Pro & Con Quotes: Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Maya Dollarhide, writer and editor for Investopedia, stated:
“The term social media refers to a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through virtual networks and communities. Social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content, such as personal information, documents, videos, and photos. Users engage with social media via a computer, tablet, or smartphone via web-based software or applications. While social media is ubiquitous in America and Europe, Asian countries like Indonesia lead the list of social media usage….
Social media originated as a way to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth, or with many people simultaneously.
There are more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world. Social media is an ever-changing and ever-evolving field, with new apps such as TikTok and Clubhouse coming out seemingly every year, joining the ranks of established social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. By 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.
According to the Pew Research Center, social media users tend to be younger. Nearly 90% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 used at least one form of social media. Further, these users tend to be better educated and relatively wealthy, or earning over $75,000 per year.”-
Maya Dollarhide, “Social Media: Definition, Effects, and List of Top Apps,” investopedia.com, Aug. 31, 2021
Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, stated:
“Social media is critically important in giving voice to communities who’ve been systemically excluded from media – people of color, women, LGBTQIA people, poor people. By giving people a chance to share their under-covered perspectives with broadcast media, social media has a possible role in making the media ecosystem more inclusive and fair…
The power of social media to raise money for candidates, recruit people to participate in marches and rallies, to organize boycotts of products or the overthrow of governments is one of the best-documented – and most debated – powers of social media.”-
Ethan Zuckerman, “Six or Seven Things Social Media Can Do for Democracy,” ethanzuckerman.com, May 30, 2018
Joanne Orlando, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of Western Sydney, stated:
“Social media is a platform for sharing ideas, information and points of view. This can have important educational value: it extends the information young people can access while also giving them insight into how others think about and use that information…
For those children who feel marginalised in their local community, social media can help them connect with other people who share the same interests or outlook on life.
In some cases, teenagers with critical problems can turn to social networks for fast support and guidance. There are plenty of groups that offer such help online.
Social media is also an important platform for driving social issues, such as racial issues, to greater national and international attention.”-
Joanne Orlando, “When It Comes to Kids and Social Media, It’s Not All Bad News,” theconversation.com, July 19, 2017
AJ Agrawal, CEO and Cofounder of Alumnify, stated:
“Social media is not always an online distraction or procrastination platform. While some may be addicted to their social media networks, it is one of the best ways to stay informed. Major news outlets, corporations and persons of interest use social media to deliver messages to the masses. With items posting immediately, the public stays informed. Some issues cause controversy, but social media does more good than harm in retrospect…
Although some parents see social media as detrimental to their children, it actually does them some good to have social media accounts. Teens want to be aware and informed just as much as adults. Using social media allows teens to follow organizations and causes that they believe in. It makes them feel like they are a part of something, even when they feel like an outcast in society.
Increased teen awareness is important. Social media is one of the best outlets to reach the minds of young people to make a real difference…
When natural disaster strikes and causes devastating destruction, social media is the ideal vehicle to deliver messages asking for support. Hashtags are created to help Internet users locate related stories and show their support for those affected by the disaster. This helps stories that begin locally to gain national or global attention.”-
AJ Agrawal, “It’s Not All Bad: The Social Good of Social Media,” forbes.com, Mar. 18, 2016
Logan Sachon, Cofounder of the Billfold, stated:
“Alicé is 17 and met her best friend on Twitter… ‘I was lonely before Twitter,’ she says. ‘Without Twitter, I would still be depressed. No one has ever tried to be my friend…’ She connected with a girl online who was going through the same things, and that really helped. She made more of an effort to connect with people at school.
Alicé has had in-person meetings with nearly 20 of her Twitter friends… ‘I would have never met the people I’m friends with without the internet,’ she says… ‘I’ve had the deepest conversations with people I’ve met on the internet… I’ve never had such support from people; I treasure them. I was dumbfounded at how much they actually cared.’
