Social Media Role in Promoting Patient Care
Social media utilization for both health and personal usage is on the increase. It incorporates social networking sites ranging from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and blogs, among other platforms. Social media plays a vast and crucial role in serving patients. For instance, it enhances their autonomy by complementing the information given by the healthcare professional and offering psychosocial support. In addition, social media usage by the patient can help healthcare professionals give patient-centered care through virtual sharing. According to DeBronkart’s (2014) Ted Talk, social media offers patients a platform to interact in real-time around various health-related topics. The patient group has greatly benefited from social media use for health purposes. According to Chen &Wang (2021), about 67% of all internet consumers in the United States use platforms of social media to consume health content. Patients can utilize social media for various purposes, such as engaging with peers for support, sharing their experiences, information networking, tracking personal progress for their health, goal setting, and patient education, among others. Hence, digital strategies, including crowdsourcing, social media, and mobile phone devices, can offer patient health information in real-time, anywhere, and in specific contexts.
Nevertheless, social media use by patients does not only provide beneficial effects. It may incorporate a challenge within the healthcare system ranging from misinformation, patient privacy concerns, and subject on ethical issues. Thus, therefore this essay will focus on the role social media utilization has on patient care by reflecting on various Ted Talks.
Patients utilize social media as a tool to share medical information online. Today, social media are offering a platform to discuss medical conditions remotely. According to Heywood (2014), most patients and their families establish interactive communication online where they share information concerning their medical conditions, symptoms, and recommended treatments which help offer education and encourage patient empowerment. The patients tend to share their medical information by establishing forums encouraging discussions and knowledge discovery on various conditions. Drawing from the TedTalk titled “The big idea my brother inspired,” Heywood has developed a website called PatientsLikeMe, which contains 45000 patients with various health problems. Heywood utilizes the website by sharing the story and health experience of his brother, who succumbed to ALS. The interactive forum fosters patients to share their medical data in real-time, such as symptoms, treatments, experiences, and other recommendations, encouraging other patients and improving their wellbeing. When patients learn that other individuals are suffering from the same ailments, they tend to have lower anxiety levels, and their overall health improves. Therefore, the multiple social media platforms utilization in health is mainly for accessing education and resources by patients and providers.
Social media also provides a platform for patients requesting medical advice, feedback, and reports on personal experiences from individuals with similar illnesses. According to Giustini et al. (2018 there have been increased support initiatives online that assist patients in seeking social support, consolation, and connectivity with the rest, which improves patients’ empowerment and awareness. Research depicts that over 1 million members with breast cancer exist in a Facebook group where they help with social support. Numerous patient group says that social media is a powerful tool for patients with cancer, weight management, and depression, among other conditions. Drawing the Ted Talk titled “Meet e-Patient Dave” summarizes the need for the patient to seek answers online, seek peer support and utilize the recommended healthy practice to improve their health and wellbeing by utilizing their medical data. DeBronkart offers a brief history of his kidney cancer and how the doctor concluded that he would only live for 24 weeks. This prompted him to seek information online from credible sources on the prognosis of kidney tumors and available cures. Unfortunately, no cure was found for the disease. His daughter helped in the search for help in an online community that deals with cancer patients. She found helpful help that would be effective in improving his lifespan through the use of a particular medication. Through that information, his lifespan improved as the tumors’ levels kept decreasing drastically.
Furthermore, DeBronkart (2014) emphasizes the need for healthcare professionals to provide data information to patients. Patients using this medical data can seek vast information from the e-patients and better information that would save their life. Dave gives an example of a particular woman whose husband succumbed to kidney cancer. To help advocate for other kidney patients, she paints a picture of an individual and writes down some basic data about the patient since she argues if doctors provide data of what the patients might e-patient, they could use that data to their advantage, which would save lives through patient sharing information in e-patients lab. Dave also stresses the need for software engineers to develop a full body scan in 3d that would help patients do a thorough body check to determine any abnormalities that would make them seek medical attention on time. Therefore, using e-patient online sharing platforms can assist patients in getting better alternatives to medication and practices, improving their wellbeing and quality of life.
Social media aids patients in seeking online medication care, which improves patient-centered care. Patient empowerment has greatly influenced patients to seek quality care. According to Dishman (2013), nowadays, patients use social media to communicate their condition with the doctor virtually, seeking online consultation and seeking advice, and health information. Drawing from the insights from Ted Talk titled “Healthcare should be a team support”, Dishman stresses the importance of reinventing the healthcare system through disruptive innovations. Dishman offers an example of how online medication and diagnostics have helped him improve his quality of life. He says that when he was first diagnosed with kidney problems, doctors gave him a living schedule of three years at maximum. However, when he decided to take control of his life, he was able to seek online care and accurate diagnostics using innovative scanning devices. He argues that traditional healthcare is founded on traditional diagnostic frameworks involving passive patients, diagnosis assumptions, and incorrect medication and treatment plans. He stresses the need for current healthcare that involves care anywhere, care networking, and care customization. Dishman (2013) advocates for care anywhere, which means a patient does not necessarily need to be taken to a hospital clinic for diagnosis and patient, but the use of technological devices and hand-held devices such as mobile phones with ultrasound scanning apps may serve the purpose of the diagnostic accurately and in real-time. This would reduce bacterial infections that one may contract in a hospital clinic setup and transmit to others, which necessarily implies expensive costs in seeking care, unlike when the care is given at home.
Dishman (2013) also emphasizes care networking in reducing patient medication errors. He gives an example of how one day he developed increased heart palpitations which several doctors, after checking-, ruled out to be heart problems and prescribed medication of the same treatment thrice. But upon seeking the help of an online doctor, the physician determined that Dishman had no heart problems, but the palpitations were due to a case of an overdose. He, therefore, argues that if the healthcare system were reinvented in such a way that care networking would be available through the coordination of caregivers, many patients would not receive wrong diagnoses and medications, ultimately improving their wellbeing and health. This kind of care would also include social care, which encompasses even care provided by family members. Care customization is another essential thing in reinventing the healthcare system. Traditional healthcare depends on guesswork in diagnosis and treatment since the clinical trials performed on a population fail to target a specific patient but represent diverse patient needs. Dishman argues that through technology such as AI, data mining, and data analytics, the diagnosis and invention of medicine will target individual patients depending on their specific needs, thus improving care customization. For instance, the technological use of genome sequencing helps offer a computerized diagnosis and correct medication for a specific patient’s illnesses. Social media can increase innovations through the recruitment of clinical trials and research collaboration. Therefore, with the unveiling of multiple healthcare technologies, it is worthwhile for all individuals to save the lives of one another.
