To begin with, it is vital to analyze Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other’s social media influence on the society overall. Firstly, at the times of global pandemic, it became evident that these media contribute a lot in strengthening communities. The help with grocery shopping or dog-walking was enforced by the ability to communicate with one’s neighbors, and this must be considering a positive outcome of the social media.
Secondly, this phenomenon coins latest trends such as digital death. What an individual’s Facebook page becomes once they are dead? Some consider it to be managed by the family, others discuss the data privacy of the one who passes away. There is also an opinion that people should use one’s page as a digital memorial. Nevertheless, the concept of digital death demonstrates that social media produce new social phenomena.
Thirdly, many are still concerned on the addiction aspect of the social media usage. As the creators of Facebook or Instagram, for instance, claim themselves, the algorithms are supposed to keep one’s attention so that the site was used more and more. Likes and comments are considered extremely addictive.
Moreover, the rise of populism since 2015 is related to the social media, as it is said to overall decrease the level of the popular discussion. As a result, even many developed countries have observed the growth of populists with Donald Trump being elected in the United States or, for instance, Britain leaving the European Union. Finally, the year 2014 demonstrated the way social media can destructively affect the global society when ISIS started its online recruitment campaign that ended up very successful. In other words, social media provoke various changes in the society that can be both positive and negative.
Moving on, any development not only changes some aspects of social life, but it also transforms the way academia understands the society. For instance, the social media have developed the new communicational patterns that experts have just started exploring. Meanwhile, it is interesting that not only did the social media become the critical cause of these changes, but they also are the tools for their analysis. As Wilson, Gosling, and Graham claim in their paper, Facebook provides the social sciences with the new research opportunities (2012). What is more, the phenomenon poses various questions to other academic realms: computer sciences, law, international strategy, or marketing, for instance – there are the specific examples on this slide. Nevertheless, what is important to keep in mind is that science does not just discover answers, but it poses new questions, and this is exactly the model of how it functions when exploring the phenomenon of social media.
Ted. (2013). Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Wilson, R., Gosling, S., & Graham, L. (2012). A review of Facebook research in the social sciences. Perspectives on Psychological Sciences, 7(3), 203 – 220.