Social Media as we (don’t typically) know it

Olivia Lein

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Social media is often seen as this generation’s distraction. Millions of individuals worldwide log onto websites like Twitter and Instagram daily, feeling incomplete if unable to access their profiles.

People frequently turn to their smartphones when in a school environment or workplace to check the latest posts on their social media feeds, diverting from their assigned tasks. However, the utilization of social media isn’t nearly the disturbance from the “real world” that many perceive it to be. Then again, is anything really what it seems?

Social media platforms allow people to have a voice and connect with others simultaneously. Opportunities have risen from tweeting out opinions and posting photos for the world to see.

DeRay Mckesson, American civil rights activist and politician, began the #BecauseofTwitter movement, in which he encourages Twitter users to express the positives that have resulted in their presence on the site. Mckesson tweeted, “Has Twitter changed your life? Have you gotten a job, fell in love, met new friends, gone to school, or something else #BecauseofTwitter?”

The amount of responses to this question was evidently overwhelming, as #BecauseofTwitter quickly became a top trending hashtag. Whether it was a reply expressing a love story that stemmed from communicating on Twitter, or a career opportunity derived from this social media forum, this single campaign proved the impact of 140 characters.

For example, @DanaPiccoli reacted and said, “Twitter completely changed my life. I became a professional writer after finding my place on Twitter.”

Some of the Twitter population touched upon the conversations they have been involved in, as this form of social media urges declaration of viewpoints and communication amongst humans. @vividly_vibrant on Twitter said, “Discussions I’ve gotten into #BecauseofTwitter have challenged me, frustrated me, but mostly opened my eyes to new perspectives.”

Applications like Twitter also aid in efficiently communicating with loved ones who may not live locally, those who you are just meeting, or people you already know. The students of Pascack Hills engage in social media as well, taking advantage of these varied ways to connect.

Sophomore Grady Johnson said, “In using social media, I am able to communicate with my family members and reveal what is going on in my life even when they aren’t there.”

Freshman Sophie Mazzei said, “Before I came to high school, I used social media to meet people who I was going to spend my next four years with. It let me know the kind of people I was going to be friends with, and increased my confidence regarding making new friends.”

Jenna Tocatlian, Managing Editor of The Trailblazer advertises this school newspaper through its Twitter account, proving yet another asset of social media. Tocatlian said, “Through the use of Twitter, The Trailblazer has been able to actively promote up and coming articles and furthermore, school news in an easy and accessible way for every Cowboy to see!”  

Social media opens doors and creates paths that would otherwise be nonexistent. Individuals virtually have the right to depict themselves as far as they want, say what they feel, and touch base with essentially anyone they desire. It’s safe to say our means of communication have grown exceptionally since we simply took pen to paper.  

They say not to believe everything you read on the Internet; however people  should trust that social media has positively shaped society, and this arising era is just getting started.

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