By Lillie Hardy
In America today ninety-percent of young adults are avid users of social media. Nearly all individuals have access to the internet, and with the introduction of smartphones comes a new era of attaining information at the touch of a button. Using social media has exceptional uses, and the benefits oftentimes seem never ending.
Having a platform to connect with others has not only been able to maintain friendships, but create new ones that otherwise would never exist. People of all kinds can log on and find others who share common interests, and creativity and originality is derived from the discussions and ideas that are shared each and every day. However, with all of the positive aspects that come with social media, there are extreme downfalls that impact all adolescent users of social media today.
Social media allows anybody to say anything they want, but from behind a computer screen. This leads to multiple issues, from cyberbullying, distribution of false information, child predators, pressuring others in participation of harmful activities, etc. Many people have been harmed physically, emotionally, and mentally through reckless use of social media, nearly all of them being teenagers or young adults.
An anonymous East Hamilton student shared her own experiences with social media, and how it affected her self esteem and her relationship with her classmates.
“I love social media. I think it’s really fun, and I like to see everything everybody has to say, the places they go...but it was a really easy way for bullies to target and harass me.” The student became emotional, “It was never posted publicly, but there were harsh direct messages about my physical appearance. It was really hurtful, and I was embarrassed on top of it all. I didn’t want my friends to know, so I never said anything. I’m over it now, but it was scary. I hope it never happens again.”
Most of the East Hamilton population is actively involved in the use of social media. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and many more platforms have created a space for community, and many of us feel a sense of unity by being able to communicate effectively this way. However, on behalf of the East Hamilton News Staff, we encourage the smart use of social media, and ask that you all use it in positive and constructive ways that empower and enlighten those around us.