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Have you ever wondered how fast social media is growing everyday? Social media is basically a gathering of applications that enable people to communicate with one another, trade information, and share photos and videos regularly, often in the context of large networks. Nowadays, social media plays a crucial role in people’s lives and is used around the world. It is especially popular among the young. As it is growing rapidly, more people are joining social media platforms with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat being the main aspect of their lives. Despite the popularity and usefulness of all these social networking sites and how much they are beneficial, social media can, at the same, have numerous disadvantages. This paper is critically analyzing an article written by Jessica Brown on 5 January 2018. The author mainly examines whether social media is bad for you or not by highlighting several points such as: stress, depression, anxiety, sleep, addiction, well-being, and more. While Brown’s article tackles numerous points related to how social media can affect one’s life, this paper will only focus on four points, which are: depression, anxiety, loneliness, and relationships.
One of the main points that was mentioned in the article was depression, and showed how it can be a disadvantage of social media. Depression can be defined as a negative medical illness that affects one’s whole body. Brown (2018) started by explaining how social media can and cannot lead to depression at the same time, arguing two sides. However, the author unsuccessfully discussed this point, even though it explained how it can be a disadvantage due to the fact that it has been proven through several studies that social media causes depression. According to Krylova (2017), several people announced encountering misery and sadness due to the excessive utilization of social media. Brown (2018) provided the article with contradicting points about whether social media causes depression or not, leaving the reader confused. It was mentioned in the first paragraph that social media can be “a force of good” while in the rest of the paragraphs, the author stated otherwise. On the other hand, Krylova (2017) stated that social media was found to be the most significant reason for depression and sadness by both genders altogether, females and males. Which proves that social media is not a force of good. The use of poor wording was present, such as “the study suggested”, giving the audience an impression that the statistics included cannot be trustable. To finalize this point, the author generalized her findings using extremely little statistics, numbers and irrelevant information which gave the article some limitations. There was no concluding statement provided as to whether social media causes depression or not, which can distract the readers.
The second disadvantage of social media that the author mentioned in the article was anxiety. Brown (2018) effectively defined anxiety as a feeling of stress and discomfort, and a problem dozing and thinking. However, this point was unsuccessfully discussed for several reasons, even though it is true that social media leads to anxiety. To a certain extent, contradiction of statements about how social media leads to anxiety were present in the paragraph, which makes the article flawed. According to Fathima et. Al (2018), it was found that anxiety due to social media can be caused from several things, which are: self-presentation, low self confidence, self acceptance, social pressure, not being able to complete anything without checking their phones. Studies prove that the utilization of online networking among teenagers have a negative impact on anxiety and females being the most influenced ones. The author ignored mentioning the main social media platforms as evidence, which are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, according to Lee-Won et. Al (2015), there is a developing apprehension that over the top and uncontrolled utilization of Facebook and other similar social networking sites, not just meddles with execution at school or work, yet additionally presents dangers to physical and mental prosperity, in other words anxiety. Therefore, this shows how the article is missing important information gives the readers the impression that the it lacks credibility since there is neither evidence nor a conclusion as to whether social media causes anxiety or not.
The third point discussed in the article was how social media leads to negative relationships. As Brown (2018) mentioned, social media is interfering negatively in people’s relationships, not necessarily romantic relationships, but all kinds of relationships in general on all levels. However, this is not the case. Relationships can actually be a positive effect that social media provides to the world. According to Matook & Butler (2014), The capacity to accept and form new connections and relationships through social media that links geographic, political, and social differences is a critical driver of social media’s positive transformative effect on the world. As people increase their utilization of online networking frameworks, they will in general, have more contact with their loved ones, bringing about bigger and progressively different social networks. More utilization of social media is related to having increasingly higher social interactions as well as social attachments throughout life. Therefore, social media is a strong tool designed to support relationships as it allows people to interact with each other on a daily basis, share photos, and cross social connections in several ways. Individuals from anyplace can associate with anybody, notwithstanding the area and religion. The beauty of the social life is that you can connect with anybody to learn and share anything.
The final point mentioned in the article was loneliness. It has been shown in the article that social media cause people to become lonely and socially isolated. Brown (2018) stated that several critics believe that social media could make people feel disconnected from their loved ones and excluded from the social life. However, this may not be totally true. A person may be lonely naturally, social media is not necessarily the cause. Social networking sites show no proof of causing ‘loneliness’ — the loss of correspondence with friends and family or even loved ones — as past critics have guaranteed (Franzen, 2000). Since social media plays an important role in socializing, it allows people to actively be engaged, learn new things, and exchange ideas with one another. In the realm of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and numerous other, we have genuinely accomplished associating with individuals from varying backgrounds. This leads them to being confident human beings, far away from the concept of “loneliness” (Akram, 2018). Therefore, social media, through all it’s applications and websites, is a tool for making people connected to each other and affect their social life positively.
To conclude, this paper aims to provide the readers with a critical analysis on an article, written by Jessica Brown, that is talking about a controversial topic on whether social media is bad for people or not and what impacts it has on people. After analyzing and examining Brown’s article, readers should be able to distinguish between the advantages and disadvantages of social media in order to be aware about how it can influence people on both levels, positive and negative. The first part of the paper was talking about the negative effects of social media which are: depression and anxiety. On the other hand, the second part mentioned the positive aspects of social media which are making people connected and less lonely. Hence, to end it up, the article wasn’t rich in providing detailed information about the topic in certain parts, lacked some validity at other parts, and failed to finalize each point discussed as to whether it falls under the positive or the negative side of social media. Yet, it merits reading as this basic analysis or examination will empower the readers to get more into social media as a topic, understand it’s positive and negative impacts, and see it from various angles.
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