Specialisation: Instagram

Social Media’s Effects on American Culture

Introduction

The case study that will be examined is the impact of social media on American Society from a cultural text approach. Social media has emerged as a potent platform of communication, information dissemination and exchange, and it has brought in sea changes in communication mechanisms and how people interact. This case study focuses on the United States of America a co, a country leading in social media applications globally, and its geographical context. The rise, popularity and dominance of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, marks the sizeable historical context. The socio-political context of this case study is a rapidly shifting environment across American Society, evidenced by differing opinions and interests.

One social media dimension that revolutionized Society is how it has influenced news consumption and information. Traditionally, when consumers wanted to get access to news updates, they positively had a fair share of that prize by going through the newspapers, TV channels, and radio. In today’s context, it is evident that social media platforms have taken up a significant part of people’s time. This has allowed news articles and stories to circulate quickly, as people can now disburse news stories on several platforms. Social media websites have allowed news consumers to target thousands of news and information sources (Rosengard, Tucker-McLaughlin and Brown, 2014), which can be accessed precisely as they like. Social media platforms are integral in forming public opinion on politics, health, and the environment.

Another aspect of social media that has affected Society is how it has allowed people to communicate within different borders. Social media platforms allow people to meet others with the same interests, and sometimes, not necessarily those of the same locality (Kietzmann et al., 2011). This has enabled the formation of online communities with similar values, norms and beliefs. Social media has allowed people to communicate with others they probably would not come across, thus exposing them to a platform for engaging in conversations. It has enabled building relationships with persons who would not have been initially considered a part of the usual social circle, thus giving birth to new ideas, points of view, and even new cultures.

Social media has also changed the perception of how people consume entertainment and popular culture. It has provided a platform for users to access never-ending entertainment content that is usually more common and in larger quantities than traditional media. Social media allows users to personalize their entertainment according to their preferences and chat about it (Liao, Widowati and Hsieh, 2021). With that, people nowadays habitually put their views about the latest flicks, TV series, and music or find new ones through social media, which they might have excluded before. Social media has also opened doors for upcoming artists and creatives to have the platform to showcase their work and create an audience.

Although social media has a positive impact, some negativity has also been brought about. Social media has worsened the problem of misleading information and fake news. Bots and trolls have also complicated the authenticity of online news and information. Social media platforms have also faced criticism for the spread of hate speech and extremist ideas, with some users expressing radical ideas that most Societies do not accept. This set alarms on the danger of spreading radicalization and extremism through social media.

One more adverse result of social media on Society is the way through which it has added to spreading cyberbullying and different types of online harassment (Chatzakou et al., 2019). Social media platforms have been utilized to single out people in light of their race, orientation, and religion, among others. Accordingly, sick-intentioned individuals can maltreat clueless casualties without the feeling of dread about being found out on account of the namelessness benefited by social media platforms. This has prompted concerns regarding the psychological well-being impacted by such an application and such conduct influencing the general public overall.

Besides, social media has been criticized as one of the reasons for modern social isolation and loneliness (Hämmig, 2019). While social media sites offer individuals an interface through which they can communicate with other people from all over the world, it is believed that they weaken face-to-face interactions and, therefore, can create situations where people are deserted and isolated by others. Social media has also been accused of setting unrealistic expectations from life and giving users a sense of inadequacy and anxiety regarding their lives compared to the seemingly perfect lives portrayed on social media.

Even though social media hurts Society, it has some positive effects that it has brought about. The first and most important is the power that accrues to social media users to unite and effect change through social movements. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter eased the coordination of protest movements across geographical boundaries, allowing greater visibility and better recognition of these issues that were otherwise ignored in mainstream media. Social media has also been used to create awareness on issues ranging from human rights to climate change, mobilizing a far, much wider audience than would have been possible for traditional media outlets.

Moreover, businesses have also embraced the use of social media to connect with customers and target a new set of viewers. Currently, most businesses use different platforms offered by social media for their adverts and marketing ventures (Das, 2021). Others use the influencers who help them market their product among a particular group of viewers. Social media has also allowed businesses to build their brand and reputation over the Internet, enabling them to interact with their customers fresh and inventively.

Notwithstanding the criticism labelled against social media, nothing stands ahead of the fact that it is a great networking and relationship-building tool. It allows people to connect and share stories and ideas across broad geographical boundaries, which was before unimaginable. It has enabled others to build their social capital, widen their social networks, and foster relations with others on shared interests and values (You and Hon, 2019).

The influence of social media in politics is a no-brainer. Social media campaigns have become popularly integrated into political campaigns, with many political candidates and even parties turning to social media platforms to incite new interest and followers. Today, during campaigns, advertisements are targeted towards a specific audience, and social media have been used to mobilize supporters and promote commitment to political issues (Sinpeng, Gueorguiev and Arugay, 2020).

Another exceptional effect that social media brought about is how it revolutionized access to education. This has been further complemented by education democratization initiated by various social media platforms to provide courses offered by numerous universities and educational institutions. This brought education closer to people worldwide and helped them acquire new skill sets and knowledge at their convenience and time.

Social media has also had some critical negative impacts on mental health. On the other hand, social media platforms have provided spaces of interaction amongst individuals sharing similar experiences for support networks and awareness about mental health problems. On the other hand, social media has been related to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression, whereby users are exposed to negatively laden messages and pictures.

The impact that social media have caused in Society can also be seen in how it has enhanced the rise of influencer culture (Vrontis et al., 2021). Social media has given power to individuals looking to become self-employed to build businesses around their brands, with influencers able to amass a large Following and secure lucrative deals with brands. This has led to a new celebrity culture and enabled people to create entrepreneurial ventures.

Despite such transformative abilities, social media has been subject to disapproval as it broadens the gap between social and economic classes. Some are granted a better chance at becoming massively visible and successful on these platforms about their talents, while inabilities bind some to never becoming even remotely visible. This has bred fears that the less visible and less privileged groups are getting marginalized.

Although social media can substantially impact Society, there are still issues regarding the ethics of using social media. Social media platforms have faced criticism of user information and privacy, with users concerned about posting their details online and how this may be. Social media has likewise been criticized for its treatment of hate speech, fake news and different types of unsafe substance/content, raising worries about the more extensive effect of web-based entertainment on Society.

With so many people speculating that social media’s impact will only become more inane, it becomes difficult to predict what this could mean for Society in years to come. An issue of concern is that as social media becomes increasingly integrated into one’s daily life, a proper communication approach and generating interactional strategies will be paramount. The opportunities now remain open for these social media platforms to positively affect Society, where people can continue connecting with others in new and meaningful ways and supporting social change.

Therefore, it is prudent for individuals, businesses, and policymakers to still embrace social media platforms by monitoring the impact of the current revolution. Although there has been a tremendous positive alteration in Society due to this revolution, the loss of values within social, cultural and political environments also forms part of the implications of social media today. Therefore, It is essential that the different stakeholders continuously engage in dialogue and debates concerning social media and its future, as well as what kind of Society they can realistically expect.

Conclusion

In conclusion, social media has reoriented how Americans communicate, consume news and information, and engage with entertainment and popular culture in ways that have tremendously impacted American Society. It has also brought significantly favorable societal changes and negative social, cultural, and political impacts. Despite all the criticisms on social media, its transformative nature remains a powerful strength towards social change and inclusion. Society will have to continue monitoring social media and how it impacts Society in a constant process of discussion and debate between people, businesses, and policymakers.

Reference list

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