Is Social Media Effecting Us?

Recently during TED 2019 Jack Dorsey, co-founder of twitter, talked about his regret of making twitter focused on likes and follows.  The focus on likes and follows has reached a point where in order to gain satisfaction while using the site, posts should have a good range of likes and gain followers. He believes that the spotlight on individuals has caused a comfort for the users to “post outrage”, with the abuse that some users receive on the site increasing rapidity, something that he didn’t aspect to see when he made the site 13 years ago.

Dorsey mention that if he were to create the site again, he would put less emphasis on the likes and follows and saying that “We have to look at how we display follows and likes,” as well as saying the company would look into tackling online abuse. However, the changes that Dorsey mentioned would mean a massive change to the site, something that users aren’t also happy about (Instagram changing its feeds algorithm away from chronological order has had many users complaining and wanting the chronological feed back).

The fascination with likes and followers has risen with the increased popularity of social media. The fascination with posts being liked is where many users are gaining a sense of self-worth. Caring about others opinions about yourself is something that has been around for a long time but with the rise in social media has caused the importance of stranger’s opinions. However, the effect of being able to get an instant response on how ‘liked’ you are could have a negative effect on your mental health. The importance of likes and followers has become a new, easy way to measure of self-worth, fame and success, with many people gathering a following from posting pictures of themselves or their art. This idea of fame has caused people to create an image of their life that only shows the positives of their life, creating a false sense of what success looks like as they are often posting a well edited, false version of their life.

Social media doesn’t only have a negative affect on us, it has become a place where people express themselves, it helps to bring attention to smaller voices and brings communities and people together.

How you feel about changing the way you use social media?