Negative Influence of Social Media and Web 2.0 on Society: Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders and Lakshmi Chaudhry

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Maybe a few years ago, people were still strange to the Internet. It seems to be at the top of high technology, which makes many people felt out of reach. But today, it is already in every corner of the society, it is no longer a distant or an unfamiliar thing. In a society with high-speed information circulation, the Internet has become an indispensable channel. However, Internet is a 'two-sided' sword, which has advantages and disadvantages. people believe that social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, have exerted a huge negative impact on individuals as well as society. In the article of the “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Braindead Megaphone” by George Saunders and “Mirror, Mirror on the Web” by Lakshmi Chaudhry all have proven that social media and the Web 2.0 has negative influence of the society.

Web 2.0 is the name used to describe the second generation of the world wide web. It is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online via social media, blogging and Web-based communities. There is no denying that social network has brought us such a great convenience that we are able to contact others anytime and anywhere. Sharing personal feelings with their friends or strangers through words, photos or videos provides social websites users with great satisfaction so that they feel they are accepted by a community to which they belong. People are obsessed with the feeling of being admired by everyone, and as a result of that, many people will pay any price for being famous. Social media often brings the incorrect guide to teenagers. In the reading, “Mirror Mirror On the Web,” by Lakshmi Chaudhry stated that, “Since a key component of narcissism is the need to be admired and to be the center of attention, Generation Me’s attraction to fame is inevitable. “You teach kids they’re special. And then they watch TV, the impression they get is that everyone should be rich and famous. Then they hear, ‘You can be anything you want.’ So they’re like, ‘Well, I want to be rich and famous.’ says Twenge. Or if not rich and famous, at least to be seen.” The fame always plays a big role in misleading society and the youth. The article emphasized that “fame” has mostly impacted children ranging from the range of five to twelve. There are many platforms that people can simply upload videos, some of them luckily got known by the public. People understood that you do not need to have huge contribution to society or be talented to become a celebrity, all you have to do is to grab others’ attention. These factors led those young people to think that being famous is a very necessary thing.

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In contrast with the real society, the network is a 'virtual society' that will affect people's ability to survive in real life. People spent a lot of their spare time on social media so that they are less concerned and pay less attention to the people and things around them. The network information is mixed and flooded, and the spam has an impact on the overall quality of people. In the article “Social Media’s Small, Positive Role in Human Relationships”, Zeynep Tufecki stated that, “What I’ve not seen in the data I look at extensively (national surveys, qualitative research and other accounts) are the significant number of people who were otherwise able and willing to be social face-to-face and are now lost to their devices.” Many people rely too much on the interpersonal relationship of social media, however they lose the ability to communicate with people in real life. Deviating from reality, indulging in the virtual network world has made many people's interpersonal relationships unreal. They are even afraid to communicate with people in reality because building virtual relationships makes them feel more secure, and they worried that their performance in reality is not as perfect as in social media. It is difficult for those who are addicted to social media to clarify whether the “virtual society” that they built up is more important or the reality.

In the article, “Small Change, Why the revolution will not be tweeted”, Malcolm Gladwell discussed that in the past, people joined together to protests because of the encouragement of their friends or acquaintances because they do not have any type of technologies that can communicate with each other other than face-to-face. Like today, before using the internet, people often go out to meet friends, such as in cafes, bars or restaurants. On the other hand, people now prefer to stay alone and chat online. This is a negative development that can lead to isolation, potentially harmful situations and future life problems. As a result, people began to spend most of their time at home alone in their rooms without knowing others. This isolation is unhealthy and can sometimes lead to depression and other problems.

Some may argue that social media can be a great way to communicate easily and quickly. However, the information online could be wrong. Malcolm Gladwell also mentioned this point in the article, “The marvels of communication technology in the present have produced a false consciousness about the past”. Another serious problem is that making friends online can be risky. In other words, people can fake their identity online and hide their true characteristics. This is especially worrying for young people who are vulnerable to danger. In addition, because this interaction is online, so parents can not monitor it and protect their children. Finally, with the advent of forgotten conversations and shared photos, online socialization in a few years may be in trouble. At present, this situation is very important for many people, especially for teenagers who have not carefully considered before releasing the network. That is to say, information posted online can remain there forever, although people can share intimate communication with close friends, but these words may then surface, causing a lot of embarrassment.

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Negative Influence of Social Media and Web 2.0 on Society: Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders and Lakshmi Chaudhry. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Negative Influence of Social Media and Web 2.0 on Society: Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders and Lakshmi Chaudhry.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Negative Influence of Social Media and Web 2.0 on Society: Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders and Lakshmi Chaudhry. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
Negative Influence of Social Media and Web 2.0 on Society: Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders and Lakshmi Chaudhry [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from:

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