The changes that social media brings to the world are overall positive and better for users. Some say there are many issues that social media can bring such as addiction or lack of privacy, but because social media connects people and is constantly changing to make life easier for us, social media has changed us for the better.
According to Catherine Price from BBC Science Focus, many of the attention-grabbing techniques that apps such as Instagram use are connected to the brain’s dopamine system. A quote in the article says dopamine is “how we learn from our positive experiences”. People often say there can be too much of a good thing, but when platforms such as Instagram are connected to making someone happy, I think that is a positive thing. What people like to do and what makes people happy has changed over the years. It is no longer playing in the yard with a stick, now it is things like laughing as videos on our phones that friends share with us. Times have just changed. Something else that makes social media a positive in our lives is the sharing ability that is poses. We know that sites like Instagram keep us connected and allow people to see into our personal lives, sometimes for reasons more important than others. In the MIT Technology Review article, we see an example that demonstrates the positives of social media and its sharing ability. A video went viral in China called “The Voice of April”. The video had an “emphasis on the lockdown’s human toll struck a chord, and people shared it widely”. This was only able to be shared through social media platforms. Thanks to platforms such as Instagram, we are able to see what people all over the world are going through and allows us to call attention to injustice and hardships.
Social media is ever evolving. It adapts to the times, users, and climates of our world. People used to connect with each other through verbal conversations, now we can connect with people through pictures, videos, and non-verbal conversations like direct messages and comments. Building relationships has become easier now than ever before. Social media as a whole has created many new forms of communication. Instagram specifically has come out with Reels which is their version of TikToks. These Reels are new ways that Instagram has created to share videos and connect with followers and friends. Instagram has heavily impacted traditional forms of communication. Personally, I do not feel like I need to see my friends every day or even talk to them on the phone to feel like I have a relationship with them. Thanks to platforms such as Instagram, I can interact with my friends virtually and maintain my relationship with them. I can keep up with stories and new posts, like and comment on posts, and send reels to continue connecting with my friends. Social media makes life easier and better for me. Sites such as Instagram have definitely reduced the use of traditional communication such as phone calls and face-to-face communications. Because of the constant use of social media, especially Instagram, societal norms and values relating to communication have completely changed. Years ago, people would consider it rude to be on your phone scrolling on Instagram when you are talking with someone or having dinner with someone, but now it is the standard. People are constantly on their phones when people are talking to them, it is no longer deviance, but it is the norm. Due to the growth of platforms like Instagram the value of face-to-face interaction of completely changed, people just expect less from each other now.