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Eric Elias

Reflection Paper

Online technologies and innovations have changed how people interact and socialize with

each other. Social media has allowed for new ways for people to interact and do business.

Different sites are growing every day and have changed the scape of social interactions. Social

media has been growing exponentially. New sites and new additions pop up every day. Social

media has provided a lot of advantages but has also led to some negative effects. These changes

have led to a subculture of teens that obsess over social media.

It is no secret that social media continues to grow, As of January 2009, the online social

networking application Facebook registered more than 175 active user (Kaplan, Haenlein

2010). The number is even higher now as more and more people join social media sites. Twitter,

Snapchat, and Instagram are also very popular social media sites that continue to grow. Every

minute, ten hours of content is added to social media (Kaplan, Haenlein 2010). More and more

people every day rely on social media for news and entertainment.

Social media is a booming, growing industry with the potential to make exorbitant

amounts of money with its services. Social media has provided jobs for people. Companies hire

employees to run and monitor social media accounts. It has become a very serious business

strategy for serious businesses. Even local and small businesses have taken advantage of social

media to get their product out into the market. Social media has also expanded the tools and

strategies for communicating with customers (Mangold, Faulds 2009). Social media has wide

access to a variety of online forums, blogs, and other ways to communicate with consumers.

Instantaneously, businesses can get their message out to millions of followers all over the world.
The most successful businesses seem to have a strong social media presence. It appeals to a lot of

consumers.

Not only has social media allowed for new opportunities of connection to friends and

even people one does not know, it has become a subculture. Social media has allowed for people

to achieve stardom through being an online personality. As learned from class, people have found

ways to make money off of free sharing websites. These web celebrities gain fame and followers

in order to build up their brand. As the brand is built up they acquire advertisers that pay to use

their videos as platforms for advertisement. These web celebrities try to help other struggling

web celebrities by promoting each other. It seems like a great model, people helping people, but

ultimately the real winners are the advertisers, raking in most of the money.

The positives of social media are clear but there are negatives that can come from

it. The boom of social media has led to a reliance on it. Face-to-face communication has become

almost a secondary to communicating digitally. Today, also, teens are sharing more information

about themselves than ever before. Normally this information would be kept secret. According to

PewResearch:

o 91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.


o 71% post their school name, up from 49%.
o 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
o 53% post their email address, up from 29%.
o 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.
o (Madden 2013)

It seems like there is now a generation of attention hungry teenagers that need to post things

online in order to feel good. Social media has created teens who are obsessed with their online

reputations and take unnecessary steps to ensure that they look cool online. There seems to be

an interest in likes. These teens will determine their online reputation on the amount of likes that

they have. According to Pew users will manipulate their profile in order to increase likes, as
well as remove photos with too few likes (Madden 2013). Parents are becoming increasingly

more concerned about advertisers access to their childrens information. Teenagers obsessed

with their online reputation can lead to unwanted information being posted online. Unwanted

online information can lead to trouble, as 19% of teens have admitted to regretting something

they had posted or sharing (Madden 2013).

On top of a clear oversharing of privacy, social media can lead to a number of other

social problems for those who overuse it. Social media provides a block between people and face

to face communication. Out in public, one can see that most people are using social media rather

than looking up and talking to those around them. These kinds of people are going to struggle

with interpersonal face-to-face communication if habits do not change. The family dynamic can

also suffer changes as children would rather sit and look at their phones than spend time with

their family. In a way social media allows the public to be more social by giving more mediums

to connect with others, but without any medium, people seem to be unsure of what to do.

Clearly social media has led to a revolution in the communication age. It is no doubt that

it has had positive implications on society. It has added a whole new dimension to how people

communicate, consume products, do business, and consume content. Social media seems to be

less of an issue for people who are mature enough to handle it in the proper way. Teens however

are simply not educated enough to know the risks in posting information that would otherwise be

private. They are also unaware of how advertising companies can use what they post to learn

more about them. Social media adds a lot to the communication age. It is a positive thing, but

must also be treated with common sense.

References
Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., & Beaton, M. (2013).

Teens, social media, and privacy. Pew Research Center, 21.

Mangold, W. G., & Faulds, D. J. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion

mix. Business horizons, 52(4), 357-365.

Chicago

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and

opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.