the line has been crossed? Users become so absorbed in comments, retweets, favorites, likes and all other responses that they forget to please themselves.

After all, the point of social media is sharing your life with others to encourage new connections. If a user is so focused on what the other person is thinking, how are they going to get a real, long-lasting connection. It is common to over-exaggerate and even lie about what goes on in our lives on the internet. Think about how much stress could we relieve if we were all true to ourselves and honest with each other. We could eliminate all bad miscommunications, negative impacts on self-esteem and increase positive feelings.

Fandoms and Fans

Even though we hear constant news stories about how social media harms youth, it has uplifting aspects. YouTube has become known for their users who make videos that often encourage people to laugh and realize that their problems are temporary. Some YouTubers share personal encounters that their fans can relate to while others just make funny skits to lighten the hearts of their subscribers.Take O2L for example: they are a group of late teens and 20-something year-olds who have a fan base of over 2 million subscribers. Kian Lawley, a member of O2L is really big on bringing happiness to his fans and he describes why is his video “Real Happiness”.

Blog writers also have this effect on their subscribers as well. They write articles that open the eyes of readers to content that broadens their outlook on life. The Positivity Blog offers encouraging words to subscribers who may struggle with being optimistic. A recent post entitled “3 Powerful Steps to Stop Self-Doubt from Holding You Back in Life” offers steps to cope with negative feelings a person may feel.

As with many concepts in the lives of youth, there are good things and unfavorable consequences concerning social media.  Despite the unappealing parts of online connections, people should not assume they are completely horrible. Without social media our lives would not be the same, you would not even have the ability to read this very post.

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