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The Student News Site of Thomas B. Doherty High School

The Spartan

The Student News Site of Thomas B. Doherty High School

The Spartan

Social Media. Fun or Dangerous?

A History of Social Media
Ryland Deegan
Doherty students on a break at the Doherty cafeteria on their phones

On January 1st, 1983 the internet was first invented. For a long time, it was mainly a place for research and not too accessible to the general population. However, that all changed. Since its inception, social media has gained immensely in popularity. It ingrained itself in our lives in ways you may not even expect. Everyone is on social media; if you’re not on it, chances are you’re watching it a lot.

The first social media site was called Six Degrees and was invented in 1997. Here you can make profiles and chat with friends. Soon after MySpace was invented and made a splash as a successful social media platform.

Soon after in 2004, Facebook was invented and with it Social Media effectively became mainstream and ever-growing in popularity. Twitter and YouTube were released in 2004 and 2005, respectively, spiraling from there.

Now there are so many social media sites that you can be on one all the time. Some people are. It’s easily accessible, exciting and entertaining. For some who haven’t had luck socially in real life, it is also a way to talk to peers and make friends. For these reasons social media is great but there are downsides.

Being on the internet all the time can take you away from real life. You may need help making meaningful connections with people. You also may need help with focusing when everything you see is cut into a one-minute or less video.

Social media also can cause a lot of stress. Students had this to say on Social Media’s effects. “I think negatively only because people don’t know how to look away and not accept what people say. Like the block button is available,” sophomore Layla McLoyd says. Blocking someone or taking a step back is a good idea if you feel like you are being talked to in a way you don’t like.

The societal need to have a certain number of followers and to get as many views as possible may cause you to feel sad and depressed. On the flip side getting those views can make you feel happy and validated. In this way, it’s almost like a drug always drawing you in and making you want to post more so you can get that validation you need.

Social media also is one of the main forms of bullying now for this generation especially. Making fun of someone and relentlessly tearing them apart is easy when you’re hiding behind your screen and can be anyone you want to be. The rule of if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all doesn’t apply on the internet and if you post something someone doesn’t like they will happily tell you what they think. It’s one of the reasons social media personalities get canceled so often.

“Cancel Culture” is also a big thing online. With your entire life broadcasted everywhere one slip-up and the social media dynasty you’ve built can all come crumbling down. With this, you can quickly go from one of the most cherished people in the world to one of the most despised in the world. Anything you say will be watched and everything will be made public eventually.

Millennials were the last generation to be born before the age of the internet. Gen Z and Gen Alpha were both born entirely within it, particularly Gen Alpha. Everything they watch on the internet and everything they pick up is causing them to have trouble in school. After all, they are the generation famous for both iPad and Sephora kids and social media is a big reason why.

Social Media has also made crime easier. Many people are gullible and with a large enough social media presence hackers and scammers can access everything about them. They can see into their life and weaknesses. They can get credit card numbers and things like that easier.

So is social media bad or good? Sophomore Sam Mculler says, “I think it’s more negative because there is a lot of misinformation on social media and because it causes people to develop addiction, depression, and anxiety based on what content they see.” Junior Kayleigh Caudill says, “I can say both. It impacted it positively because it can very much bring people together and open up more communication. However, it can be negative because of stuff like cyberbullying.

On the one hand, it provides a source of entertainment and can bring real joy as well as being a place to express your interests and get to know people just like you. On the other hand, it can be a place where you get bullied and judged for everything you do. A place where scamming and cruelty can become easier, Whether you think social media is good or bad one thing is for certain is that it’s changed the world forever.

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About the Contributor
Ryland Deegan
Ryland Deegan, Staff writer
Hi, I'm Ryland Deegan. I'm a sophomore and a new member of The Spartan newspaper staff. In my free time I like reading, writing, and watching horror movies.

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