True and lasting connection can and does come from social media — it is born there and it is nourished there. That second world [social media] isn’t a ghetto – it’s not even a second world. It’s an expansion of this one.”-
Logan Sachon, “In Defense of Social Media: Talking to a Teenage Girl About Nancy Jo Sales’s American Girl,” New York Magazine, Mar. 8, 2016
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated:
“Social media sites are fast becoming standard tools for professional practices… The ability of social media sites to spread information beyond the capacity of traditional digital media makes them attractive tools for organizations and individual professionals…
Use of professional social networks affords researchers and professionals the opportunity to share their work across larger audiences of like-minded professionals, fosters the development of new collaboration, and offers a forum for online dialogue among remote colleagues…
Digital and social media are not only acceptable for the modern practicing physician, but have become necessary elements for relating to patients and practicing medicine.”-
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Professional Use of Digital and Social Media,” acog.org, Feb. 2015
Hilary Walters-West, Editor-in-Chief of the Odyssey, wrote in a Dec. 14, 2015 article for the Odyssey titled “Why the Benefits of Social Media Outweigh the Drawbacks”:
“I believe social media has truly made our world a better place and I think overall the world has greatly benefitted from its existence for many different reasons.
In a time where traveling for work has become the norm and so many people are required to be in a different place multiple times each month, social media allows individuals the chance to stay close with their family and friends. It allows them to share what’s going on in their life in the most convenient way… Social media accounts enable people from all over the world to foster and maintain relationships without letting distance become a barrier.
Social media has also created an exciting outlet for people to see news and stay updated on current events in the world…
[S]ocial media has given our society a better way of life and it has aided people in their daily lives. Social media is not the enemy; it is our ally and it has provides us with resources that we never knew before.”-
Hilary Walters-West, “Why the Benefits of Social Media Outweigh the Drawbacks,” Odyssey, Dec. 14, 2015
Victoria Betton, mHabitat Programme Director at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and colleagues stated:
“[S]ocial media are inexpensive and easy to use. They signify a trend towards more interaction whereby people create as well as consume content. It is possible to share stories, produce other content and influence the media environment…
A striking aspect of social media sites such as Twitter is that a spontaneous burst of protest can be initiated by one individual in a single post and widely shared… [S]haring experiences and having one’s voice heard on social channels can create a sense of empowerment – of feeling less alone with a personal struggle, and more confidence in showing a part of the self that might usually remain hidden.”-
Victoria Betton, et al., “The Role of Social Media in Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,” British Journal of Psychiatry, June 2015
Halil Ibrahim Gurcan, Professor at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Anadolu University, stated:
“Social network sites help fulfill communication needs and wants. It is a convenient method of communication and provides the ability to stay connected with friends and family, but on the users own rate and time. Users can manage their interactions within their own schedule by choosing when they want to read and respond… [I]t is efficient because it is a one-to-many method of communication which allows users to quickly spread information…
Social media provides students a new mechanism for a familiar exercise: that of personal expression.”-
Halil Ibrahim Gurcan, “Contribution of Social Media to the Students’ Academic Development, International Journal of Information and Education Technology, Dec. 2015
Leah Klingbeil, Marketing Specialist at LoginRadius, stated:
“What about the good that’s come from the incredible reach of social media? Like… natural disaster response. Tragic natural disasters will always occur, the difference is, we now have a way to respond immediately worldwide…
On… Twitter, 2.3 million Tweets were sent within the first 48 hours of the #HaitiEarthquake in 2010. ‘Survivors took to social media to alert aid agencies of their need…’ FEMA Tweeted during Hurricane Sandy: ‘Phone lines may be congested during/after #Sandy. Let loved ones know you’re okay by sending a text or updating your social networks’…
On… Facebook, 4.5 million status updates contained the words: Japan, Earthquake, or Tsunami on March 11, 2011. Facebook responded by creating a Disaster Message Board, equipped with a SAFE button, which reached 3 million users by April 2011…
Social media networks are the new ‘milk-cartons’ in helping to find missing people. Loved ones and police now have access to hundreds of thousands of people with a single tweet, update, or photo stream. According to the National Centre for Missing or Exploited Children, social media has helped to resolved and recover 98.5% of AMBER alerts since 2005. Tools like SecuraChild, an AMBER alert system powered by social networks, dramatically increases chances of recovery by sending blasts of information to the social platforms.”-
