4. Social Media Addiction is not Natural or Normal – But is it Really a Disease?
In a great opinion piece, Roisin Kibert cites interesting statistics and facts that show how addictive social media is nowadays. The author suggests that social media deliberately keeps us hooked and its algorithms (echo chambers) lead to narrowing of perspective and black-and-white thinking, which is common for personality disorders and depression.
Since we recognize the use of social media as ‘unnatural’ and addictive, should the government regulate it? Should it be classified as a disease? Kebert suggests that a practice adopted by 3 billion users may be neither effectively regulated or medicalized; thus, we might do better approaching it as another whirl of evolution.
5. Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences
The article by M.Anderson and J.Jiang is based on the latest Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens and sheds much lights on what social media means for teens omitting the sceptical lense of grown-up population. The statistics shows teens feel the influence is rather positive than negative: social media helps to feel more connected, interact with diverse people, and feel the support of others. It also makes the majority of teens feel included, confident, authentic and outgoing. Nonetheless, social media does make many feel overwhelmed with drama and pressured to post content that makes them look good and gets many likes.
6. Teen Cyberbullying and Social Media
Rawhide has collected the statistics, which is less optimistic: cyberbullying is very much widespread on social media and most teens remain silent bystanders and join in when they come across online harassment. Cyberbullies teens suffer such stress and anxiety and are 2 to 9 times more likely to think about suicide.
7. Liberation Technology
The book is a collection of contributions from prominent scholars and practitioners showing how social media can be simultaneously the tool of liberation and oppression. In particular, social media has been instrumental in freeing Egypt and Tunisia and documenting human rights abuse in Kenya; it has also been used to stifle protests and target dissidents in China and Iran.
8. Hard Questions: What Effects Does Social Media Have on Democracy?
The article by an official Facebook representative is valuable in two ways. On the one hand, it cites the ways how social media can negatively affect democracy: enabling foreign influence, spreading fake news, creating echo chambers when people are only served the viewpoints they agree with, political harassment, unequal representation of the population in public political dialogue.
On the other hand, it shows that social media (Facebook) is aware of the problem and is working out the ways to minimize this negative impact. This can help you argue that social media is not bad per se, just not mature enough to predict and prevent all forms of malicious use.
9. Social Media, Political Polarization, and Political Disinformation
The review of the scientific literature will be particularly helpful for anyone writing a research proposal, as it effectively summarizes previous research and shows many gaps in our knowledge of how social media is linked to political polarization and disinformation.
10. Social Media is an Existential Threat to Our Idea of Democracy
In a powerful opinion article from the Guardian, John Naughton discusses Russian interference into western democracies via social media and shows how seamlessly troll factories undermined trust and polarized the US society. According to Naughton, social media provides ample opportunities for exploitation; if we don’t do anything about it, we can never be sure that what we see online reflects a reality, which further makes liberal democracy not viable.
Writing a social media essay is sure to be an incredible experience. Whatever topic you choose, it will definitely make you reflect on your own social media use and perceptions. If you need help writing a winning social media essay, I would love to help you on an essay tutoring session or by editing your rough draft. Otherwise, you may refer to my trusted partners for custom writing services.