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For a long period of time, there has been an ongoing debate on whether social media is beneficial or detrimental to individuals. With controversy and extensive research on the topic, social media and its lasting effects remain a controversial topic. So on what end of the spectrum does social media really lie on? In today’s modern world, which is practically run on social media, what are your thoughts on the topic? Let’s discuss the topic as we attempt to answer these relevant and thought-provoking questions. 

1. Do you think there are benefits to posting and liking content on social media? If so, what are they? 

Social media is an outlet open to all forms of expression, creativity, and individuality. So when we think of the benefits of social media, what comes to mind? I think of influencers, content creators, bloggers, etc. Social media content inspires those aspiring creatives who have a passion for creating all forms of content. Therefore, one of the main benefits of posting social media content is the spreading of inspiration to others.

hand holding cell phone with social media apps open
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Whether it is through empowering messages, inspiration from following entrepreneurs, bloggers or influencers, many find inspiration. Liking content is also a positive thing as it helps those who make a profit off of social media continue creating content for people to benefit from. An example could be a blogger who creates “presets” for followers. Presets are filters created through a special photo editing software called “Adobe Lightroom.” By creating presets for followers to purchase or obtain for free, the blogger is sharing it with others who are aspiring bloggers. A big factor in managing a successful social media account is content; with content comes aesthetically pleasing photos. These presets could be used by these aspiring bloggers and allows them to get a kickstart on the blogging process, as brands tend to reach out to those with a large following and good content to collaborate. These are some things that come to mind when I think of benefits associated with social media. What did you think of?

2. Why do people “follow the crowd” on social media? 

There is no correct answer here, but chances are that it’s due to social psychology. If we look at it from this standpoint, we can determine that people are easily influenced so they tend to follow popularity and trends. With social media comes criticism and many are likely to follow the crowd; for instance, to like pictures that already have many likes because it is what is expected of them to do as society promotes popularity and trends. Another factor to consider is peer-pressure. It might sound initially odd, but this is a thing most common in teens and young adults. Someone might like a popular photo because many of their peers liked it, and to gain the approval from friends.

phone with social media displayed on screen
Erik Lucatero | Unsplash

3. How do you think it makes people feel to like something that is already popular? 

The reasoning behind this could most likely be to feel accepted by society and by others. In a way, it is likely to make someone feel a sense of belonging. 

4.  Have you ever liked or followed something online just because it was popular with others? 

It happens to all of us. At one point in your life, there must have been a time when you did this which is normal. However, there is a possibility for addictive and harmful tendencies with this. If this becomes continuous, issues like chronic comparison, identity problems, and low-self-esteem can emerge. 

5. How do feel when you receive a lot of likes on something you post?

This is another area to self-evaluate and assess carefully. Whatever your answer was to this question, it serves as a key indicator of your relationship with social media. It can help you determine whether it’s a healthy one or is becoming/already is a detrimental one. 

woman in a white shirt holding her cell phone in front of her
Kaboompics .com | Pexels

These are some questions that can allow us to formulate an opinion on the controversial topic of social media and can help us identify what type of relationship we have with digital media. While there lies countless benefits and disadvantages associated with the use of social media, the topic is likely going to remain one of the on-going debate. However, sitting down with yourself and asking yourself questions like these will help you make healthy and conscious decisions about how you use social media. It will create a conversation to identify what reasons you use it for, determine how it is affecting your well-being, and identify whether it is ultimately something that contributes meaning into your life.

Gemma is currently a senior at Florida International University studying Social Work. She is passionate about helping others improve their quality of life and is a big self-improvement enthusiast. You can often find her reading personal development books, listening to podcasts, or on Pinterest creating boards on self-growth and self-care. She enjoys fashion, interior design, and writing. She believes in a life full of finding gratitude in the little things, human empowerment, and wholeheartedly loving what you do.
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