Leah Klingbeil, “Is Social Media Bad for Us?,” Social Media Today, July 1, 2015
Samantha Bradshaw, Researcher on the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University, and Philip N. Howard, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, stated:
“The manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. Around the world, a range of government agencies and political parties are exploiting social media platforms to spread junk news and disinformation, exercise censorship and control, and undermine trust in the media, public institutions, and science…
We have found evidence of formally organized social media manipulation campaigns in 48 countries, up from 28 countries last year. In each country there is at least one political party or government agency using social media to manipulate public opinion domestically. Much of this growth comes from countries where political parties are spreading disinformation during elections.”-
Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N. Howard, “Challenging Truth and Trust: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation,” comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk, 2018
Essena O’Neill, social media celebrity, stated:
“I’ve spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status, and my physical appearance… [Social media] is contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation, in views, success in followers. it’s perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement…
How can we see ourselves and our true purpose/talents if we are constantly viewing others?… Many of us are in so deep we don’t realize [social media’s] delusional powers and the impact it has on our lives…
I can’t tell you how free I feel without social media. Never again will I let a number define me. IT SUFFOCATED ME.”-
Kristina Rodulfo, “100 Shots, One Day of Not Eating: What Happens When You Say What Really Goes Into the Perfect Bikini Selfie?,” Elle, Oct. 27, 2015
Ana Homayoun, Founder and CEO of Green Ivy Educational Consulting, stated:
“Harvard University revealed that it had rescinded admissions offers to at least 10 students who shared offensive images within what they thought was a private Facebook group chat. The students posted memes and images that mocked minority groups, child abuse, sexual assault and the Holocaust, among other things…
Sharing videos, images and memes creates the opportunity for an instantaneous positive feedback loop that can perpetuate poor decision making. In an environment where teens spend around nine hours using some form of online media every day, it doesn’t take long for them to be influenced by an ‘all-about-the-likes’ sense of values that can potentially lead to life-altering decisions…
The combination of social media pressure and an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that helps us rationalize decisions, control impulsivity and make judgments, can contribute to offensive online posts.”-
Ana Homayoun, “The Secret Social Media Lives of Teenagers,” nytimes.com, June 7, 2017
Lindsay Williams, freelance writer, editor, and blogger, stated:
“Whether we like to admit it or not, social media, in all its forms, has taken a toll on our relationships – particularly our friendships…
Social media makes us feel like we know people better than we really do. Let’s get one thing straight: Liking someone’s photos on Instagram does not a friendship make. Genuine relationships take time and communication—preferably face-to-face…
Social media misleads us to believe that we have a large, built-in support system. But that support system is merely a number, not real life… The only real way to foster community is to live life with people over time…
Social media puts up virtual walls. Most of the time, we don’t air our dirty laundry online for fear of what others might think. We only Instagram our best moments and tweet about the most extraordinary few minutes of our day… Yet, it’s only in our mess, in our brokenness, when we can become fully known. The friends who know us best are those who have seen us at our worst—and loved us any way. Those types of friendships are only crafted through the nitty gritty life moments that we’d all be too embarrassed to divulge on Facebook…
We’ve become so obsessed with making sure the story we’re telling on social media looks exciting and beautiful and meaningful that we’ve failed to pay adequate attention to the stories other people are telling. It’s easy for us to be me-focused when social media forces us to play the part. How can we ever be a good friend when we have no room for another person in our carefully crafted lives?”-
Lindsay Williams, “6 Ways Social Media Is Ruining Our Friendships,” Relevant Magazine, Dec. 29, 2015
Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, journalist, and President of Mind, a UK-based mental health charity, stated:
“[L]et us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists… the ghastliness is absolutely the same…
But you’ve let the trolls and nasties win! If everyone did what you did, Stephen, the slab-faced dictators of tone and humour would have the place to themselves. Well, yes and they’re welcome to it. Perhaps then they’ll have nothing to smell but their own smell.
