After all, social media has left a huge impact on most of us. For some of us, a part of our lifesetyle involves the social media. The social media websites helps us to communicate with our friends and families easier, especially if they are out of the country. Websites like the facebook is used by many and it allow users to upload pictures and videos for them to share with anyone.
Websites like Youtube, is a very useful source for online exhibitionism. Anyone can easily expose themselves via Youtube with the intention of getting famous (Alexander, 2006). Most people does not like the idea of sharing their personal life. However, that is not the case these days. People are blogging and video blogging, also know as Vlog, to share their daily lives with their subscribers on Youtube. There are also people who showcase their talents on Youtube. Some are discovered by television or movie producers therefore changing these users from being famous on online media to mainstream media (Kamp, 2008). There also users who were not chosen by television producers but still continuously uploaded videos for their subscribers. According to the theory of micro-celebrity, even though they are not a film star, they are also not just an ordinary person as their life are exposed to the public (Thompson, 2007).
An illustration showing the the micro-celebrity theory
Why is the social media trending? This is because of the mass society theory. People join social movement assuming that it offers them a sense of belonging, usually to satisfy their psychological needs of belonging to something that is larger than themselves. They want to gain a sense of identity and purpose. They do not want to feel left out when the majority of people are already part of the social network.
Apart from the reason stated above, social media is also an improved version of the traditional media. Traditional media is unidirectional as viewers are not able to give their feedback while social media is quite the opposite. As long as a person creates an account online, they could give feedback and ideas. They could even interact with each other. Moreover, this is made easy with modern technologies these days. People no longer need to just depend on the computer in order to surf the internet. They could do so through their mobile phones. Huge social media websites usually have another version of their website specially made for mobile phones.
The mobile phones are known to be human’s best friend. But they will not be one without the existence of social media. Many years back, the mobile phones were just made for calling and texting. Today, the mobile phone is everything to us. With the many applications users can download from the application store, they could mostly do many things such as, searching for directions wherever they are and many more. A part of these users are hooked to their mobile phone because they do not feel lonely even when they are alone. Even the way people text each other is not the same. There is an application known as ‘Whatsapp’ available on all smartphones. Users can text, send images, videos, audios and even maps locating where they are to anyone. This application requires the use of an Internet otherwise the app will not work. Users are attracted to it as they could send anything without having to pay extra. This is different as compared to the traditional way of texting where one has to pay extra to send pictures and videos.
The popular culture has influenced many viewers, dividing them into the likes and the hates respectively. For example, when a music video on Youtube starts to get millions of viewers, there will be people who love it and there will be those who hate it. Those who love it will give encouraging comments while those who hate it will criticize. This will be a disadvantage, as other people will be influenced by the comments given. If a user sees a criticism made that he agrees with, he will then start to give hate comments in the future to anything he dislike on the website. This goes with Albert Bandura’s social learning theory where one will follows an action upon seeing one.
However, in my opinion, social media cannot be blamed for the disadvantages listed. It is not the reason why people are misusing it. The way people use it depends on individuals. Therefore social media can also be used to engage its audiences to raise awareness on the dangers of internet. In conclusion, despite the bad effects social media have contributed to, it has much more positive impact on people and I could see the social media lasting for a very long time.
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Brian Alexander, (2006). The thrill of putting it all out there.
Retrieved from http://www.today.com/id/14061673/ns/today-relationships
Clive Thompson, (2007). Clive Thompson on the age of microcelebrity: Why everyone’s a little brad pitt.
Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-12/st_thompson
David Kamp, (2008). Requiem for a Micro-celebrity.
Retrieved from http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/10/ashe200810
Mass Society Theory – http://www.newinfluencer.com/mediapedia/mass-society-theory/
Myspace celebrity photo taken from
Microcelebrity photo taken from http://www.top100influencers.com/?attachment_id=641