Social Media – Friend not Foe

As digital natives, it is in our nature to defend the digital world we live in. In contrast to Carr’s The Shallows, dana boyd takes our side and gives us detailed arguments for justifying and supporting something as prevalent as social media within her book It’s Complicated. Social media is not the end of humanity but simply a form of communicating and socializing. It is true for most teens including myself that social media channels can be simple outlets for expression. However, as the days go on, it is becoming increasingly evident that these different social media mediums/channels are the tools we may use to our advantage in order to fulfill a specific objective.

In Chapter 3 on Addiction, boyd talks about all the opportunities social media provides for all and how teens can gain the most knowledge from it. I heavily enjoyed all her points specifically on page 95 where she states that “…teens need to learn how to engage in crucial aspects of maturation: self-presentation, managing social relationships, and developing an understanding of the world around them.” We can do and gain so much more from social media outlets such as Instagram and Twitter instead of effortlessly posting the meal we ate that day. It is up to us to take control of our lives and realize how lucky we are that we can legitimately put ourselves out into the field of work we choose to work in by promoting ourselves online. Our presence/presentation of ourselves on social media can make or break future job prospects and it is up to us to know how to strategically maneuver ourselves around the online social presence.

Within the Look and Listen audio post, on The Anthropology of Social Media it is discussed how social media provides greater control in communication. Everything we post onto social media is purposeful. The audio post also touches upon the fact that we feel a pressure to have a social media presence. Similar to the high school student boyd interviewed, Amy, whom felt that technology was her way of connecting to a world expanding greater than the constraints of the walls within her house. Aside from our personal pressures and desires to have a social media presence, we must acknowledge that there is so much you can do with social media and the minor things where and when to post could actually be major in the long run. An easy example of social media being used for more than just a frivolous purpose is how we use it in our class. We have a class hashtag and with that we can attain and gather all sorts of information with any regards to our class. We must take control of our social situations and the platforms that are so easily at our fingertips.

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Author: Isabella D

I am a senior at the University of Delaware, studying English, Advertising and French.

6 thoughts on “Social Media – Friend not Foe”

  1. I like how you bring up that there is a whole power of social media that we have yet to unlock. We can use social media for educational and professional purposes, but we mainly use it for social purposes. While the name social media in itself suggests that we should use it for social purposes, there are so many factors of it that we do not take advantage of, or maybe don’t quite yet understand how to use.

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  2. I completely agree with the line “we feel a pressure to have a social media presence”. Many people treat their facebook and instagram pages as resumes for their lives, showing off places they’ve been and people they’ve met. If you don’t have a curated selection of pictures and posts about your life at your fingertips, how can you compete with those who do?

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  3. I agree with your point that it is entirely up to us to choose how we decide to use social media: will it be for something meaningful or will it be something silly like posting a photo of our meal? Regardless, the fact remains that we are always actively choosing how we want to be represented in real life by posting in a virtual space. That being said, I do believe that some actions we take on social media have a greater socializing effect than others.

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  4. Isabella, I agree with everything you say in this clearly written post, but . . . I’m not sure what you want me to listen for in the audio file you link to. It’s 10 minutes long! Bring me to a moment in those ten minutes that relates to the points you’re making. ~Joe

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  5. Nice use of audio here, and I agree with the notion that every post is meaningful, whether we recognize it or not, Care needs to be taken on social media

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  6. Like I said in my post and like most of you agree with, there are so many different ways to use social media whether it be professional or educational or simply for fun. Whether we choose to have one or not, our social media presence is a way we communicate who we are and it all depends on how much we care about how we portray ourselves.

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