Catanach: Essay on the Effect Social Media has on Society
This is one of the entires this year for our scholarship. Michael Catanach, from Arizona State University, wrote about his opinion on social medias effect on society.
The Generation without Communication
At the turn of the millennium, the world braced for what was thought to be a crash of all
technology. People considered it to be a potential “end of the world” as everyone began a new
generation of technology dependency. However, man survived and progressively entered the
world of what would become social media. Although people feared that the world’s dependency
on technology during the late 1990’s would leave everyone stranded, that point is a stark contrast
compared to where the world is today when considering networking as a whole, the majority of
people could not communicate without using social media.
Life would not be complete for most without tweeting about their frustrations at the
office or Instagraming last night’s dinner. But the dependency goes even further than just writing
how one feels at the moment. How would anyone remember birthdays without the constant
friendly reminder on Facebook? But what’s even more intriguing is how it’s not only people that
are reliant on social media but jobs are also depended. In this day in age, is it even possible to
find a job without using tools such as Linkedin or sites that post your approved resume like
Today, social media has even become a type of employment with many companies hiring
people to handle networking duties. News stations now employ social media teams to send out
tweets, post onto their Facebook pages, or YouTube channels, to deliver breaking news at the
quickest way possible. Such a position could pay anywhere from $30,000 and upward annually.
Even schools are now utilizing social media platforms to reach their students, with sites such as
Twitter to reach large masses. In addition, many intuitions have adopted online programs such as
Blackboard and WebCT to connect with their students. Both systems utilize similar social media
websites formats to deliver assignments and instructions, possibly to make it easier for students
Interestingly, businesses have also jumped on the bandwagon of social media, used as a
way of trickery to reach people for promotional deals to attract customers. Companies such as
PeiWei and Starbucks’s have used gimmicks on Facebook to reach a younger audience.
It has become the trend to like a company’s page and instantly receive a discount off the next
purchases. The latter has even recently created an app that completely eliminates the need to
Clearly, the world has reached a new problem; people are now anti-social and depended
on networking in order to communicate with others. It is society’s new way of communicating
with others. Today an action online has greater meaning than words. A delete on Facebook might
indicate no longer wanting to be associated with an acquaintance. A poke might show interest in
a friend, or no relationship is finalized without posting it on Facebook. There is greater emphasis
on the actions people choose on their pages. Even the information provided on a profile can
create a statement, whereas in person someone may otherwise not know one’s religion,
Furthermore, what happened to going on dates with people in person? Sites such as
Match.com and Tinder have essentially eliminated the need to meet people in person. A virtual
wink can be sent to a potential match on the former, while Tinder utilizes pictures to link people.
But all is not positive with online dating, what about the possibility of fake profiles or overly
photoshopped pictures? The term “catfished” has been adopted after a number of instances
involving an uphill trend of phantom profile throughout recent years have a occurred. Even
schools have promoted sites such as Schools App to link up future students with one another.
The world has also become braggadocios with their social media. New cars and houses
must be shared with the purchaser’s social circle. Sites such as Facebook and Google+ have
made it easier for people to “keep up with the joneses” and display their new accomplishments.
Facebook now even allows the option to highlight special events such as a new car, house,
vacation or to show that one is attending a university or beginning a new relationship. But who
needs words to describe their enthusiasm when adding a picture can depict it even better. Posting
pictures can create an illusion gives viewers the false impression of their friend’s life.
Interestingly, all the bragging could have a greater negative side. A simple post of how
much fun a summer vacation in Europe is could lead to a break-in at home. Likewise, jealousy
could also lead to the truth being revealed as Facebook messenger may detect the exact location
where the message is sent depending on if the navigation is turned on a cellular device.
Similarly, places of employment may also ask to tap into an applicant’s social media page to see
a glimpse of their life. Any unpleasant documented actions may jeopardize one’s chances of
Even vocabulary has evolved since the rise of social media. Verbs such as “tweet” or
“share” have gained new meanings due to being used for actions on the web. The word “selfie”
used to describe a frontward facing headshot was recently added to the Oxford dictionary in
2013. Also, the uses of hashtags have become a popular way to promote ideas and concepts
while networking in hopes that the word will trend and gain notary. But it’s not only new words
that have changed, emojies have also made a staple in networking. The miniature graphic
symbols are a new way to address feelings or ideas that words otherwise cannot. Most
smartphones now offer emoji as a language option in the text settings.
Nonetheless, regardless if social media is seen as a negative or a positive aspect to
modern society, it has become the new norm. People no longer need to communicate in person
when it can be done through social media outlets. It is an age where there is less emphasis on
nonverbal cues and more on the words used.