Is Social Media Still Social?

Posted February 22, 2021 by Jasmyne Harris

Swipe left, swipe right, like, follow, share, subscribe, repeat. People are no strangers to social media and the major influence it has in our everyday lives. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, our phones are within reach and social media apps are buzzing.

Amid COVID-19, social media numbers have skyrocketed. The Harris Poll found that in late March and early May, 46% to 51% of adults in America were using social media more since the pandemic. With being trapped in the house and having little outside interaction, these numbers are fitting.

There were a few social media apps that benefited from the pandemic. The video-sharing app, TikTok, grew to become a quarantine favorite. Users can upload videos and share with like-minded friends all across the globe. Clubhouse is an invitation-only app that allows users to connect with others for audio conversations. I’m not sure my phone’s data can keep up with the new trending social media platforms.

While these apps aren’t new, they did receive a facelift and added new features. Instagram now has a movie or “reel” feature that allows users to upload videos to share with anyone. Some say Instagram is trying to keep up with its new cousin TikTok, but who are we to judge? Twitter also added a new feature,”highlights,” to allow its users to engage in snippets of content. Whether you’re out with the old or in with the new, social media is here to stay.

Some people have sworn off social media for various reasons, and if you’ve watched any documentaries, you can understand why. The Netflix show, The Social Dilemma (2020), explains just how invasive and powerful social media has become. Ever wonder why ads pop up on Facebook after doing a Google search? There’s a reason for this. Another social media based documentary, Fyre, a failed music festival, is a prime example of real versus reality. Remember, social media doesn’t always portray real life.

Social media can be overwhelming and consuming, but there is a lighter side. Through platforms like Facebook, MySpace (hey Tom!) and apps alike, people have reunited with lost-long friends and family. Extensive searches and shares have allowed users to reconnect with one another. This may not have been easy or possible to achieve without the help of social media. 

No matter if you’re a TikTok-er or Facebook scroller, always allow time to unplug and reconnect with yourself. The apps will be there, but your sanity may not. 

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