Opinion: Social Media Wields Tools for Better Future

The Internets Wide Domain Hosts a Lot of Possibilities

‘The Internet’s Wide Domain Hosts a Lot of Possibilities’

Elise Bowen, Staff Reporter

 

Most teenagers aren’t unfamiliar with the lectures associated with being a user on the internet— after all, it’s a vast place that hosts the opportunity for a lot of danger. 

From a parents perspective, countless studies have found that mental health worsens the more time spent on social media, and many people emerge from the internet with skewed expectations of reality concerning people’s identities, locations, and even physicalities.  

But it’s my belief that social media, although a occasionally a menace, has the potential to be something great. And I think it’s already headed in the right direction. 

Tiktok, an app that’s niche is short videos, came out in 2016. It wasn’t until 2019, however, that the app really solidified it’s grip on the world. It started with dancing videos, now fondly reminisce  by those who were on the app at the time. But by the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the app took a different turn. 

The focus shifted to health and lifestyle, or how to better ourselves with so much time on our hands. YouTube creators like Chloe Ting became popular for their intense workout videos, and then the app took another turn. 

As the Black Lives Matter movement garnered attention in the US, the platform became a place to speak out against social injustice. People of all races and ethnicities began sharing their experiences, their cultures, and their ideas for reformation. 

This, I believe, was a revolutionary shift. Now, almost two years later, the app has become a mix of all the things I listed above. But more than that, Tiktok has become a place to share anything. 

The concept of increased media diversity has shifted to other social media platforms as well. On Instagram, creators have started to speak out against things like facetune and filters, and have started posting their authentic bodies instead. 

Creators like @Claraandherself have taken the world by storm with concepts like intuitive eating and happiness over weight. 

Sure, there are genuine concerns about the intense use of Social Media. It used to be that social media was a threat to culture, as it promoted the rise of globalization, or the uniformity of culture. But even that has begun to change.  @sulheejessica, who makes lunches for her kids routinely, finds it important to share her culture in food. 

Her lunches consistently consist of traditional Korean food, such as kimchi and fried rice. As she packs the food, she tells stories of her childhood, her culture, and how we can be more accepting of other cultures. And 5.7 million people have found comfort in her stories. 

There’s no doubt that social media has been a harmful influence in the past. Maybe it even continues to do so today. But I believe that social media is what we make it. So maybe it starts with posting unedited photos, or just sharing a snippet of our personal lives, or standing up for what we believe in.