The Champions' Journal

Building Orphanages

Social Media Is About More Than Selfies

Social+media+can+have+many+positive+effects.
Social media can have many positive effects.

Social media can have many positive effects.

Social media can have many positive effects.

Christie Basson, Editor in Chief

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“Social media is like a brick: you can either use it build an orphanage or you can use it to break windows,” said Laura Willard, Senior Writer at Upworthy. “I know it’s hard for kids growing up in the age of social media, but there’s an opportunity for the positive, as well.”

Social media is not killing our youth – it’s building them up. Besides the obvious flood of endorphins that comes from a thumbs-up or a nice comment, the internet has given people of all ages an international platform where they can express themselves in anyway they wish.

Before information was accessible by a few swipes of our fingers, humanity relied entirely on the media such as television and newspapers for information. Today, anyone can post anything on the internet and within minutes, the world will have one more opinion that broadens our views. Social media campaigns have become a popular way for millennials to raise awareness and support for any subject under the sun.

Although many critique the media for it’s cookie-cutter portrayal of people, especially women, social media has no such filters. Everyone – no matter body type, race, style or gender  – can post a photo. This creates a way for everyone to celebrate themselves and their looks, and it promotes a diverse, multicultural hub in which everyone is represented. Social media offers a platform that gives voice to a wide variety of people. Thanks to social media, millennial children are raised with the idea that it’s okay to look different and express yourself in ways that make you happy.

Social media, is in fact becoming a very useful tool for parents. I know I’m not the only one who has been bombarded by an inspirational video, forwarded by my enthusiastic parents who believe that it will fix all my problems. Parents have found a new way to impart wisdom – and the internet is the perfect place to share their experiences and ideas. From personal blogs to general ideas on humanity, social media has created an inspiration-filled parent handbook that can help countless parents raise their children as open-minded and self-confident.

We are a product of our environment  and consequently, children who are raised with the idea that the sky’s the limit will believe it.  Children of the 21st century are changing the status quo – from hipster glasses to computer programming, our definition of “cool” is changing. Social media is creating a niche where those who were previously considered outsiders can find themselves a tribe of like-minded individuals. From food-bloggers to would-be poets, social media offers a platform for anyone to express their passion and to find others who are nerdy about the same things.

Of course, there is always the omnipresent threat of cyber bullying and one must accept that by giving the world your opinion, you’ll receive some back. The internet has opened a whole new platform for hate to grow, causing nearly 43 percent of kids to have been bullied online. Just like social media can be a stage to advance humanity, it can be used as a podium to spread hate negativity.

This disturbing behaviour does not have to dictate all trends. The positive influence of social media widely outweighs the negative parts, and with the correct education, we can teach children (and adults) to use social media in a positive way. It can be a powerful way to connect and grow with others and in the long run, the psychological benefits will be enormous. Social media is a ladder that the children of tomorrow are using to reach the top – and then to help up those who get tangled in the rungs. Social media – from Twitter to Snapchat to Tumblr – can become a powerful way to shape ourselves the environment around us.

 

 

Video with more information on the positive effects of social media:

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