Lastly, social media utilization can serve as a tool for social mobilization. Social mobilization of available online resources, especially AEDs for cardiac arrest patients, can help improve emergency cases. According to Rumsfeld et al. (2021), crowdsourcing, social media, and mobile phone applications can play a significant role in resource social mobilization as they give information in real-time, personalized geography, and specific location with specific location relevant health content. Drawing from the Ted Talk titled “Crowdsource your health,” Engelen (2014) emphasizes the need to crowdsource in the healthcare system. Crowdsourcing helps engage a wide array of the population in network connectivity in emergencies and increases understanding of health conditions, especially in cardiac arrest patients. Mobile devices can help improve emergency care, such as providing support in terms of patient education and crisis communication in emergency medical events. Engelen (2014) poses a sample of quizzes on where one can find AEDs to save a life, but the audience needs to learn. He, therefore, continues to elaborate on how crowdsourcing of information through the use of a website and an iPad application for augmented reality helped locate the nearest available AEDS within the Netherlands that could help in saving lives. Therefore, more innovations in mobile applications utilize AEDs registry data to locate AEDs that are near the bystanders or new ones through augmented reality.
Nevertheless, social media increased usage by patients in seeking answers, sharing information, sharing experiences, and peer-to-peer support has brought several challenges. One challenge patients experience is misinformation. Patients, when using social media platforms for purposes of health, may encounter misleading information about their health conditions (Rumsfeld et al., 2021). Since the internet is accessible to everyone and anybody can post any information on various health topics, patients may consume misleading content from individuals who may pose as professional healthcare. Unqualified individuals can give out false information on a certain illness which may have a different perspective and vary based on culture and location. Therefore, false information may affect the patient’s well-being and can lead to adverse patient outcomes. The other challenge is concern about patient privacy. Several patients may hesitate to share their personal stories, experiences, and medical data for fear of confidentiality. Drawing insights from the Ted Talk titled “Let’s pool our medical data,” Wilbanks raises a concern about patient privacy regarding the use of patient data in research hypothesis anonymously. Wilbanks (2014) wonders why a patient is urged to sign informed consent to protect the patient’s privacy. However, the same content can be found on the online platform and in research cases, meaning patient privacy is violated. He, therefore, argues that patients need to be empowered with accurate and updated information about their health to make fully informed treatment decisions, as their autonomy should be valued. Therefore, patients need to be educated on how the internet works in adhering to social media HIPAA guidelines to protect their consent and medical information.
Social media utilization for purposes of health or personal usage has increased since its emergence. Patients can now use social media platforms to interact, share experiences and stories, seek support, and educate one another on health conditions. Patients and families with specific health issues can get and offer information content that supports those with similar conditions, such as learning about others’ symptoms, diagnoses, and medication. This helps in creating patient empowerment that has positive overall benefits in improving health and quality of life. The use of mobile phones, crowdsourcing, and social media are among the disruptive innovations modernizing the healthcare system for improved patient-centered care outcomes. However, the challenge of misinformation and patient privacy is not exceptional in the use of social media. Patients are educated on the responsible usage of social media for better outcomes. Therefore, social media helps patients engage in patient interaction, patient empowerment, and social support, among other benefits that improve their overall care.
Chen Junhan & Wang Juan. (2021). Social media use for health purposes: Systematic review. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156131/
DeBronkart Dave. (2014). Meet e-Patient Dave. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. https://www.ted.com/talks/dave_debronkart_meet_e_patient_dave
Dishman Eric. (2013). Health care should be a team sport. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. https://www.ted.com/talks/eric_dishman_health_care_should_be_a_team_sport
Engelen Lucien, L. (2014). Crowdsource your health. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. https://www.ted.com/talks/lucien_engelen_crowdsource_your_health
Giustini Dean et al. (2018). Effective uses of social media in public health and medicine: A systematic review of systematic reviews. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194097/
Heywood Jamie. (n.d.). The Big Idea My Brother Inspired. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. https://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_heywood_the_big_idea_my_brother_inspired
Rumsfeld John et al. (2021). Use of Mobile Devices, Social Media, and Crowdsourcing as Digital Strategies to Improve Emergency Cardiovascular Care. AHA Journals. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000428
Wilbanks John. (2012). Let’s pool our medical data. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. https://www.ted.com/talks/john_wilbanks_let_s_pool_our_medical_data
Media Analysis and Plan
This media plan is developed in response to the promotional campaign for the BC Lions football team. The purpose of this media plan is to develop an efficient and effective campaign that will reach the target demographic and increase attendance at games. This plan will include a detailed description of the target demographic as well as a comprehensive analysis of the media landscape, including paid, owned, and earned media. In addition, this plan will include a proposed budget breakdown, recommended steps for measuring success, and a detailed blocking table to illustrate when and how each approach will be used for maximum effect.
The primary target demographic for the BC Lions promotional campaign is sports-loving Vancouverites between the ages of 25 and 45 who are unfamiliar with the team; the objective is to make these individuals acquainted with the Lions and acquaint them with the joy of engaging with a BC Lions game first hand (Tougher, 2022). This population seeks qualities such as convenience, affordability, recreational appeal, and an atmosphere of fellowship when determining which sports teams they wish to associate with (Rogerson & Rogerson, 2020); as such, the BC Lions must effectively promote these principles in order to draw in their target population (Fuller, 2020). Similarly, advertising campaigns must amplify the additional advantages of being connected with not just a successful sports franchise but also an emblem of hometown pride (Chang et al., 2019). In order to emotionally bond fans to the team, the team itself must be showcased in all communications (Velicia, Toledo & Palos-Sanchez, 2020); highlighting sentimental images and stories of tradition and community will allow fans to view the team as a part of their own culture, rather than just another professional sporting club (Jin, Xiao & Shen, 2020). Furthermore, making activities and engagement opportunities for local residents, such as fan-based competitions, discounts for special events and outings, and exclusive rewards for regular attendees available through effective outreach methods akin to digital marketing or experiential campaigns, can also broaden fan engagement and loyalty (Feeney, 2021). All of these methods can unite fans with titleholders in an environment that exudes team spirit, enthusiasm, and wholesomeness, ensuring that the core values held by each are sustained and grown over time (Odunze, n.d).
For this target demographic, traditional media such as radio, out-of-home advertising, print media, and television will be utilized as these mediums provide the most cost-efficient and effective method of spreading the message to the local community (Bharti & Kumar, 2020). Vividata research further revealed that this demo watches TV during prime time at least once per week and tunes into radio programming several times per week (Vega, 2022). The research also indicated that this group uses online resources, including social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, regularly, thus providing additional avenues for marketing efforts for the local Lions sports team (Cook & Milburn-Curtis, 2023). What is more, utilizing high-profile events such as press releases and special occasions in the local area is a great way to draw positive attention to the organization while also creating earned media to increase the team’s visibility within the community (Weaver, Moyle & Mclennan, 2021). With a comprehensive media mix of traditional, digital, and earned media, the Lions can reach their target demographic with maximum efficiency and effect (Liu, Gupta & Patel, 2021).
Budget Allocation & Media Analytics
The campaign budget for this initiative is $250,000 for the Greater Vancouver region only. Of this amount, $75,000 has been allocated for traditional media (print, radio advertising and out-of-home), $75,000 for paid digital advertising (sponsored search, programmatic ad buys using data-driven targeting tactics), $50,000 for social media campaigns (organic posts targeting this segment across platforms), and $50,000 for earned media materials (press releases and special event activations).
