Essay on Informative Speech on Social Media

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Ding! You look down at your phone and see a notification that someone else has just liked the picture you posted. You open the app and see your photo has already received over 300 likes in less than an hour! How many of us have obsessed over how many likes we can get on a photo? I know I have. For almost as long as I can remember, social media has been a large part of my life. I can recall times when I was in the 6th and 7th grades trying to take cute selfies to post on social media. As all things do, social media has evolved. In the very beginning, there was Six Degrees, whatever that is. I’m not sure too many people know of this social media platform, however, it was the first ever to be created. Then came MySpace, which I believe people are more familiar with. Facebook came quickly after and now there is Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and so many others. We live in a society where teens and young adults are attached to our phones and constantly on social media, “Increasingly children inhabit a world dominated by near-constant social engagement through digital means,” (Anne Longfield). It is what we have been exposed to all of our lives, and because of this social media is part of who we are. It affects who we become, “ Digital and social media technologies are an integral part of children’s identities, experiences, and development, and digital citizenship plays an increasingly important role in people’s lives and is a critical component and a distinguishing factor that shapes children’s identities and their future opportunities and life outcomes,” (Claudia Megele). If something has a significant impact on our lives we should know what and how it is affecting us. Especially considering social media hurts the society of teens and young adults.

A huge issue among young adults and teens is cyberbullying which is easily done through the form of social media. What is cyberbullying? Another form of bullying, “a person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons’,” (Claudia Megele) only in this instance it is behind a screen. It can be done from hundreds of miles away with just a click of a button. I have been a victim of cyberbullying (which I’m sure many of you can attest to having experienced this at least once) and let me just tell you it is not a pleasant experience. I fell victim to someone spreading rumors about me. Once the lie had been told it spread like wildfire through social media. Within a few hours I was receiving texts, chats, DMs, all of the above, from my peers, people I thought were my friends, calling me awful names. My reputation was called into question and I was completely mortified. Something so important to me was being tarnished and dragged through the mud and there was nothing I could do. I felt helpless and cried for a couple of days. This was a minor incident that happened to me, I know that other peers have experienced much worse happen to them, “60 percent of teenagers have experienced some sort of cyberbullying. 70 percent of teenagers have reported someone spreading rumors about them online.” (Website) Over half of teenagers say they have experienced some form of bullying online! Receiving these types of attacks can take a serious toll on the lives of young ones and can lead to hurting mental health like depression and anxiety.

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Unfortunately, the effects of cyberbullying can be short-term and/or long-term. It goes beyond just “feeling bad” about yourself, it goes deep and touches the sensitive parts of who you are. With cyberbullying there is no escape, it’s not like you can just go home and avoid the bully. There is no break from it and people can say something they would never say in person. They can even do so under false identities. In a survey from 2017, 26 percent of young adults said they had suicidal thoughts, 37 percent said they developed depression, and 41 percent said they developed social anxiety, all due to having been cyberbullied. (Ditch the Label) When the rumors were being spread about me I did not want to talk to anyone about what was going on. I was so embarrassed and ashamed I didn’t want anyone in my family to know what was going on, and I felt I didn’t have any friends I could trust so I completely isolated myself from everyone. Depression as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is, “a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies,” (Webster Dictionary). Some studies about social media and mental health have found a correlation between social media and depression. Some may even go as far as to say that social media causes depression, “A 2018 Lancet Psychiatry study2 of 91,005 people found that those who logged onto Facebook before bedtime were 6% likelier2 to have a major depressive disorder and rated their happiness level 9%2 lower than those with better sleep hygiene did,” (VeryWellMind). When we spend so much time scrolling away on social media we can begin to feel left out, this is called FOMO (fear of missing out). I have found this can lead to comparing what you have or your life to the lives of others, in turn, you can begin to feel sorry for yourself or just wish you had what others had, “Ultimately, limiting one’s time on social media can mean not comparing oneself to others and, by extension, not thinking badly of oneself and developing the symptoms that contribute to depression,” (VeryWellMind) The way I see it, the less time you spend on social media the less likely you are to become depressed. Not to say that there aren’t other causes of depression, however, social media is something many of us are actively attached to. Therefore, we know that social media is a consistent factor in the majority of our lives. We get sucked in by social media and lose ourselves easily.

It is so easy to fall into the endless trap of social media, “The news feed just rolls on, and everything's bottomless: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, text messaging, the news. And when you do check all sorts of other sources, you can just keep going on and on and on,” (TedTalk) for myself, TikTok is my kryptonite. I could sit on my phone and watch TikTok videos for hours on end, no joke. Not only do I spend hours on this one app though I then rotate between Snapchat and other social media at the same time. Social media is addictive and you may be addicted to it without even realizing it. Social media addiction is defined as a behavioral addiction of being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it decreases the importance of other life areas. I know many of us have become concerned with how many likes a picture gets who’s seen my photo, or the constant need to always be checking social media. “Social networks are physically addictive as well as psychologically. A study from Harvard University showed that self-disclosure online fires up a part of the brain that also lights up when taking an addictive substance, like cocaine,” (Keepitusable) therefore, social media can become very addicting. The more we use social media the more it becomes a part of us and our daily lives.

Many like to believe social media is simply an extension of ourselves and “our lives”. We use social media to share memories we are making with friends and family with those around us for so many to see. We can talk to friends and family, near or far, meet new people, and so much more. You may be able to keep others up-to-date about what’s going on in your life or what you've been up to, and how you’re doing, however, how much of that is real? You can go on social media and pretend to be anything you want. You can go on social media and portray yourself to have some perfect, happy life, when in reality you’re miserable, and going on social media is only making it worse. You can go on social media and you can “touch up” your photos so much that by the time you’re done with it, you don’t even really recognize yourself. You may look at photos of others and although you know that the photos are edited and may not be 100% accurate, we still tend to compare ourselves and our lives to others. It is simply in our nature to do so and, “Even if you know that images you’re viewing on social media are manipulated, they can still make you feel insecure about how you look or what’s going on in your own life,” (HelpGuide)

When you analyze the magnitude of the effect social media has on our young lives and what it’s doing to us, it makes you question if it is worth it. No, it is not. Social media is dragging us down, making us more depressed, and causing long-term damage. I believe we need to limit social media in young lives to better our future.

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Essay on Informative Speech on Social Media. (2024, May 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-informative-speech-on-social-media/
“Essay on Informative Speech on Social Media.” Edubirdie, 20 May 2024, edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-informative-speech-on-social-media/
Essay on Informative Speech on Social Media. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-informative-speech-on-social-media/> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
Essay on Informative Speech on Social Media [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 May 20 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-informative-speech-on-social-media/
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