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The Fairy Tale of Social Media Coming to an End

Dear professor, again, thank you for your helpful feedback! I hope that I succeeded in crafting my ideas a little better than in the first draft. I’m eager to receive your feedback. Thank you for a lovely semester!

I am really glad that you made the effort. But I wonder if you would just skim the intro and skim the first paragraph and see which one ‘tells you’ more about what is to follow. It is the second one. So consider just beginning with that one.
Also, your main idea seems to be The Fairy Tale of Social Media Coming to an End (or the romance period coming to an end) because your point in the conclusion is that now people are waking up to its effects as opposed to being carried along by it.
Those are the main things. Here are a few more points:
- It would be good to add a few more course material sources
- This is also in part because a lot of the post comprises chatty anecdotal evidence and sweeping generalizations, eg: Ever since technology started to grow more and more, we were given the ability to access different information and to connect with our loved ones.; People who have accounts on Instagram are persistently trying to make their feed look better, prettier and catchy for someone else’s eye, but is it really the life they are living? Constantly taking pictures of the luxurious places which they visited; the part about girls not being backed up by sources
- There are also points that need to be developed. Eg you raise a good point here but never elaborate: But, at this point, we can be easily controlled, because they know everything about us, right?
- This point is not a very effective development of the Turkle idea because up until this point you were talking about essentially becoming trapped online: Why would we consider technology only as some kind of addiction? Why can’t we consider it as a tool, tool which can help us flourish and become better in various spheres of our lives?
- If you choose that para as your intro then you could relate it to the main point (end of the fairy tale/romance period): a wake up call that we can do more than just “follow”
- I hope this helps you better craft and show off your ideas

Dear professor, I made changes regarding the title, introduction, conclusion and excerpt as suggested. Thank you for the helpful input! If there is anything else that I should change or add regarding my work I am happy to do it.

Before looking into this in more detail note that the title, conclusion, and excerpt give us no idea of what this essay is specifically about. In this course, it was taken as the premise that technology has both pluses and minuses. If that is taken for granted, what can you add to the conversation that is of value? Ways of doing this includes following – in detail, through exploring sources – your line of interest (which will be a general, more abstract idea than the sources which will provide concrete, specific support). See tip #1:
https://interculturalextraneity.com/important/about#week11

For the final assignment I decided to tackle the following prompt: The risks of and ingenuity in social media.

Undoubtedly, the restrictive measures and social distancing due to the COVID-19 had a really huge impact on our everyday lives and it was inevitable that we were going to rely on the technology and different social platforms in order to continue working and studying in a normal way. But on the other hand, important question popped up while I was thinking about how much time we spend on the Internet nowadays, and that is: Are we becoming the slaves of social media and technology? My colleagues from the group plusone made a very interesting point regarding this theme: Because as you all know, during the pandemic, many were given more free time and less opportunity to socialize. Hence, the addiction started growing even more, which led to people becoming more anxious, self-centred and anti-social. Moreover, as schools were closed, new platforms emerged such as Zoom, Discord and etc. thus they are captured from all sides. This statement really made me think thoroughly about the role of social media and other various platforms in our lives. With a single click of a mouse we have the whole world at our fingertips, but that comes at a price.

Social Media Poster

Willingly or unwillingly, we have to admit that even though technology comes with a number of advantages, it also affects our lives in a negative way. One of the most intriguing aspects which is affected by social media is invasion of privacy. “Do you feel safe on the Internet?” is the question which I ran upon so many times. By downloading different apps on our smartphones and clicking I agree without even reading The Terms and the Conditions because we are too lazy, we are permitting someone else to use and even sell our information, as Doctoraw put it: We trade our privacy for services. (Doctoraw, C. 2012) According to him, people don’t even think about the future and consequences that it brings. It is way easier to click I agree thank thinking about what that actually holds. Another good example of how our data is being used for a various purposes is one presented by my colleague nebz who talked about the Instagram Data Policy and how, actually, this particular app uses our data. I was really astonished by how we, as a social community, are not aware of the influence that Big Tech have on us. But, at this point, we can be easily controlled, because they know everything about us, right? My colleagues from the group blake made a connection of a paramount importance between the documentary called The Social Dilemma, which explores the raise of social media and damage it has caused to society, and the ways in which social community is manipulated and controlled by those platforms. The main issue of living in the age of online openness is that we are not really aware of how our information are put out there, in the digital world, for everyone to see them, and ,in that way, use them for a various purposes. As stated by Shoshana Zuboff, a professor at the Harvard Business School, this occurrence is called surveillance capitalism (Carr, N. 2019). To put it simply, people who are prone to overshare on social media are such an easy target for providers to gather and use their data and in the end be totally controlled by them.

