How is the use of social media contributing to digital transformations in the fabric of everyday life?
The social media must have; Facebook has practically become a necessity in everyday life. From connecting with the friends of our past to making new ones through common interests, it has seriously impacted the fabric of everyday life. It has had a massive impact on society including the way we chose to portray our self online and the way we interact with others. Without in now, some of us would be lost, however others feel it is damaging and dangerous. Has Facebook transformed the way we communicate or is it deteriorating us a community? The following will discuss the way contributing to the Facebook community is impacting our everyday lives.
Facebook initially was set out to be used with in communities around Harvard University, it then expanded to other Ivy league Schools and then eventually in 2006 any one aged 13 and over could access the site and create an account. Now in 2018 over one billion people are actively using Facebook monthly. It brings people closer together and creates new relationships and bonds through the use of social media. “Facebook is a friendship-driven digital place to hang out for many young people. As part of their online socialising, youths learn from and teach each other methods to create as well as share media and lore. Knowing where to find the next cool music file to download is a form of social currency, as is being able to reedit it. Pictures, wall comments, status updates, and videos are all part of hanging out digitally, all deeply intertwined with face-to-face social life.” (Howard Rheingold, Anthony Weeks 2012). Facebook has paved the way for many digital transformations such as group chats, involving more than two people where people can come together and hold one conversation. Also the use of status updates informing then people you select to have as ‘Friends’ about the goings on in your life and the things you are interested in or got up to from where ever you are in the world. For example, all your friends from high school can be informed of your engagement when you are in Hong Kong and they are back home in York with in seconds of updating your status or sending and message in the group chat. Facebook is the leader of many digital transformations in everyday life some positive and some negative.
Facebook positively contributes to digital transformations in the fabric of every day life by enhancing forms of communication. Before Facebook, people you met in your everyday life but didn’t have the chance to get a phone number from would be hard to get into contact with again. However with the aid of Facebook you are able to search for that person by name and any other information you know about them, such as hometown or place of work. This helps to create more relationships online which can then be used in ‘real world’ situations. Facebook also strengthens these relationships; for example, people that are friends are able to ‘like’ each others status updates and pictures, giving people virtual recognition making people feel good, like people are listening to them and they are apart of something. “The popularity of Web 2.0 is especially significant here, as easy-to-use online tools which enable people to learn about, and from, each other, and to collaborate and share resources, have made a real difference to what people do with, and can get from, their electronic media.” (David Gauntlett). The Facebook groups element to the site allows people with similar interests to come together and communicate in one space, this gives people a sense of community and that they belong to something thats important to them.
Facebook also has negative aspects that contribute to facts of everyday life such a mental health. “Academic studies have raised concerns that intense use of social media is linked to depression, low self-esteem and feelings of isolation, particularly among the young.”. (Matthew Moore, 2017). This could be down to serval factors, such as body image and how people are portrayed online to people having at home accesses to bully and verbally attack people online. For example, everyone on Facebook has a chance to upload a profile picture that they want to be displayed to show people who they are. The problem with this is that images do not always portray realistic versions of people and at times with the enhancements of lighting and other forms of editing unrealistic versions of people are portrayed. This then sometimes leads to people feeling down as to why the do not look like these edited images, giving Facebook users a false sense of reality and effecting the moods and behaviours of the user.
To conclude this essay; Facebook contributes highly to the digital transformations of everyday life in mostly positive ways. Facebook has revolutionised the way we communicate with each other and the way we get into contact with one another. It helps create new bonds as well as bringing people together with similar interests and enthusiasms. It has negative aspects such a creating unrealistic expectations of people, however if we learn to look past this and understand what may be untrue or altered Facebook will be a positive community were digital transformations continue to develop.
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