Calculations such as reach, frequency, impressions, and CPM have all been calculated, given the proposed budget allocations included in an appendix at the end of the report. Overall given current market conditions along with the proposed channels chosen based on research into consumer habits, it is estimated that at least 80% of the target demo in Greater Vancouver can be reached with several weekly exposures to messaging through both online sources such as social networks along with traditional approaches also.
Blocking Chart & Measuring Success
In terms of timing of execution, messaging should begin in March 2023, leading up to the opening day of the season start, and then continue until the season’s conclusion ending in late December 2023. In order to gauge the success of this campaign, attendance should be measured at games before, during, and after the campaign as well as any spike in season ticket holders (Claybaugh, 2020). Furthermore, tracking sales conversions by channel, website/social engagement relative to benchmark as well as general brand awareness/sentiment ratings relative to benchmark data also helps determine how successful various components of the campaign were relative to each other when ranked and then used in further executions or applied elsewhere (Bhatta, 2022).
Through extensive research into consumer habits and data analytics, market research with the use of traditional, digital, owned, and earned sources proposes a well-rounded, balanced campaign utilizing the maximum budget available while targeting desired consumers efficiently and most effectively. Using a combination of different sources leveraged together efforts should result in people engaging with the product on a more personal level through the emergence of an interesting story, not just bombarding advertisements leading to increased attendance in games and season ticket holders but also related spikes in general sentiment around brand overall.
Bhatta, I. (2022). Optimizing Marketing Channel Attribution for B2B and B2C with Machine Learning Based Lead Scoring Model (Doctoral dissertation, Capitol Technology University).
Bharti, P. K., & Kumar, A. (2020). Traditional vs. Digital marketing: a comparative study. ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 10(12), 16-26.
Chang, M. J., Schneider, R. C., Connaughton, D. P., Hager, P. F., & Ju, I. (2019). The effect of nostalgia on self-continuity, pride, and intention to visit a sport team’s hometown. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 23(2-3), 115-131.
Claybaugh, E. (2020). The Use of Social Media to Advance Sports Marketing: The Atlantic Hockey Conference.
Cook, C. E., & Milburn-Curtis, C. (2023). Sharing for sustainability: relating independent community news management practices within digital platforms. Journal of Media Business Studies, 1-19.
Feeney, L. (2021). A Study of the effects of web-based media platforms and how they can be of benefit for League of Ireland (LOI) football clubs in increasing fan loyalty/engagement and fan community (Doctoral dissertation, Dublin, National College of Ireland).
Fuller, S. (2020). A Player’s Guide to the Post-Truth Condition: The Name of the Game. Anthem Press.
Jin, L., Xiao, H., & Shen, H. (2020). Experiential authenticity in heritage museums. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 18, 100493.
Liu, R., Gupta, S., & Patel, P. (2021). The application of the principles of responsible AI on social media marketing for digital health. Information Systems Frontiers, 1-25.
Odunze, J. A. Semiotics of Indigenous Anioma Dances of Southern Nigeria. International Journal of Current Research in the Humanities (IJCRH), 361.
Rogerson, C. M., & Rogerson, J. M. (2020). Camping tourism: A review of recent international scholarship. Geo Journal of Tourism and Geosites, 28(1), 349-359.
Tougher, S. (2022). The Roman Castrati: Eunuchs in the Roman Empire. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Vega Murillo, L. (2022). The Canadian Contradiction: Perspectives of Multiculturalism, Immigration, and Discourses of Othering in Canada.
Velicia Martin, F., Toledo, L. D., & Palos-Sanchez, P. (2020). How deep is your love? Brand love analysis applied to football teams. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 21(4), 669-693.
Weaver, D., Moyle, B. D., & Mclennan, C. L. (2021). A core/periphery perspective on mega-event sustainability: Dystopic and utopic scenarios. Tourism Management, 86, 104340.
Table 1: Blocking Table for BC Lions’ Promotional Campaign
||Electronic Direct Mailers
||Instagram Video Ads
||Digital PR Activations
|June – August 2023
|September – October 2023
||Press Releases & Special Events
Adverse Effects of Social Media on Adolescents
Social media is beneficial and consequential to adolescents as it influences various phases of their development. Teenagers are among the highest internet users globally, making the influence of social media a serious phenomenon. Social media has been damaging to the overall well-being of adolescents globally, mainly affecting their self-presentation, self-esteem, and mental well-being. However, some benefits of social media include improved mediated social networking where issues like distance and time are not an issue. Also, adolescents can utilize social media as an educational platform to learn foundational knowledge beneficial to their cognitive and behavioral growth. The current study argues for social media’s negative impact and influence on adolescents’ well-being. The guiding research question is: Do social media standards affect adolescents’ self-esteem and self-image? Concerning the transformation brought by science and technology, proponents of social media may argue about the empowering influence of social media on adolescents; the platform can have damaging effects on a teen’s mental health, self-esteem, and self-image, and can be an underlying factor to suicide ideation and attempts among the young users.
First, adolescence marks transitioning from childhood to adulthood, a phase in which the majority population idealizes their self-image as negatively influenced by technology. Social media exposes users to a vast virtual environment where adolescents can interact with friends worldwide. “As adolescents increasingly rely on social media photographs and videos as means for self-presentation, the majority of them are likely to have a distorted self-image” (Steinsbekk et al. 1). Approximately 94% of adolescents in developed countries are active on various social media platforms including Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook (Steinsbekk et al. 1). The figures show how the majority of adolescents embrace social media as means of self-representation. On various social media platforms, developers avail various image-enhancing tools that allow users to present a distorted image to their followers. When teenagers engage in such virtual presentational activities, they develop a distorted online self-image that cannot be achieved in real-life. The majority of them find it challenging to accept their actual self-image because of what has been constructed virtually, making adolescents have conflicting personalities in real-life.
Equally importantly, a damaging effect of social media on adolescents targets their self-esteem. Steinsbekk et al. argue that adolescents are concerned with likes and comments that their social media posts attract from online peers, a pattern that has severe implications on individual perception of self-worth (p. 1). As already discovered, social media tends to create an appearance environment that is challenging for most users. From physical appearance to lifestyle implications, teenagers are pressured by the fake virtual life, which can damage their self-esteem. When teen social media user identifies a gap between their perceived and ideal self as influenced by various online platforms, they are likely to develop negative emotions such as disappointment, sadness, and feeling irrelevant, constituting low self-esteem (Steinsbekk et al. 2). The low self-esteem further develops when an adolescent discovers that their peers are active on social media and attract more likes and comments to their post than them. The trend shows that social media can severely damage an adolescent’s self-esteem.
