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I do not have social media. Why? It is a decision I have taken as of now. Am I against social media? This is an assumption and question I get asked quite often by people your age. And my answer always is “No.” Then, eleven out of twelve times they would question me, “So, why don’t you have it?” I simply answer, “It is a choice I have made.”
Ironically, I am from San Jose, California: the bride of Silicon Valley. It is also known as the tech capital of the world where the transistor was first invented. I am making the assumption that you did not know that, or know who William Shockley is. And if you did, that is be-a-utiful. However, I am sure most, if not, all of you who read this know what Facebook is. What Instagram is. What Whatsapp is. I bet you even know the “dead ones” like MySpace and Vine. Heck, we can go on and on about the numerous social media applications that have revolutionized our world completely over the past two decades. But I don’t want to; I am pretty sure you don’t want to either.
So, let’s go back to the prompt. How much time do you (I) spend using social media? I don’t: period. I am 110.7% positive I have answered the other two questions by addressing the first question. And yes, I, like you, fellow peers, have to answer this prompt–which does not pertain to me–somehow at a minimum of five hundred words. Now, those obsessed with dog filters (Snapchat) and are reading this; I hope you have realized this response is atypical to your animated tongue standards. And if you have not, woof woof wake up.
You’re still here? Pat yourself on the back and eat a Snickers. I highly recommend you don’t do this simultaneously. If you do, well, go ahead and knock yourself out while you’re at it. Moving forward, I will address why I am not against social media for the 23,001th time. I appreciate the art of using hyperboles. What can I say? Anyway, I firmly believe social media has done good for our world to an extent. It, nevertheless, is a double-edged sword. And that’s life folks. The positivity: it has brought a tremendous amount of social awareness into our worldwide community. Prominent issues such as terrorism and climate change are thankfully being addressed due to the immense power social media platforms possess. Activism is a beautiful thing everybody. If it is done for the right reasons. And I will leave that to your own interpretation. Another positive? Social media is an effective business tool. Ever thought of being an entrepreneur? This is your happy place. Like my twelve year old cousin would say, “I am going for the big bank baby!” I can guarantee almost all Fortune 500 companies have this same twelve year old mentality for that specific matter. Let me emphasize: only in this specific matter. Now, these two positives could be switched to negatives 0 to 100 real quick. Thank you @champagnepapi. How do I know this? I have friends, believe it or not.
Let’s start with how social awareness could be bad. Wait, what? Social awareness bad? Blasphemy! In honor of Stephen A. Smith, you’re wrong on this one and here’s why: the same way social media could promote social awareness of how terrorism is a nuisance; as an example, the platform allows accounts of terrorist groups to become active which can manipulate others’ social-consciousness into believing their misappropriated message. According to The Telegraph, ISIS extremists and Neo Nazis continue to spread their disgusting lifestyle to others on social platforms such as Instagramdespite Facebook failing to battle their propaganda. No one ever needs to encounter or be aware of such monstrosity.
What about businesses? To be more clear, what are the negative effects of social media on business? I will only give you a reason for the sake of time. Just imagine running your own company. And your company, I would believe has employees: let’s say a thousand. I guarantee at least one of them has a personal social media account. This hypothetical person is in fact very active on his or her socials. He or she then decides one Sunday afternoon to post or comment something distasteful according to societal standards. This employee not only will get bashed by others in the cyber community, but also, his or her actions can potentially damage your company’s image. Now you may ask, how in the world can one social account damage my business! The answer is simple. The employee you have hired like the other 999 represents your company, your brand, your image. Customers of yours, who are active on these socials, potentially come across your employee’s controversial social activity, and they know they work for you. Well, my friend Godspeed. The task of tracking the social media activities of all of your employees is difficult especially if you are Jeff Bezos with over 800,000 employees working for you. So you as the head must at minimum make it clear to your clients and employees that company matters are strictly private. In other words, you, as an employee or just anybody, accepts to give your rights away of privacy once you enter the social media world. Yes, this also includes so-called private accounts.
Manuel Cabello, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: How much time do you spend using social media? Has usage gone up or down since the onset of Covid-19? Why? The class covers copyright and social media. Manuel is a Media Production major.
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