Social Media, The Biggest Influencer In Our Lives

Joia Traver, Editor

You’re doing your normal morning routine, get up, get dressed, get breakfast, and get right onto that small colorful app on your phone and start scrolling. Sound familiar? Passing models, influencers, famous sports players, you realize they all have something in common: likes. That’s what defines the amount of a person on social media today, right? The digital acknowledgment from another person that defines someone else’s interests as valid has significant control over what that person might think of themselves. 

According to Statistica, there are around 2.64 billion social media users worldwide, and it is one of the most popular activities online. 

With the evergrowing advancement of technology, society finds itself questioning how it should be grappled in terms of use. Currently, over 100 million people in America alone own an iPhone, which is about 45% of those who own a smartphone. This leaves them to arrive at the dilemma of what kind of power they will have over the device, or vice versa. Along with teenagers, adults have been guilty of being a “phone addict”, and its because telephones are just a major part of our lives. The number of things that are accessible with the swipe of a finger can be credited to the astute development of smartphones, and they really do make life much easier. However, this brings us to the question of if devices are causing society to stray from the genuineness of everyday life. 

“I deleted my social media accounts,” sophomore Rachel Howald says, “I just didn’t want another thing to keep track of.”

Without a doubt, social media has a drastic influence on people’s lives, and it has become one of the main reasons to own a smartphone, second to communication. The question still remains on if it is causing more good than bad. Of course, there’s always the stereotypical example of people becoming a whole new character when on Instagram or Facebook, but the synopsis of why they are doing it may be more interesting. People sometimes feel the need to show their life through a “filtered” lense when uploading a picture of what they were doing, and isn’t that what it’s about? There are so many things readily available when it comes to phones, and adding little touch-ups and filters never seem too harmful. Appealing to the majority has always been a part of human nature, especially in tribal times. “Survival of the fittest”, as one would call it. As it is a part of our past, people are naturally drawn to the group or other people, and this makes the human race try to meet the standards that they feel are projected onto them. So maybe it isn’t so much of a want to try and only show the best of every rather than an instinct.

According to Oberlo Blogs, to 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. 

Online, it has become a lot easier for people to express opinions or share ideals, and that can be a blessing as well as an affliction. Social media has allowed people to bond over similar interests and become confident in themselves with their own beliefs. However, it has also enabled people to express hate speech and say things that wouldn’t usually be allowed in civil society. This is part of the reason why people feel so obligated to only post the best of themselves, because of online bullying and the people that will always find something wrong with them. When a person portrays themselves as someone different, others can possibly use it against them and hurt them in the long run. Once something, may it be a picture or a tweet, is out into the abyss that is the internet, it is very difficult to erase permanently. Through all of this, people still decide to post whatever they want on their own platform because it is a free program, and they should be able to express whatever they please.