Further, social media negatively affects the mental state of adolescents, especially when they spend many ties on their digital devices. An observational study established that spending much time on social media correlates negatively with adolescents self-reported satisfaction and happiness, affecting their overall mental health status (Abi-Jaoude et al.). On the other hand, spending time in in-person activities such as social interactions, physical exercise, sports, paid jobs, homework, and religious activities improve adolescents’ psychological well-being (Abi-Jaoude et al.). The comparison shows that social media replaced constructive lifestyle practices for adolescents, exposing them to various mental health complications. Related to mental health complications linked to social media, adolescents can develop an addiction to various online platforms and devices. Social media have been craftily designed to promote behavioral reinforcement and addiction among users (Abi-Jaoude et al.). Most teenagers cannot function without using social media on a daily or sometimes hourly basis. As a result, they develop an addiction that qualifies as a significant mental health problem that can be complicated to manage or treat. Besides the underlying psychological disorders, online content has been identified to promote suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents. A study involving 400 youths hospitalized in psychiatry reported suicide-provoking online content that influenced their self-harm decisions and actions two weeks before engaging in such fatal behavior (Nesi 118). Most countries do not regulate online content creating an effective platform for criminals to target and prey on adolescents. Most online users targeting teens are aware of their mental and psychological vulnerability. Also, all forms of cyberbullying victimization can result in suicide ideation and attempt. Cyberbullies make adolescents question their self-worth, mainly when they target their physical presentation (Nesi 119). Exposure to cyberbullying on social media makes a teenager develop depressive symptoms. As a result, adolescents may become suicidal if they fail to control the various mental health conditions acquired, especially severe depression.
However, social media as an interactive platform can mentally benefit an adolescent. Various benefits linked to social media include entertaining and humorous content with a creative ability for the users to express themselves (Nesi 119). Humor and entertainment have been scientifically proven to elevate a person’s mood. In the case of adolescents, the creative and entertaining content on social media can help them overcome various emotional permeability experienced during this stage. An adolescent undergoes several biological transformations, a growth phase that requires appropriately managed to avoid any form of emotional outburst that could prove fatal to the overall mental state of an adolescent. In that case, the laughter achieved through adolescents’ utilization of entertaining social media platforms has growth benefits for them. Also, social media issues online social support for adolescents, especially those with limited physical and social circles. Human beings are social, and limited interaction can harm a teenager. Adolescents who identify with a minority population, such as LGBTQ, acquire a supportive online community of friends who provide crucial emotional support to feel like they belong (Nesi 119). In that case, social media creates an interactive virtual environment for adolescents, widening their social involvement universally, a function that helps mitigate various mental health complications by helping users acquire emotional stability.
To summarize, social media’s adverse effects on adolescents outweigh the benefits. Various online platforms have been associated with encouraging a false self-image representation and lowering self-esteem, which could interfere with the normal developmental process of the victim. Also, an adolescent is prone to cyberbullying victimization through social media. As a result, they are prone to developing severe mental health complications, including depression and addiction. Still, through humor and entertainment, social media can be instrumental in improving adolescents’ mental health and other psychosocial needs. Generally, social media is more damaging than beneficial to adolescents.
Abi-Jaoude, E., Naylor, K, T., & Pignatiello, A. “Smartphones, social media use, and youth mental health. Canadian Medical Assoication Journal, vol. 192, no. 6, 2020, p. 136141, https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.190434
Nesi, J. “The impact of social media on youth mental health: Challenges and opportunities.” North Carolina Medical Journal, vol. 81, no. 2, 2020, p. 116-121.
Steinsbekk, S., Wichstrom, L., Stenseng, F., Nesi, J., Hygen, B, W., & Skalicka, V. “The impact of social media use on appearance self-esteem from childhood to adolescence- a 3-wave community study.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 114, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106528
Media Effects on Islam
Information transmission and acquisition have improved over the years with technological advancement. Media platforms have shifted to adopt more sophisticated and easy software to use for the transmission of information. Media platforms serve as mediums in which individuals sort after information, and they also help increase the representation of minority groups. Media presents vast information, including timely updates on what is happening globally, keeping individuals up to date. However, media presents shortcomings as they have the potential to affect an individual’s behavior and religion depending on what it offers.
The media presentation of Muslims and Islam
Media representation of minority groups has been an issue of great concern, with surveys focusing on the media’s presentation of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism. Ahmed, and Matthes (pg 220), state that Muslims and Islam serve as the top minority affairs in the world with debates and censures. According to Ahmed and Matthes (pg 220), since the 9/11 event, media and political debates are centered on Islam and Muslims. Muslims and Islam have been victimized across many societies, being feared. Ahmed and Matthes (pg 220) denote that the representation of Muslims by the media has led to the resentment ad alienation of Muslims from societies. Media plays an essential role in creating and distributing ideologies among individuals. Images and stories showcased in the media provide resources in which individuals can organize a common culture and insert themselves. Media contributes to the development of social values, ideologies, and stereotypes of individuals in the community.
Representation of minorities via media has often been under scrutiny as they encourage stereotypes. Ahmed and Matthes (pg 221) note that news coverage in Britain in 1960 encouraged the assumptions that people of color are associated with problems, aberrations, and oddities. In addition, blacks are viewed as being less civilized and culturally inferior in the UK due to differences in color and race (Ahmed and Matthes, pg 221). The media presentation of people of color resulted in stereotypes and negative beliefs towards these individuals as it was being reported for everyone to denote. The media develop ideologies of people of color being less civilized and inferior through images and videos. Individuals within the society acknowledge these presentations and relay them to these individuals oppressing and stereotyping them. The media significantly influences individuals, hence their constant association with the misrepresentation of minority groups.
Misrepresentation of Muslims and Islam in the media has been associated with past events involving Islam. Ahmed, and Matthes (pg 222), state that the anti-muslim discourse in the Western press began during the Iranian revolution in 1979, the US hostage crisis, and the periodic crisis over Libya and the Middle East. Wars in Iraq and the 9/11 event amplified the negative perception of Islam as media platforms captured the events and linked them to Muslims (Ahmed and Matthes, pg 222). Media representation of Islam religion often associates the religion with irrational violence that has no regard for women and mobs. According to Ahmed and Matthes (pg 222), a recent survey portrays Islam as a religion of monolithic, sexist, and homogenized individuals. Muslims are often described as heartless, brutal, uncivilized, and religious fanatics who can do anything when directed by their religious leaders. Islam’s media representation is often associated with adverse outcomes such as terrorism, wars, and sexists. Although Muslims are depicted as religious individuals, their perception of other individuals differs due to the media. Occurrences of war and terror attack groups often comprise individuals from Islam; hence, people assume all Muslims bear the same characteristics as individuals depicted in the media.
Impact of social media on Muslims
Social media act as a media platform that helps establish social communication between individuals, family, and friends. Islam (pg 95) denotes that interactions between human beings have changed over the years with the development of computers and networks. Social relationships are slowly shifting to adopt the new technological advancement in place. The adoption of social media has rapidly grown, being part and parcel of every human, with Muslims also adapting to the changes in communication mediums (Islam, pg 96). Changes in communication have resulted in people forgoing old means and adopting new standards to remain afloat and current with day-to-day occurrences. Social media has made communication accessible as it is easy to use and learn.