Digital Slavery

Another really important aspect which should be taken into consideration while talking about the impact of social media and technology is mental health. Many people, especially younger generations, tend to think about different social platforms and apps as a getaway and place where they can find their own peace and comfort. But, it is not always that comforting in the social community. Adolescents, especially girls in their teenage years, tend to follow different standards of beauty imposed on these social platforms that may or may not be appropriate. As Ntianu Obiora put it: Thousands of Instagram accounts promote images of perfectly sculpted men and women. Whilst we may believe we are mindlessly scrolling through such content, our subconscious is soaking it all up and before we know it, those perfectly formed bodies have become the standard by which we measure everything else. (Obiora, N. 2020) These kinds of standards really affect a person’s body image and self-confidence which can lead to different mental health disorders such as depression, eating disorders, creating negative body image or even suicidal thoughts. According to Jonathan Haidt, an American social psychologist, around the years 2012 and 2013, there was a lot more cases of depression, anxiety and self-harm among the adolescents, especially girls, in the United States and the United Kingdom, just in the time when social media emerged and when it was used among the adolescents on a daily basis. (Haidt, J. & Allen, N. 2020) My colleagues from the group miths introduced a new point of view regarding the connection between social media and mental health and that is the term FOMO. That feeling when you go through your Instagram account and watch others having fun or travelling around different countries and you are stuck in a small room and have to study all day is a sort of envy and it is deeply connected to your mind and mental health. I would like to point out one mith’s statement that really caught my attention: So, are we really scared to miss out on all the good times, or are we just scared that our lives will look lonely and that other people play pretend better than we do? We all do experience some unpleasant moments in our lives, don’t we? As Allison Abrams, a psychotherapist, put it: Others’ lives are right there on our screen to see. Most are not posting the less attractive pictures or the less pleasant moments that we all experience. (Dodgson, L. 2018) But why don’t we post about them? Mostly, people want to show to others how they are happy, but when we think about it more deeply, they want to show others that they are happy while they really aren’t. That feeling of emptiness will never go away just by posting a picture in which you tried so hard to prove your happiness. As Perpetua Neo, a psychologist, pointed out: After you post this picture, ask yourself ‘am I actually really happy with my life?’ Because if your life is led by curating all these pictures, and you’re only happy when posting these pictures, and all the other moments you’re not, then there’s a big void and a big problem. (Dodgson, L. 2018) Social media is not the real representation of the life you are living, it is rather a mask, a really pretty one.

FOMO

And that is why social media is a dead end from which there is no way out. Once you become a part of the social community the feeling of constantly being controlled by the Big Tech or the way in which social media put a strain upon people to be what the social community expect them to be never goes away. With that being said, the negative impact of social media on our everyday lives can’t be controlled nowadays. We created such a powerful technology and now it became so strong that we cannot escape the consequences it brings. The fairy tale called “Social Media” really doesn’t have a happily ever after. It represents a lesson from which it is a high time for people to learn something, rather than play along with it.

A.Š.

This post may be used for research purposes.

References

1. Doctorow, C. (2020, February 11). The Curious Case of Internet Privacy. MIT Technology Review., Retrieved December 21, 2020, from
Source

2. Carr, N. (2019, January 15). Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism. Los Angeles Review of Books., Retrieved December 28, 2020, from
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3. Obiora, N. (2020, September 30). The dark side of social media: How unrealistic beauty standards are causing identity issues. Pulse Nigeria., Retrieved December 28, 2020, from
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4. Haidth, J. & Allen, N. (2020, February 10). Scrutinizing the effects of digital technology on mental health. Nature., Retrieved December 29, 2020, from
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5. Do You Have FOMO? Here Is How to Cope. (2020). Verywell Mind., Retrieved December 21, 2020, from
Source

6. Dodgson, L. (2018, November 7). Half of millennials portray their relationship on social media as better than it really is — here’s why that’s a problem. Insider., Retrieved December 29, 2020, from
Source

7. A post by plusone Source

8. A post by nebz Source

9. A post by miths Source

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