Social media and the Internet

Photo illustration by Joel McCarthy; Photo provided by JJ Webb.
Photo illustration by Joel McCarthy; Photo provided by JJ Webb.

Should we think twice before posting?

By Sonia Panesar, Contributor

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend daily on the Internet? There’s always something that’s appealing to you, so you open it, continuously, and before you know it you’ve killed an hour… or two. Like most of the world, I am an Internet/social media addict. The world uses social media in every different way, from personal to business profiles: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. The majority of people own an account on at least one of these websites. The world is ruled by social media, but I’ve noticed that people generally just post the most random, meaningless things on the Internet.

When we log into all of these social media websites, we are looking at what the rest of the world is doing, checking up on something, updating a profile or status. But when someone posts a picture of their ordinary lunch, I’m not sure anyone is really interested. Say it was a picture of your meal at a really fancy restaurant, and it had a great presentation—that’s what someone would want to see. Don’t bore us with every day, regular things.

How about all the check ins? When this feature first came out, people were obsessing over it and checking into places such as “My bed <3” or “Home sweet home.” Another problem people—especially teenagers—seem to face is uploading pictures of themselves: the “kissy” face is not appealing, and I fail to understand how such pictures get 50 “Likes.”

Sure, it’s your life and you will do what you want with it, but either think twice before posting certain things, or limit the post’s visibility. Under unfortunate circumstances like bullying, social media and the Internet can destroy lives. I don’t think that any individual out there would want something like that happening to them. Be careful!

Social media does have several advantages, though. When an unfortunate event takes place on the opposite end of the world, you’ll be one of the first people to know because social media helps relevant information travel around the world at such great speeds—compared to the morning paper, which has an article that was written, edited, published, and finally delivered to your doorstep the next morning. It also helps businesses that use social media to great success by doing promotions. Getting information to selected large groups is great. You can dedicate a page to an event and notify the members instantaneously instead of calling them or texting them; it’s actually cheaper! And then there’s advertising: look around and observe carefully—there’s social media all around you.

Social media and the Internet are great tools, and can be vital for survival in modern society. Like everything else, though, they’re only good in moderation. They can build you or destroy you, so be strategic in how you use them.