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The online killer

Kaicie Boeglin

Opinions Editor

Photo via Canty Digital

Social media is a ludicrous judgment factory. For every positive notion released, several negative or consequential actions are made. Social media takes away one's time, diminishes their attention span and is destructive to humanity. This is all in means of mindless scrolling and posting, not for use with judicial or supportive motives in social awareness issues.

Apps such as Instagram, Tik-Tok, Facebook and Snapchat have morphed into an attempt for humans to paint their grass greener. If someone doesn't post about a topic, others think that person does not care. If a picture or video wasn't posted, the specified event didn't happen. If someone states their opinion, whether good or bad, they are judged. There is a perpetuated fear of missing out on a topic, ideal, movement or trend. cites, “a study at the University of Pennsylvania found that high usage of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram increases feelings of loneliness. Conversely, the study found that reducing social media usage can actually make you feel less lonely and isolated thus improving your overall wellbeing.”

Social media is addicting and it’s increased usage causes turbulence between the online realm and reality. Social media creates inadequacy about one's life or appearance. Apps such as Facebook and Instagram provide features that allow individuals to earn others’ approval on their appearance. They also manifest body image concerns by promoting individuals to compare themselves to others. Millennials and Generation Z have been raised with a plethora of anti-bullying campaigns, yet every seven minutes someone is bullied or harassed online.

Lifespan reports 85% of all online/social media bullying cases are not addressed. Nine out of 10 LGBTQ students still inheret social media harassment. Some 58% of students do not tell anyone about online harassment since the frequency of the bullying has caused them to believe it to be normal. 5.4 million students (middle school through college) stay home on any given day due to mental stress from online harassment. The depression rate in America goes up with the more people that download social media apps. Instead of showcasing how to help one another, save the planet or support for a social movement, the majority of social media usage is the wrong kind.

Although media outlets are attempting to dilute fake news, advertising and un-researched opinions are catastrophic to our society. Social media is one of the number one sources that citizens retrieve their news from. Due to this, false understanding of cases began to circulate. One to note is that Breonna Taylor did not die in her sleep as many have been led to believe. This case is still relevant today but social media spread around false information. As heartbreaking as the story is, the search warrant for Taylor and her home explicitly identified her address. Instagram fanatics had claimed police initiated their no-knock raid on the wrong address and that Taylor was shot while she was asleep. This false information does not denounce the tragedy in any way, but it does show that social media is how many people get their news today.

If we are to continue to use social media outlets we need to take accountability for our actions. This means think about posts and comments before hitting the post button. Reread your words. Think about how the other side will react. Research the topic and be knowledgeable. If we are the future we need to decide now if we are to continue down this treacherous rabbit hole to a hateful world. We can crawl back out to reality if the efforts are made. Think about a situation from all angles before justifying one prerogative.


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