I forget that social media has its own category of news sometimes because social media itself is full of news from not only individuals but actual news companies. Honestly, though, this stuff is juicy. In a lot of ways, social media news is like gossip. It scratches that itch to be in the know but not a part of it. Sometimes just being on Twitter isn’t enough. Sometimes you want to know that Twitter suspended Alex Jones’ account. So did Facebook, by the way. Sometimes you want to know that a whole comeback series of Roseanne got cancelled because the main actress tweeted something, um, unkind.
The need to know more is one of the main reasons that social media exists. Human beings are nosy creatures. We want to know what’s going on and we want to be in everyone’s business. And a lot of the time we want to specifically invite others into our business ourselves. Social Media is a great way to not only share, but overshare, and by doing so, make mistakes (even if we don’t always believe a mistake was made).
Social media is getting us into trouble in our personal lives sometimes. We aren’t just maintaining an online presence anymore, we are opening ourselves up to the judgment of the world. Alex Jones announced on social media that the Sandy Hook shooting was a sham and now he’s in legal tried for defamation. The Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia which booted Sarah Sanders from its tabled has been attacked relentlessly online through social media and inundated with negative politically charged reviews from angry citizens who side with Sanders politically. The charge against the Red Hen began on Twitter and was started by President Trump himself. In a world where everything is published for instant mass ingestion by the public, social media has become less virtual and more livable than ever.
There are often posts online about social media users needing to fast from Facebook or Instagram, or all social media in general, because maintaining a presence online is stressing people out. Political arguments, general negativity, and the ongoing effort it sometimes takes to build up a following or a decent social media presence is overwhelming people. Social media isn’t just online now, it’s everywhere. It’s causing people anxiety in ordinary life.
Social media is also changing how we spend money. We are constantly bombarded with ads online (I’m only a little ashamed to admit that I’m addicted to bath bombs with jewelry in them thanks to Facebook). People are also spending money to boost online visibility and popularity. It’s the ultimate intermingling of life online and life out in the world. Not only companies, but individuals as well will buy followers on Instagram to increase their following. And for good reason too – it works!
As social media continues to grow and expand across its multiple platforms on the internet, it will always continue to permeate our daily lives. We talk about Facebook and Instagram and Twitter in every day conversations because it’s all so normal to us. Social media is now the ultimate source of news and information, and just as life imitates art, so does life imitate that which we constantly see online.