The adoption and use of social media in the Islam community are rapidly rising in Muslim societies adopting social media. According to Islam (pg 96), social media is an excellent way for people to communicate as it can reach a wide range of audiences irrespective of their locality or region. Islam (pg 96) states that media has the potential to change Islam’s religion and the perception of Muslims among individuals as it only requires individuals to be open-minded and Muslims to adopt the new means of communication.
Positive effects of social media on Muslim
Social media is a new means of communication and modern life aiming to reinforce and enhance communication of individuals irrespective of their locality or residence. Social media has a wide range of connectivity enabling people to communicate with one another at ease (Islam, pg 99). Social media bears many benefits that seek to help improve people’s livelihoods irrespective of their ethnicity, race, or culture. Islam (pg, 99) denotes that the adoption of social media by Muslims will help enhance interaction, and socialization, teach the Quran, spread Quran references, and spread Islam’s source of information and development. Islam(pg 99) states that social media is set to help improve Islam society as it will unite and empower them as they will be in touch with one another irrespective of distance. Social media helps enhance interaction between friends and family as they can communicate via different media platforms other than messaging and calling. An individual can share opinions and receive timely feedback as well as spread messages to different people.
Social media seeks to benefit the Islam community when adopted as it helps teach Quran and share Quran references and the growth of the Islam community. According to (Islam, pg 100), social media is a platform that will help spread and teach the Islam religion ensuring the growth of its members. The Quran states that ”the greatest between you (Muslims are persons who learn the Quran and teach it.” (Sahih Bukhari: 4739). Social media helps enhance the teaching of the Quran among Muslims as religious leaders can record their instructions and share them via their social media platforms, making them accessible to everyone. Acquisition of Quran references has been made easier with social media as one can search for a particular verse. Social media has helped save time an individual had to incur while looking for references through the Quran. In addition, social media seeks to help spread the Islam religion to increase Islam followers. Teachings on Islam are accessible on social media platforms as they can be posted and accessed by anyone spreading the Islam religion.
Social media helps spread information on various entities that may be of use to individuals. Social media act as news outlets keeping individuals in the know about different occurrences worldwide (Islam, pg 103). People can quickly get information on employment opportunities and trending news keeping them updated. Media carries a wide range of benefits that aim at benefiting the Islam community, from increasing its number of followers to empowering its followers. Muslims who are in business or want to venture into business need only to have a smartphone to identify trending commodities in the market. An individual can access anything and everything they want with just a click on the device.
Negative effects of Social media on Muslims
Media presents a variety of benefits aiming to improve an individual’s life, although in the process, possesses great harm. Islam (pg 104) states that since the internet is easily accessible and cheap, it gives an advantage to individuals who have other ulterior motives. Social media helps spread information, though; at times, the information may be designed to target a specific group causing harm. Islam (pg 105) denotes that social media encourages promiscuous behaviors characterized by lazy individuals, posting unnecessary statements, crudity, and stereotyping. Though social media is an invention that aims to better human existence by easing interaction and relationships, it also encourages promiscuous activities.
Social media encourages stereotyping and promiscuous activity among individuals. The use of social media encourages stereotyping of individuals as it can be used to portray individuals or religions as being wrong. Ahmed and Matthes (pg 221) note that news coverage in Britain in 1960 encouraged the assumptions that people of color are associated with problems, aberrations, and oddities. In addition, Ahmed and Matthes (pg 222) state that a recent survey portrays Islam as a religion of monolithic, sexist, and homogenized individuals. Social media has a wide range of outreach; hence any negative information about Islam reaches an enormous group of individuals. People look into social media for information, and if they get negative news related to Muslims results in their patronization and being viewed as a terrorist. Furthermore, social media discourages public interaction among people as they need not go outside to meet their friends. Social media encourages laziness among the young generation as they do not exercise or even do any house chores. The young generation is addicted to social media, which may sometimes result in young Muslims not conforming to teachings and adopting what they see on social media. Social media also encourages violence by depicting images of violence, making it seem okay encouraging Muslims to join terror groups.
Effects of social media on Muslim Students
Media networks have expanded, with social media platforms having a vast number of users. Social media platforms are interactive as users can communicate freely with each other, sharing images, videos, and messages (Sule, pg 31). The vast possibilities made available by social media have resulted in its adoption among youths and old individuals. The platforms are diverse as they allow individuals to engage with one another at a low cost, helping students seek clarification from their teachers and have discussion sessions. Despite social media having several benefits to individuals, it also affects their development and performance, more so students.
Sule (pg 32) states that students use social media for leisure entertainment other than educational purposes. In addition, social media services expose individuals to pornographic content and encourage immoral acts. According to Sule (pg 32), the mass appeal of social media on the internet has increased the time youths spend online. Accessibility and social media have had a negative impact on the performance of Muslim students (Sule, pg 41). Access to Facebook, WhatsApp, and telegrams causes distractions to Muslim students as they tend to focus much on current trends rather than on their studies. Students often use social media platforms to watch movies and interact rather than search for learning materials or contact their tutors for clarification. Social media acts as a distraction for young Muslim students as they spend more time interacting with their friends other than with their books. In addition, students begin practicing immoral behaviors as they experiment with what they see. Access to pornographic content on social media deludes Islam teachings causing young individuals to engage in promiscuous acts.
Media plays a vital role in shaping individual attributes and perceptions of different issues. For some time, the Islam religion has been attributed to a terrorist due to their representation by the media. Media deludes individual perceptions creating an ideology that causes harm. Despite the media’s negative presentation of Islam, it has helped increase followers of the religion. Media has also helped benefit the Islam community as it helps increase their interaction and spread the faith.
Ahmed, Saifuddin, and Jörg Matthes. “Media Representation Of Muslims And Islam From 2000 To 2015: A Meta-Analysis”. International Communication Gazette, vol 79, no. 3, 2016, pp. 219-244. SAGE Publications, https://doi.org/10.1177/1748048516656305. Accessed 21 May 2022.
Islam, Md. Tarequl. “THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON MUSLIM SOCIETY: FROM ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE. ” Researchgate, 2019, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338533726_THE_IMPACT_OF_SOCIAL_MEDIA_ON_MUSLIM_SOCIETY_FROM_ISLAMIC_PERSPECTIVE. Accessed 21 May 2022.
Sule, Mohammed Maga. “Social Media And Its Effects On Muslim Students: The Case Of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.” UMRAN – International Journal Of Islamic And Civilizational Studies, vol 5, no. 2, 2018. Penerbit UTM Press, https://doi.org/10.11113/umran2018.5n2.201. Accessed 21 May 2022.
