The Fears of Social Media

Written by: MacKenzie J Hungerford

There is an actual fear of social media by college students. This fear can derive from political campaigns, advertising, scams or even addiction. The current college student generation heavily relies on technology and social media for various purposes. This indispensable quality generates a fear of becoming addicted.

In my capstone class the other day, we were working on an advertising and marketing campaign. One of the campaigns was heavily going to be run through Instagram. A girl named Kiera Thompson in my class said that she didn’t have an Instagram. This statement made heads turn and mouths drop. As a graphic design and marketing major, it was surprising to find out that she did not own an Instagram. I decided to ask her why and her response was not what I had expected. Kiera told me that she was just too lazy to put in the time and effort to create and become invested in the platform. I then thought that Kiera would be a perfect college student to interview about social media and how it influences her life. Since, the career path she has chosen is a highly technology and social media-based field, I thought that it would be interesting to interview someone in that field that states that she is too lazy to create an Instagram. “I really don’t use social media all that much, besides for following other graphic designers and artists. I find that with this new political era upon us, I’m turned off from seeing the constant posts about it. Instead, I listen to NPR because I find it to be more reliable” says Kiera when I asked her how she felt about social media. It is proven that political campaigns take up a good majority of social media. According to Mass Media and American Politics written by Doris A. Graber and Johanna Dunaway, over 2 billion dollars goes towards presidential election advertising. This advertising is on both social media platforms, radio platforms and television platforms. 2 billion dollars can pay for a lot of social media coverage. When asked how it affects her as a college student, Kiera stated “It just takes up so much of my time when it is in my life. As a marketing major, I must be well versed in how social media functions, how people use it and what are the most popular trends”. Personally, as a broadcasting and graphic design major, I can understand the need to be well versed in all aspects of social media. There is an actual fear in going too deep into social media. The fear being, once you’re in too deep it’s hard to get out. There is an addictive quality about social media that makes it indispensable in our everyday lives. There is a genuine fear of going on it and a fear of not having it easily accessible to us.

According to Social Media: Usage and Impact written by Hana S. Noor Al-Deen and John Allen Hendricks, In the last 10 years social media has blown up to astronomical proportions. Due to this increase in affiliation with social media, our world is beginning to revolve around it. Advertising, political campaigning, marketing, graphics, journalism and many more content-based careers and majors, are now heavily relying on technology and various forms of social media. When you rely on something so heavily, there are many fears that can come about. The fear of loosing content, the fear of becoming addicted to platforms, the fear of being away from social media and the fear of debate and controversy.

I spend about twenty-five percent of my day, each day, either using social media or creating content for social media. As a double major in broadcasting and graphic design with a minor in photography, I heavily rely of technology and social media. I especially rely on social media since, one day, I would like to work as a content specialist creating content for a company’s social media platform. Since I rely so heavily on these platforms, I fear that I am wasting my time getting sucked into content. I also fear that I am not using social media as much as I should be using it. Lastly, I fear the controversy that is opened in public forums. Social media platforms allow the world to connect and, overall, that can be a fearful thing.

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