The other day while I was binge watching Netflix -as one does after a stressful day of work- my mom walked by and murmured something that really stuck with me. As she held a basket of laundry she stated ‘You’re so addicted to that social media and technology stuff’. For most this would come off as a snide remark and nothing more but for me personally, I couldn’t stand it. The thought of someone marking me off as ‘one of those technology addicted kids’ really ground my gears. After some thought and deep consideration, I realized that I don’t mind being labeled as ‘one of those kids’ and here’s why. Despite all of the negative connotations, the internet paved my future.
I know it’s a little dramatic to start, but hear me out. Today’s society has never been as advanced as it is now. With every possible idea, creative thought, online sale, or service, one click away, the internet is a social conglomerate. According to Ragan Communications Inc, Google translates roughly 69, 500,000 words every minute. For most this statistic is simply incomprehensible, but for an avid media junkie like myself it’s life changing. With over 300 hours of video content uploaded to ‘Youtube’ every minute it’s no surprise that the effects social media can have is life changing. Throughout my 4 blog posts, I will be talking about 4 different positive impacts social media has had on society. As a millennial I can attest to most of the things I will be posting about.
To start off, let’s talk about the effect it has on young people. As stated in its name, social media is a way to connect with others through digital means. With most platforms opening their services to young teens, the idea of ‘connecting’ with friends and creating a digital identity is now an instrumental part of their growth. According to the PEW Research Centre, over 80% of adults between the age of 18-29 are avid social media users. Although the demographic from this statistic is higher than what I was originally looking for, the ‘coming of age’ aspect still applies. To go back to the comment my mom made earlier, although I personally don’t agree the report from PEW Research Centre shows that factually she may be onto something. The case study mentions that just over half of the 18-29 demographic says they would find it very difficult to disassociate from their accounts online. By visiting and using these sites or apps daily or more frequently, I believe teens and young adults are becoming addicted to the complete access rather than the internet itself. With new platforms and ways to connect created every half a decade, creating a new digital identity and becoming ‘addicted’ to the likes or content posted online has never been easier.
With insurmountable new content being posted online every minute, it’s not a surprise that young people are becoming attached to their devices at all times. It’s a before bed scroll, on the toilet check and between class browse that causes said addition to the digital lifestyle. Although it would be hypocritical for me to say that I am not guilty of all of the above, I am not going to sit here and say that I am not appreciative for what the internet has brought me.
Within seconds people can find their classmates and connect, create memories and share them with distant relatives and more importantly the internet allows people to be whoever they want to be, regardless of their physical personas. So to conclude, yes I’m talking to you baby boomers and beyond, when you see your daughter, son, niece or nephew furiously typing away on their gadget of choice, just know that when you were furiously playing on your Macintosh 128K your parents thought the same!
If you want to have your mind blown definitely head over to Youtube and check out the link I’ve attached here: 5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now