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Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, and even applications like LinkedIn run the world of communication and social interaction. There are points to be argued for and against the use of social media.

As for the cons of social media, one major point that needs to continue to be discussed is how it results in body and self-esteem issues. Though people are sharing their experiences with these issues, there are still those who lie. They edit their bodies or their backgrounds creating false images. Not only can that be harmful to the individual posting it, but also to children looking at the content with the idea of that image or post being how they should look or talk. The misconceptions of these posts affect not only children but, teenagers and adults as well. It puts these expectations in their mind of what they are supposed to be.

Another point to mention is how much time social media takes away from everybody. Instead of being outdoors or spending time with family, people prefer to stare at their electronics. Then comes another issue where people become dependent upon their electronics in “awkward situations”. These situations could be as simple as going to the bank, waiting for class to start, waiting for dinner at a restaurant, etc. People use social media to avoid social interaction. Avoidance of social interaction for anyone, especially kids, can have detrimental effects on certain skills needed for jobs and brain development.

In regards to children, from the ages of 0-10, they are in what is known as the critical period. During this time, electronics are the worst thing to introduce to their world. This is the stage of their life where they learn how to talk, have opinions, and develop social skills. It has been proven by research that electronics interfere with that growth period. As for adults, though most skills and characteristics are developed, electronics can still affect and limit social skills.

With these applications, one of the major benefits includes keeping in touch with family and friends who are near and far. Think of the current pandemic and when it started, people were and still are unable to see one another for a number of reasons such as distance, health, and financial issues to name a few. No matter the reason someone may not be able to see a loved one, it is overall disappointing and frustrating. With these various social media networks, everyone is able to stay in contact somehow and in fun ways.

Another benefit to having social media is the platform it gives for artistic purposes. There are individuals who enjoy writing, photography, and videography. A majority of these applications allow for creative expression. People also use social media platforms to share experiences. This tends to tie into the first benefit mentioned about keeping in touch with family. While keeping in touch, people enjoy sharing experiences. Instagram, Snapchat, and other applications allow people to share those experiences in a variety of ways.

With all that said, social media has its perks but also its downfalls. One day, instead of scrolling through TikTok or any of the other social media platforms out there, try to read a book, reach out to an old friend, or take a walk. Ultimately, it could change one’s mood and day in a positive way.

Hi everybody! My name is Elizabeth and I am a Psychology major at Grand Canyon University! I aspire to one day be a child psychologist to help the little ones learn how to battle through today's society in a healthy and effective manner. Family and friends mean the world to me so when I am not hanging out with them I enjoy reading, writing, singing, roller skating, and exploring new coffee shops.
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