As most of us teenagers get settled into the “new normal,” many of us have been finding ways to optimize our time spent in the confines of our own homes. Aside from discovering new skills, and even opening up mini home-based businesses for extra income, social media has remained a constant in the lives of many of us Gen Z.
Social media is a great invention—no arguments there. With the medium allowing us to connect with people and places from all across the world free-of-charge, the platform has been a tool for self-improvement, as it has allowed people to express their personality to the public. With its use skyrocketing during quarantine, more people have found time to showcase their talents to friends and family.
However, with the heightened use of social media comes the rise of toxicity and abuse of this platform, to inflict harm on other people. Freedom walls are used to spread misinformation and gossip. The rise of cybercrime and bullying is alarming, and it is only right that these issues be brought to light.
The use of freedom walls of various organizations and schools to spread misinformation about certain issues is most alarming. The anonymity of these posts is open to abuse.
The cancel culture on the internet has affected many of us teenagers. Public shaming demoralizes an individual and affects one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Privacy of people is breached. Despite social media giants vowing to punish abusers for their misuse of their platforms, nothing has been done during the pandemic. Companies such as Facebook and Instagram seem to have focused on the profit side of their platform, leaving their users exposed to toxicity.
The monopoly of these tech giants over their market has given them the power to get away with these breaches. Despite many groups advocating for a safer environment on Facebook, the pandemic has shed a dark side on the true intentions of these tech companies.
Moreover, as teenagers fall into the trap of Facebook envy, this affects their day-to-day lives. They try to mimic the life of influencers and idols, and end up hurting themselves. Privilege and wealth have affected the once-happy vibe of social media.
It is extremely saddening that social media has turned into a place of misinformation. It’s something that must change in the near future.
The author is the associate editor of the Stallion, the official student publication of Xavier High School.