“#Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States” is a longer article that touches upon the power of social media in politics through hashtags and the convenience of documentation. The author analyzes the power in misrepresentation of race and how social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, can put pressure on politicians and social movements. Overall, the author entertains the idea of the good in digital protests and hashtag activism, and the downfalls.
Throughout this course, we have discussed articles that debate the benefits and detriments of social media in areas of education, politics, culture, professional lives, and even personal lives. However, in “6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health” contributor Alice G. Walton examines social media’s effects on mental health. The short but sweet article reviews a few recent studies on the negative effects of social media on kids and teens that pose risks to adults.
Walton, a Ph.D. graduate in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, is no stranger to such mental health research. After graduating from CUNY’s Graduate Center in New York City, Walton focused her interest in writing to health, medicine, psychology, and neuroscience. In this article, she associates issues such as addiction, sadness, and delusion to be some of the reasons research is showing that social media may be damaging to our mental health.
Numerous surveys exist that hint at parents worries about the effects of social media exposure on teenagers. This conversation and survey topic exists everywhere. However, in “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers: Experts say kids are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem,” Rachel Ehmke references a UK study that targets the opinions of 14-24-year-olds. The survey results suggested an increase in feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness.
Ehmke, the Senior Editor for non-profit organization Child Mind Institute, researches topics that address issues affecting children and teens. These topics include disorders, learning, media and tech, and parenting. Her understanding of the ties between teenagers and social media is evident as she explicates the risks, and offers solutions for worried parents.
In the article How Social Media Can Affect Relationships, Plus 6 Red Flags to Look Out For psychologist and matchmaker, Sara Altschule discusses her first hand experience with the positive, and negative affect social media can have on a relationship. Altschute proposes that if a person is aware of social media red flags then it is more likely to spot them, and decide how to proceed in the relationship. Altschute provides six social media red flags to be aware of. These red flags are accompanied by gifs, and ideas about how to deal with the issues that arise from each flag.
In her article, How to Keep Social Media From Complicating Your Relationship, published in 2015, Marlynn Wei discusses social media as a source for tension in romantic relationships. Wei tackles a survey conducted back in 2009, which found more time on Facebook is associated with jealousy, and monitoring of a partner’s online profile. This act has been termed “Interpersonal electronic surveillance.” IES is how much of the tension in these relationships are formed. Monitoring a significant others profile can either result in reassurance or distress depending on what is discovered. The act of monitoring your partner can also lead to a lack of trust in the relationship. Wei explores the term IES, and the effect it has on relationships. These considerations lead Wei to four negative monitoring behaviors, and six ways to keep social media from harming your relationship.
This report by Andrei Yakushev and Sergey Mityagin describes the methodologies they used for this professional study where the API provided by social media websites and the postings and habits of social media posters were monitored to mine information about the drug use of populations. With proper algorithms and monitoring, people can figure out information about individuals and communities just by watching social media feeds. Even information like drug use and other habits and data that people would prefer not to be made public can be predicted and analyzed.
While the data mining for this report was merely academic, companies and the government also perform data mining to understand and respond to populations. Through data mining, data that would be kept out of professional realms may not be so easily separated.
Rather than the creation of a singular writer, “Why We Post: Social Media Through The Eyes Of The World” is a single submission serving as an aggregate article showcasing different viewpoints. Featuring mostly video testimony, the primary focus, as the article title indicates, is how social media contributes to or detracts from the education of people around the world.
Social media benefits a Brazilian by connecting him to the accounts, both Facebook and Youtube, of a particular stylist from whom he learns how to cut hair. An educator from England stresses that social media is an invaluable asset that enhances communication between parents, teachers, and students. Social Media’s beneficence is also supported by a young Indian man’s story. As counter-arguments, examples from China and Turkey cite that Social Media is a detractor to education while Italy adopts a contradictory stance, suggesting that social media is a potentially negative influence but encourage youth to embrace the new technology.