Me and my social media – NCS grad, Ellie

ncs 28/06/2019

With Social Media Day on 30 June, we asked our grads for their opinions. Ellie rose to the occasion and even conducted a questionnaire to find out more about people’s relationship with various social media platforms. Over to you, Ellie.

One way or another, social media has crept into everyone’s lives. People use it for school, work, business etc, so why is it so frowned upon? Why does the media seem to hate social media, and only shed it in a negative light? 

Most young people have grown up with it in their lives, so what do they really think? And what do the generations who didn’t grow up with social media think about it? Why does my dad hate Facebook so much? 

I made a questionnaire and gave it to people my age, people who are older than me, people who are younger than me, some people who I am close with, and some people who I don't know well, to get a better idea of their opinions...

“Name one positive and one negative of social media”

The consensus on this was roughly the same with the older people and younger people saying that they liked how you could connect and communicate with people easily and from a distance, but some of the younger people also said they liked the funny side of it (eg. memes!). 

As for the negative, both the younger and older people said that victimisation, bullying and gossiping are elements they don’t like. 

“Do you think social media has a positive and/or negative effect on your mental health, and why?”

So this was quite a personal question that resulted in a mixed bag of responses! Most people said they’d had both good and bad past experiences. From being a great place to connect with friends but also a place where they’d experienced bullying.

However, one person said that social media was a positive for their mental health because they only follow people who inspire them – and I think this is an extremely important point. It is all too easy to be thrown into a black hole of negativity on the internet, so by only following positive, good, inspiring people this can be avoided. 

“Do you think social media is a positive and/or negative thing for modern society, and why?”

A lot more people circled ‘both’ for this question, for similar reasons to the previous questions. One response, when asked, “Why?” said, “It all depends on how people use it”. I think this is 100% true. We all have a responsibility for what we post, like and share. We, ourselves, make a decision on if we want to be a positive or negative influence.

As suggested by my questionnaire, both younger and older people believe similar things, so, again, why does the media hate social media so much? 

Personally, I think it’s down to focusing on the negatives, as, unfortunately, a negative story gets more attention and clicks than a positive one. People want to know about drama and gossip. 

As a community, we need to rally in and combat this negativity and spread love not hate, so that the media will hopefully become more positive, and it will no longer be considered a dangerous place. 

In my opinion, I completely agree with everything said in the questionnaire, and I also do believe social media can be both a positive and negative place. All in all, social media is a powerful and useful tool that can be so beneficial, if used correctly. It’s all about finding that balance between your real life and your online life, and taking a break from that online life if it’s all getting too much.