So I don’t feel anything today other than massive relief, like a boulder rolling off my chest. I am free, free at last.”-
Stephen Fry, “Too Many People Have Peed in the Pool,” stephenfry.com, Feb. 15, 2016
Suren Ramasubbu, President and CEO of Mobicip, a company that makes parental controls for phones, tablets, and computers, stated:
“Difficulty in self-regulation, lack of awareness of repercussions of privacy compromise and susceptibility to peer pressure are listed as reasons for teenagers’ cavalier attitude towards online risks such as sexting, cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content as they navigate the tricky waters of social media…
[T]he risks of Internet and social media to teenagers is just as real as the risks in society. Cyberbullying, in the forms of name-calling and gossiping, spreading rumors, making threats or otherwise sending malicious messages through emails, message boards and social media, has augmented offline bullying and estimates of the incidence of cyber bullying range from 23 to 72% in various studies… Exposure to age-inappropriate content is another serious risk because it causes much damage to an age-group that is already prone to sexual uncertainty and uncommitted and possibly unsafe sexual exploration. Dangerous communities that support self-harm activities, such as anorexia, drug use, and such other disruptive concepts are also serious pitfalls.”-
Suren Ramasubbu, “Teenagers and the Internet,” Huffington Post , Apr. 7, 2015
Imogen Farris, Staff Writer at the Odyssey, stated:
“[S]ocial media is turning us into people I really don’t think we want to be. Each and every day, people are constantly sharing, posting and tweeting. We’re becoming glued to computers, phones and tablets, always wanting to know what the people around us are doing. There are so many social media sites today, and honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the effort to try and keep up.
Facebook is hands-down the number one culprit of taking our attention and causing us to live vicariously through others. We become ‘friends’ with people we don’t even know just so we can share pictures of our daily lives and like statuses that don’t even matter. It’s become a platform for people to judge and even be cruel to each other. I genuinely don’t think people would behave this way if they weren’t safely behind a keyboard.”-
Imogen Farris, “I Hate Social Media and You Should Too,” Odyssey, Aug. 17, 2015
Theo Priestley, former VP of Marketing at Software AG, stated:
“Social media has turned a lot of us into a reflex-based automaton…
It’s become easier to scribble a couple of sentences for all to see rather than pick up the phone and have a real conversation with someone on the other end. And what’s actually pretty frightening is how we’ve come to accept opening our front door to the world as the norm…
Social media has turned the art of expression into a post-it note…
Social media is an addiction, but not a good one…
Social media is rapidly becoming as bad as smoking for the human condition…
Social media is just another habit to kick.”-
Theo Priestley, “Is Social Media Just Another Bad Habit To Break?,” forbes.com, Aug. 13, 2015
Joseph Dana, independent freelance journalist, stated:
“Social media encourages aggressive discourse. The louder one is on Twitter, for example, the more followers and attention one receives. The more dramatic the update on Facebook, the more ‘likes’ it will get.
Given the brevity of Twitter and its inherent commodification of discourse, deep discussion is discouraged. As such, social media provides the illusion of empowering users when in fact it merely entrenches their views, silos them with like-minded people and encourages rude exchanges with adversaries. The American novelist Jonathan Franzen, known for his critical views on the internet, has called Twitter the ‘ultimate irresponsible medium’ for these reasons.”-
Joseph Dana, “Social Media Increases the Volume, but Not the Debate, The National, Oct. 18, 2015
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