Terrorism and the Media
Around the world, terrorist activities have increased. Various terrorist groups have emerged, threatening the peace and security of many countries. The expansion and growth of social media and the internet have increased terrorist groups and activities. Terrorist organizations use the media to expand their operations and activities and to pass information to the general public to create fear. There is a need for the media to provide people with enough information related to terrorism whenever they arise.
Role of the media in the war on terror
Firstly, the media helps alert the general public on areas they are likely to face attacks from terrorists. Security agencies use the media to caution people on measures to avoid being attacked whenever there is a threat. Also, the security agencies can intervene and provide the necessary security to neutralize or prevent the attack from the terrorists on time. That will assist in preventing the loss of lives and properties of the people. On the other hand, the media has been accused of promoting terror activities. Terrorist groups use the media to spread propaganda and threats due to its accessibility (The newsmaker, 2022). Since most media compete with each other and are profit-driven, they allow terrorist groups to advance their agenda through the media. They are at liberty to advertise whatever narrative terrorists wish to promote. Additionally, since terrorism attracts significant attention from the public, the terrorists have adopted this strategy not only to make the victims suffer but also to attract large needed attention around the globe. Terrorists have understood the power of media and are now applying strategies to attract media attention to their activities (CNBC, 2016). With the expansion of internet connectivity, they know how to use technical equipment such as video cameras to create images that will help to create a massive impact through the media. Therefore, it is difficult for the government to prevent terrorist activities through the media.
Media providing information regarding terrorist organizations and operations
I believe the media need to provide US citizens with sufficient information regarding terrorist organizations and operations. Media is a very powerful tool for informing and updating the American people. Enough information will help the citizens prepare and know what actions and steps to take to remain safe. Media has a broad reach among the people; thus, it can inform US citizens about terrorist organizations and operations that are likely to occur in target places (Asongu et al., 2019). Through that information, the citizens can avoid visiting those places, relocate from the target places, take precautions, and know in advance what to do in case terror attacks occur.
The Jerusalem terror attack is the first event in the media that helped the masses to know the number of injured people. According to NBC News (2022), five Americans from the same New York family were reported to be injured due to the incident when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a bus park). People were not only able to get vital information on time but also to know some of the places to avoid. Another instance is the 9/11 attacks, where the media was used to identify victims, conduct investigations into the attack, and helped to document the attack for future reference. Also, the media helped arrest seven people in June 2006 in Miami who were plotting to attack the Sear Tower in Chicago. It was found that the terrorist belonged to Al Qaeda. Through that information from the media, security operatives could take control of the situation and safeguard the citizens from the attack.
In conclusion, the media plays an integral role in the war on terrorism. Terrorist groups use the media to instill propaganda and fear among the people. Also, the government uses the media to inform and caution people on areas to avoid or which are prone to attacks. Therefore, there is a need for the press to provide the masses with enough information to prevent terrorist attacks.
Asongu, S. A., Orim, S. M. I., & Nting, R. T. (2019). Terrorism and social media: global evidence. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 22(3), 208-228.
CNBC. 2016, September 19. Social Media The Engine Of Terrorism | Power Lunch | CNBC [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id6vlsSfSJQ
NBC News. (2022, August 15). Five Americans Injured In Jerusalem Terror Attack [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkoIe3z_tfs
The newsmaker. (2022, July 29). Will new French social media law fight terrorism? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23ZgStNccY4
The Influence of Mass Media on the American Culture
The media heavily influence a person’s perception of reality as a social system. According to this theory, media outlets promote widely accepted cultural norms and values. It was discovered to have a significant impact on this notion. The most fundamental prerequisite for a functioning democracy is access to free and independent media. Using a negative perception in the media is less effective than using persuasive press inferences in this process (NEUMAN, 1982). This shows that people regularly assume public opinion based on their perceptions of media coverage and assumptions about content that significantly impact them. Culture is absorbed and passed on from one generation to the next. It serves as the glue that binds together a varied set of people in an organization, bringing them together in a cohesive manner. Culture is something one acquires, not something one is born with. Another society might be the source of new cultural aspects in one’s community. (Ostic, et al., 2021) Diffusion is the term for the borrowing and incorporation of cultural components from one culture into the culture of another. Some form of cultural change or shift occurs due to diffusion and acculturation. Diffusion can be hampered by the presence of an intermediary point of contact. Political and persuasive influence is wielded through the mass media. As a whole, society can be manipulated by the media. Many people have expressed concern about the power of advertising, propaganda, and the “mind-bending” influence of the media. The media significantly impacts our social behavior, a fundamental aspect of our society. The paper reviews how various mass media factors affect the present American culture by analyzing how these platforms affect the eating culture, people’s socialization, and the American commercial culture. Also, the paper examines the differences in social media use with age and the link between mass media and racial/ethnic and political culture.
Mass Media and the Eating Culture
Media depictions of people’s actual appearance are frequently wildly exaggerated. Images are photoshopped and manipulated to make even the “perfect” models more desirable. This makes the ideal model look more elusive. According to a meta-analysis, men and women are more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies when they see thin-bodied images in the media (Barlett, Vowels, & Saucier, 2008; Grabe, Ward, & Hyde, 2008). People may become more self-aware as a result of seeing these images. Researchers found that people who habitually think negatively about their body image were more likely to be dissatisfied and disturbed by their appearance. The media directly impacts what people eat, as demonstrated above.
The quantity and quality of food people consume can also affect their self-image. According to a study conducted by Vocks, Legenbauer, and Heil (2007), recent food intake lowered self-reported body image and increased feelings of dissatisfaction with one’s appearance (Vocks, Legenbauer, & Heil, 2007). Participants with better self-reported eating restraint tended to overestimate their actual body size. Similarly, Prieler and Choi (2014) conducted another study on eating control by showing participants either a thin model or an impartial item in a magazine advertisement (Prieler & Choi, 2014). Restricted eaters and unrestricted eaters were the two groups that the participants fell into. Unrestrained eaters had a better self-image and self-esteem than those more conscientious about what they ate. Concerned eaters are more self-conscious after seeing media images of overeating people. The current study sought to understand better the relationship between media consumption and body image, as well as the relationship between media consumption and food intake. Watching advertisements for unhealthy foods was predicted to lead to greater consumption of healthy and unhealthy foods than watching ads for healthy foods. People with the worst body images are those who care about advertisements for healthy foods but then eat junk food afterward. People who watched a healthy ad and were given a more beneficial option would have the best body image of the four conditions. Regardless of the advertisement, people who eat a lot of food generally have a lower body image than others who eat much less.
Additionally, a study by Sidani et al. (2016) states that a nationally representative sample of young adults aged 19 to 32 shows a solid and consistent link between media platform use and eating concerns (Sidani et al., 2016). This study’s findings could be explained by the fact that people who use social media more frequently are more likely to be exposed to media images that could lead to eating disorders. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tumblr are some of the more visually-oriented social media platforms that allow users to post and view photos and videos. The study’s findings could also be explained by the fact that people with eating disorders are more likely to be active on social media. These people may use social media to communicate with others who have similar issues with their weight. It is possible to come across pro-eating disorder factions, such as those known as the “Pro-Ana,” “Pro Mia,” and “Pro-Ana” communities, which have an extensive presence online.
