A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Pop Culture

Social media sites bring out the best–and worst–of the internet

Views, followers, and likes are the most wanted– or rather, needed— aspect of social sites today.  The question is what are you willing to do for a couple likes, followers and/or views on your social media profile?

The whole concept of the “like” button started on Facebook in February of 2004, then Youtube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010 and, everyone’s favorite Snapchat  in 2011. These social platforms consist of either  likes, views, the following button or all of the above.

When social media first came out, it was initially used as a way to connect with long-distance friends and family or to expand knowledge and inform people of things going on around the world.

The meaning has changed… and by a lot. These apps are now used as a way to give people a snippet of the lives of people who most and in many cases, can invades one’s personal life and business.

Many social media users care extensively about having popularity on social media. A few to no likes means you’re not pretty, cool, or funny enough.

“I don’t really care for the likes and followers” said sophomore Kiara Jones. “I could have zero likes zero followers, and I’ll still post a selfie.”

The biggest downfall of social media is probably when people start to make very simple-minded choices and join in on the not-so-bright “fads” on social sites,  such as the Tide Pod challenge.  You know the one where “challengers” eat a Tide Pod, yes the things you use to wash clothes.

Another example was in 2017, a Minnesota couple was planning to do a dangerous prank video in hopes of gaining more followers. The video would supposed to consist of the boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, placing a book in front of him then his girlfriend, Monalisa Perez, would fire a gun at the encyclopedia in hopes of it having just a one-way entrance and no exit. Sadly, the prank ended with him dying.

Despite the downfalls to social media, the different sites do still serve as a place to show off talents and start beneficial challenges, like the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about ALS. Some social media posters have even gotten singing, dancing, acting and many more gigs and careers because of networking.

But the question is how far is too far for a couple likes and followers?