Social media undoubtedly plays a disruptive role in our society. For ages, we have been familiar with a saying that goes “Excess of anything is bad”, this is the sole reason why social media is a matter of discourse today. For all intrinsic purposes, the job of social media was to connect, and to connect people across the world easily and effectively and to be honest social media, despite its negative connotations in the contemporary world, has unequivocally lived up to those expectations.
Social media has not been in existence just from the 2000s era but has been there in our society from the early 1830s. But the major criticism of social media is to be seen in the context of the21st century, as it in this period of our history, when we have for the very first time seeing the ugly side of social media obsession and its subsequent effects on our youth, the 21st century is the era of technology and social media is one of its primary components, the issue is that social media apps do not come with a ‘manual’ per se and hence the majority of our millennial population does not know how to use this tool efficiently and are eventually becoming a slave to it, surrendering their true identity in the face of social recognition and a sense of pseudo-social validation, devoting hours on end to such apps on a daily basis.
Some of the other arguments that people make are that the depression rate among millennials has significantly increased, also that it has become an advertising platform being used by big companies rather for the use of a common person, and also that it has started having a negative political impact since it even indirectly incites people for terrorist activities and so on. Now the point is that do all of the above arguments qualify for social media to be called a destructive platform or the critics are still unable to unfold the hidden potential it possesses.
We are now living in an information era where access to technology has become a basic necessity of every human. Technology is to make lives easier and since we are getting technologically advanced, it implies that we are en route to making our lives as efficient as possible and social media is one of those tools which has helped us tremendously in making our lives more efficient.
All the above arguments that are against social media and call social media destructive are ill-informed and baseless. The use of social media for political advantages and advertising is not at all destructive but rather constructive, and the purpose of political practices and advertisements is to reach people and this is exactly what technology helps us in doing, reaching out where most of the people are active and present nowadays, which is social media. It has its advantages in every aspect, it is low in cost and hence it is available to the masses
And the fact that it has increased depression, is not something new. Most homo-sapiens are biologically programmed to be innately jealous of their peers as their peers help set up a standard of comparison against which they evaluate themselves and their personal and social identity hence we cannot call social media destructive just because people watch their peers doing better and get depressed. All these arguments are not well-thought-out and put forth only a general conceptualized notion of social media mostly propagated by old individuals as they perceive ‘technology’ to be the evil force behind all the wrongdoings of
Tools are not constructive or destructive in and by themselves, but the way they are made out to be. It just depends on the way it’s used; a knife can be deemed constructive when used in a kitchen to cut fruits and the same knife can be deemed destructive if the person commits a homicide, so do we start protesting on the streets, calling for a ban on knives? No, right, then why don’t we extend the same argument to social media as well, just because some people misuse it, that doesn’t make the entire structure wrong, does it?
In the end, I would just like to say that rather than discussing the constructive and destructive aspects of social media and debating about it, we should focus on teaching the youth about the constructive usage of a tool called social media.