Effects of Media on the Socialization
Regarding socialization, the media has the most significant impact on young people. As a result, my main question is, “How Is Mainstream Media Impacting Socialization in the U.S? A basic knowledge of socialization is required to answer this question. The process of socialization profoundly impacts a child’s life. It is a lifelong process that helps an individual develop a sense of self-identity and learn how to behave in a way consistent with their social context. A study by Lila (2014) notes that people socialize greatly through the media they consume, significantly impacting their behavior and attitudes (Lila, 2014). The media can have a positive impact in some cases. As a result, people better understand what is happening in other countries. Learning new things is one of its many benefits. Sadly, the media can impact young people’s lives negatively. To gain acceptance by society, young people look up to the media, which creates an ideal image of what it takes to fit in. They demonstrate how you should dress, what you should wear, and where you can purchase the necessary accessories to achieve this look. As a result, many young women suffer from anorexia due to their desire to emulate the ideal body type depicted in the media. The media also influence youth misbehavior. The media encourages deviant behavior, which portrays strange behavior as excellent and challenging, and encourages people to engage in such behavior. When young people see violence on television, they are more likely to engage in it themselves. It exposes them to violence and raises their awareness of criminal activity and abnormal behavior in others. A common misconception is that the media has less of an impact on socialization than other influences like family, friends, and formal education. However, the media has a significant effect on children’s socialization.
The media, such as television, the press, the internet, and people’s identities and socialization are significantly influenced. According to experts, television and the internet are incredibly effective socialization tools. The world in which we live today is undergoing rapid transformation. The most important thing is to interact with others constantly. Socialization is a lifelong process, as evidenced by this phenomenon. People’s social skills will improve as society progresses and becomes more accessible and more democratic. Reforming society requires convincing people of the superiority of one’s ideas and inspiring them to believe and trust in them. The media plays a variety of roles, including this one. Free and democratic governments aim to reveal social reality if they are free and democratic. Improve the position of future generations concerning the next life by better orienting future generations.
Social media use, on the other hand, can help people feel more connected to others around them, which can help alleviate feelings of loneliness. Moreover, social media allows people of any age to utilize their sense of belonging in multiple communities by interacting with friends, family, coworkers, and strangers (Ostic, et al., 2021). A growing number of studies also point out that social media can play an essential role in establishing one’s presence, personality, and character, which in turn facilitates social interaction and the formation and maintenance of relationships, as well as the sharing of ideas concepts. Adolescence is marked by a social identity problem exacerbated by media exposure. Adolescence is a crisis as the teenager wrestles with many existential dilemmas.
There are two distinct ways in which media socialization affects different generations. During the formative years of childhood and early adolescence,n entire generation is first exposed to the dominant media of a given period—the cinematographic medium, radio, television, and video—and this exposure profoundly impacts their subsequent development (Elsayed, 2021). Different media are relevant at each stage depending on one’s social group, work career, or family life with children. On the other side, as technology advances, more and more people have greater access to a broader range of media. Older generations, many of whom did not live with digital media, are being influenced by new modes of access provided by digital gadgets.
Mass media and American Commercial Culture
Advertisers spent billions of dollars to get their commercial messages in front of these hordes of people. It is widely agreed upon that the media, particularly television, serve as an essential communications tool. However, their impact cannot be accurately defined and may vary widely depending on which population segments make up their audience (NEUMAN, 1982). As the networks compete for a larger slice of that enormous pie, the medium’s character changes due to these large-scale economics. Programs must appeal to a wide range of viewers because even a tiny percentage of viewers could be offended or unimpressed by a show’s content, resulting in a 15-million-dollar decrease in revenue for the network in a year. Programmatic content is not the only source of media dynamism. In addition, and perhaps more significantly, advertising in the media is to blame. According to one well-known advertising official, American culture and political values are primarily formed by the content of our mass media. Many people believe that the advertisement is more accurate than the actual program or the actual content of the magazine. Media influence is even more apparent when one considers the role of media in the American economy. Most economists agree that advertising is critical for launching new products into the market, expanding a company’s market reach, and creating large-scale markets for their products. A businessman’s belief that advertising is a beneficial means of reaching and persuading individuals is demonstrated by the $15 billion industry spends on advertising each year.
What noncommercial messages do advertisements send? The commercial’s appeal is materialistic. The TV commercial’s message is that material possessions satisfy people’s basic needs and aspirations. The commercial suggests that all significant problems may be solved by using a product. Life’s problems are treated with external solutions. TV does not acknowledge the individual’s obligation for at least part of his situation or the importance of establishing his ability to handle life’s issues. In the environment of the TV advertisement, all of life’s problems, challenges, yearnings, hopes, and concerns may be materially and instantaneously solved without effort, skill, or struggle. Another foundation of these commercials is that people are all externally motivated, wanting to be like their neighbors or successful people. The TV commercial doesn’t acknowledge people are driven by inner demands for self-expression and self-fulfillment and are more interested in “being” than in “having.” An advertisement that shows a person’s success on TV is fabricated, not the result of years of hard work and dedication. The characters and the surroundings of the TV world reflect a particular component of American culture, often that of a white suburban middle-class family with a middle-class income level. Until recently, African-Americans and Spanish-speaking Americans had little representation in American television advertisements. Residents of the United States, both rural and urban, were largely ignored.
The difference in Social Media Use with Age
According to previous Center investigations, there are significant age inequalities (Auxier & Anderson, 2021). Approximately 84% of adults aged 18 to 29 say they use social media, which is about the same as the percentage of adults aged 30 to 49 who say the same (81%). While 73% of those ages 50 to 64 use social media, only 46% of those aged 65 and older do. Younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to utilize specific platforms, though gaps vary across each platform. The study found that most 18- to 29-year-olds prefer Instagram or Snapchat, while approximately half use TikTok. Those ages 18 to 24 are especially likely to use Instagram (76%), Snapchat (75%), or TikTok (55%) (Auxier & Anderson, 2021). When compared to older age groups, these percentages are shockingly low. For example, while 66% of 18-29-year-olds use Snapchat, only 2% of those aged 65 and above use the app, a 63-percentage point disparity.
According to a separate survey by Chou et al. (2009), YouTube is also popular with adults under 65 (Chou et al., 2009). A whopping 95% of those aged 18 to 29 use it, as do 91% of those aged 30 to 49 and 83% of those aged 50 and over. People aged 65 and older have a much lower participation rate (49%) than the general population. On the other hand, Facebook has smaller age disparities between its most recent users and the nation’s oldest citizens. The study also states that 70% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 utilize the platform which is numerically similar to those between the ages of 30 and 49 and those between the ages of 50 and 64 (Chou et al., 2009). Facebook and YouTube are the most popular sites for people over 65, and almost half of them use them regularly.
