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The Expansion of Social Media

Braedon Harris, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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As we move further into 2018, it seems as if we’re going to see a lot of the same things. More advancements in technology, more people who will be using technology, and easier access to technology in general. This, consequently, means that social media’s influence will drastically expand, affecting more people than ever before.

Some see social media as a positive influence on the way people act and think, but many others see it as negative.

There are many perks of social media use. It allows people to stay connected regardless of distance and even communicate better with those around them. It also serves as a great way to spread news and keep the public informed about current events.

“Everyone’s up to date with what’s happening in the world, because we get news instantly,” said junior Alex Nguyen. “People can also express themselves through the internet in ways they couldn’t do in person.”

Currently, Facebook is the market leader in terms of reach and scope with over 1.5 billion monthly users. It accounts for 21 percent of all social media traffic around the world and far surpasses Twitter’s 320 million monthly users. With such broad outreach, it isn’t a shock that over 60 percent of Americans get their news from social media.

Despite the benefits, there are also many downsides. People who use their phone excessively tend to get stuck on social media for hours at a time. They often find themselves in an endless loophole after taking just a few minutes of break from a homework assignment to check their Twitter notifications. According to researchers, not only does social media lead to a path of distraction and often wasted time, but also to poorer social skills and time management.

“People isolate themselves,” said senior Long Nguyen. “They see things online that really [aren’t] realistic. Let’s say you have a model posting their body picture or Logan Paul. Their stuff online is not like the world outside. You cannot be like him in real life.  So, when you isolate yourself and only see that on social networks, you try to be like that, but it’s not gonna work.”

It doesn’t seem as if social media will die down in the upcoming years, or even decades. The effects, both positive and negative, will continue to intensify. Statistics from Statistsa, a leader in analytics, projects that there will be 2.77 billion social media users by the year of 2019, a sharp increase from the 2.46 billion in 2017.

“If social media use [continues], people are going to do stupid things. They will do the stupid stuff they see on social media,” said junior Omar Ayala. “People aren’t going to be able to think for themselves.”

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