Social media: that defining plague of our generation. Everyone has an opinion on it. And, in the wake of recent scandals like the Russian election interference via Facebook, many opinions are shifting from those of the “I don’t see the big deal” variety to the “Good Lord, I’m sort of low-key addicted to Facebook, and maybe that’s changing the ways that I interact with the world around me” variety.
Of course, panic over social media is nothing new. Studies have shown a correlation between prolonged use of social networking sites and signs of depression; other studies have demonstrated a link between low self-esteem and prolonged use of those same sites. And in Silicon Valley, in an ironic and vaguely terrifying twist, the very same people who are running our most popular social media sites are increasingly banning their children from “screen time” generally.
Athena Chavarria, former executive assistant at Facebook and current employee at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, summed up the collective parental hysteria more succinctly, saying, “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.”
So, in summary: social media is bad; millennials addicted to social media are bad; parents who allow their children screen time are bad. What’s that, you say? You went on Facebook for an hour yesterday and watched an hour of Tasty videos, and you still, somehow, have the gall to think that you’re a decent person? We condemn you, roundly. You only communicate with your friends from home over Snapchat? Nice going, devil-worshipper.
That being said, with all the panic about big tech and SNS (Social Networking Sites), we here at Editorial Board were interested in exploring a more optimistic piece of social media news from this past week.