Although there has been a widespread social transformation in many parts of this country, many sexual and gender minority youth and young adults still face discrimination, stigma, and stereotypes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. SGM individuals, particularly young adults, may use social media to connect, validate, and build community. This is due to social media’s broad reach and potential for supportive interactions. SGM people use social networks more regularly than the typical American adult. Social media can interfere with daily functioning (Auxier & Anderson, 2021). Minority stress, such as stigmatization, mood disorders, and a lack of emotional, and social support, can put SGM young adults at risk of using social media in a complicated way. A 2019 survey found that 91% of U.S. young adults use at least one social media platform. Habitual use of social media can lead to problematic use, characterized by negative thoughts when unable to access social media, an inability to control one’s social media use, and the supremacy of social networking use over other thoughts and actions in some people. Young adults are highly susceptible to the effects of social media use. Social media is a passive activity that can be done alone. Social media, on the other hand, is frequently used in groups.
As adults, social media users may suffer from a poorer quality of life as a result of their use of the internet. Early life stressors like social isolation and low self-esteem can lead to various health problems in later life. While some studies show a negative connection between social media interaction and well-being, others show positive associations. Social media can improve well-being through high-quality interactions, reducing social isolation and information seeking. Predisposing risk factors for harmful psychosocial media use in young adults include personal attributes, psychological symptoms, and life experiences. High extraversion and negative emotionality are linked to problematic social media use (Chou et al., 2009). Social media allows people to connect with little effort and can be a distraction from daily tasks. Also, young adults who are depressed are more likely to engage in poor social media use. A representative sample study of adolescent adults in the United States found that those who use defective social media are 9 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Social media can be a stress reliever and a source of social support for people suffering from depression, leading to problematic social media use patterns.
Racial/Ethnic, Political Culture and Social Media
Early ideas about social media were to create a digital utopia without race, but racial identity is present in online communities, especially on social media. Because social media is all about interaction and sharing information, its users’ aspirations and uniqueness become integral components of participation. Regarding social media, the preferences and practices of ethnic and racial groups are vastly different (Shivers, 2014 ). The study of how various ethnic groups use, select, and appropriately use social networking sites is a rapidly expanding field in the study of social media, race, and ethnicity. Non-whites have stepped up their participation in politics, entertainment, and issues affecting specific ethnic groups on social media, resulting in a broader range of online knowledge and exchange. Black, Latino, and Asian bloggers have become increasingly visible in the blogosphere since the 2008 presidential elections when more people of color used a variety of social media platforms to engage in political discourse. Unlike whites, other racial and ethnic groups continue to use Myspace to express a wide range of interests, including identity and group loyalty, despite the site’s decline in white users (Shivers, 2014 ). On the other hand, Myspace serves as a platform for a wide range of cultural exchanges through music. Furthermore, people of color, particularly African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Latinos, rely more on social media to keep up with local issues than whites do. In summary, social networking reveals a burgeoning range of people and cultures.
What role do race and ethnicity play in explaining the disparity between the sexes in online blogging? People of African American and Hispanic descent are far more likely to be disconnected from the internet than people of other races or ethnicities (Schradie, 2012). Offline scholars also contend with the intensity of the link between class and ethnicity or race. According to some studies, there has been a steady decline in online racial disparities among college students, and only a few online activities still have significant inequalities. More black students blog than white students, and white students also produce less web information than students of other races and ethnicities. However, a different study by Chou et al. (2009) found no association in participation on social media sites, including blogging, based on race or ethnicity (Chou, Hunt, Beckjord, Moser, & Hesse, 2009). Hargittai (2009) examined online production activities among college students and found that white students made much more content than their black and Latino peers (Hargittai, 2009).
Some Americans use social media to rally others and show support for organizations or concerns they have, from racial injustice protests to the 2020 election. Race, ethnicity, age, and party affiliation affect social media experiences and attitudes. Social media offers various opportunities for political engagement. A study that surveyed Americans about four online behaviors showed that one-third of social media users (36%) use sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others to demonstrate support for a cause. Also, they started to look up information about rallies or protests in their region or encourage others to act on critical topics (32 percent) (Auxier & Anderson, 2021). Only 18% of people say they used a hashtag relating to a social or political matter during this period on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
Furthermore, according to a new survey, Auxier and Anderson(2021) stated that the country is divided on whether politicians should use social media to engage with the public, including the president (Auxier & Anderson, 2021). Researchers at FIU surveyed 1,000 eligible voters and found that 83% “sometimes post” or “never post” about politics on social media. The survey was done in January by FIU doctoral student Bethany Bowra and USF associate professor Stephen Neely. Politicians are utilizing social media more often as social media continues to permeate society. However, this survey indicates that most Americans don’t like this trend and would instead not use social media. Social media activism varies by age. 54% of social media users aged between 18 and 29 said they’ve looked up local rallies or protests in the previous month, compared to 36% of those 30 to 49, 26% of those 50 to 64, and 20% of those 65 and older (Auxier & Anderson, 2021) People under 30 are more likely to have used a political or social hashtag to get others to act than those 30 and older. However, there is less of an age difference when posting an image to show support for a cause.
The media affects social perceptions, cultural norms, and values, indicating that media coverage and substance influence public opinion. Also, media affects American culture, from politics to multiple groups’ existence. Social media is a critical online development. Most people utilize social media, which has changed how they communicate online and offline. Companies have realized social media’s marketing benefits. Social media’s ability to develop deeper and longer-lasting relationships with viewers is crucial to digital advertising. Social media marketing can boost a company’s visibility, brand recognition, and audience perceptions. They get traditional advertising’s benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Moreover, eating cultures directly result from the nation’s eating habits influenced by the media. They are particularly susceptible to the images and messages relayed by the media. People like this can’t distinguish between what they see and what’s there. Healthcare providers and other experts should be mindful of programs to which children and adolescents are exposed, their content, and the health risks associated with that exposure. The media has the most significant impact on young people regarding socialization. In some cases, the media can be beneficial. As a result, more people are aware of what’s happening in other parts of the world. One of its many advantages is the opportunity to learn new things. Unfortunately, the media can hurt young people’s lives. Young people look up to the media for an idealized portrayal of what it takes to be accepted by society.
Mass media’s importance in today’s society cannot be emphasized. How people of different races and ethnicities use social media affects American culture in many ways, including the sites they choose and how they use them. Media influence has shaped American political views. Some Americans utilize social media to organize anti-racism protests and other causes. Understanding the political choosing process in this country requires media coverage of government leaders and institutions. The media portrays popular political, financial, and ethnic ideals. These values are debated, although usually by organizations with similar values. Much emphasis has been made on political misinformation in the media, especially during presidential and election campaigns, and how the press should report on it. Focus on whether and how mainstream media intensify emotional, social, and philosophical polarization in politics. Most 18-49-year-olds use social media more than the over-50s. This may be linked to stigmatization, mood disorders, and a lack of emotional and social support, which might put SGM young adults in danger.
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