In recent years, social media has had an increasingly negative effect on society. People consume more and more information without filtering it and not thinking about quality, which leads to changes in their worldview and lifestyle. The purpose of this paper is to examine how social media affects society. The following keywords were used to search for research material: “social media,” “social networks,” and “the influence of the Internet on society.”
Hemsley, J., Jacobson, J., Gruzd, A., & Mai, P. (2018). Social media for social good or evil: An introduction. Social Media + Society, 4(3), 1-5.
This article is based on several works by various researchers of recent years, who examined different aspects of social network use. Thus, the work is a multidimensional analysis of the positive and negative effects of social media on human life. The negative features include the collection of personal data, inaccurate information, and the frequent use of incorrect labels. Sometimes these factors lead to significant social or psychological problems. However, there are positive features: drawing attention to global issues, enormous opportunities for communication, and benefits for the health of older people. For instance, the authors state that “social media can be used for social good, such as overturning oppressive regimes or bringing income inequality to the forefront of national and international discussions” (Hemsley, Jacobson, Gruzd, & Mai, 2018, p. 5). Thus, the article partly confirms, and partially refutes the thesis statement, as its authors see both positive and negative features in the use of social media. Nevertheless, some aspects were not considered in the article, for instance, dependence on social networks. However, in general, this study is deep and allows a better understanding of social media’s phenomenon.
Jiang, S., & Ngien, A. (2020). The effects of Instagram use, social comparison, and self-esteem on social anxiety: A survey study in Singapore. Social Media + Society, 6(2), 1-10.
This paper is based on a survey of numerous people that helped researchers get reliable experimental results. The authors focus on a specific social network, Instagram, and try to refute the universal stereotype that it negatively affects self-esteem. In the course of their work, they found that there is no direct correlation, but indirectly, social networks can affect social anxiety. This happens when people compare themselves with those who seem more successful on social media (Jiang & Ngien, 2020). In addition, the initially low level of self-esteem also leads to increased social anxiety when using Instagram. Thus, this paper does not confirm the thesis statement but does not deny the connection between social media use and negative mental trends. Given that this work was carried out only in Singapore, it would be interesting to conduct similar studies in other countries. The psychological state of people in the USA or, for example, Western Europe can radically differ from that noted by the authors.
Pornsakulvanich, V. (2018). Excessive use of Facebook: The influence of self-monitoring and Facebook usage on social support. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 39(1), 116-121.
The authors of this article focus on another social network: Facebook. They consider the relationship between self-monitoring and Facebook addiction. Notably, people with a higher level of self-monitoring are more likely to become addicted to this social media. In addition, the more time they spend there, the higher is the likelihood of their dependence. Another trend is a higher attachment to Facebook among extroverted people who have a higher need for self-expression (Pornsakulvanich, 2018). Consequently, in some situations, Facebook can be addictive, which confirms the thesis statement. However, most study participants are not dependent on this platform, which shows that this website can actually be more beneficial than harmful. This paper did not take into account other social media that may influence people more, but it would be interesting to compare them and get a comprehensive picture.