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Communications & Media
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The Overuse of Social Media: Counter Argument, Rebuttal (Essay Sample)


The essay requires the student to explain the overuse of social media by modern audiences.

Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
The Overuse of Social Media
Social media is no doubt an essential tool for communication and connection, as well as being the source of entertainment and enlightenment. It has had so much effect on people’s daily lives that they hardly notice the amount of time spent through timelines, pictures, and digital feeds. If we choose to combine the amount of time spent on brushing teeth, dressing, showering, and preparing for work, it hardly competes with the time spent on social media. Therefore, although these forms of electronic communication have many benefits, they also have destructive effects. While social media continues to be used in many countries as an alternative to mainstream media and a tool for telling stories otherwise ignored by contemporary media, excessive use must be controlled because it has proven to be the most significant source of addiction and dependence, containing symptoms similar to drinking and drug addiction.
Counter Argument
Social media use needs to be encouraged because it positively influences people’s lives in multiple ways, including the ability to keep in touch with friends and family, acquire information and entertainment, and remain up to speed with current affairs CITATION Buc161 \l 1033 (Bucher). It is a platform to find news and helps make new friends and even go as far as finding spouses. The rise of social media has inadvertently led to the spread of fake news CITATION Tyl17 \l 1033 (Hellard). Therefore, the users have to be keen about sieving out information they find online to keep propaganda at bay. Companies can market their products effectively through social media bypassing the need to use mainstream media platforms.
Social media addiction must be discouraged because it is the leading cause of depression among users. It is plausible to speak about the addiction to Facebook because it encompasses common criteria for the disease. For instance, users displaying experiences that modify their moods attempt to conceal the addictive behavior and mental preoccupation. Some of them try to neglect their personal lives and show elements of tolerance and escapism (Mosseri). Research posits that motivation of excessive use of social media is different and depends on particular traits. Extroverts and introverts display different characteristics depending on the situation in which they are. People with narcissistic traits have also been seen to exhibit different features. Therefore, Facebook addiction is just as harmful as any other type of drug addiction.
Social media use should be regulated for obvious reasons of preventing addiction. The time spent on social media sites continues to increase every year as evidenced by the growth in the profit of such companies as Facebook and Twitter. Users are dependent on the likes, hashtags, pictures, and favorites for personal amusement (The Economist). Due to the ‘fear of losing out,’ most users waste a lot of time looking for new information online. The feeling is mutual among rampant users of social media. The expression has become so prevalent that the term was added to the Oxford Dictionary of English in 2013 CITATION Won18 \l 1033 (Wong). The more time users spend trying to catch up with the issue on social media, the more they feel like they are missing out.
Although social media sites have many benefits, they have numerous disadvantages as well, and users must guard against these. Social media outlets create a false feeling of reality among the users. Anyone can post anything on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat with the sole intention of shaping a particular perception about their experiences. Moreover, social media provides the opportunity to use photos as a source of empowerment. People can edit their pictures in such a way that they seem to look more beautiful, thus making the viewers believe in fake. Although life is filled with both happiness and sadness in equal measure, users can filter out sad moments of their lives to shape the perception of eternal bliss (Bucher). Viewers sitting at home doing nothing but looking at happy images of their friends on snapchat is likely to feel inadequate. They may feel the need to go out and do something with their friends to measure up to the average social standards.
Social media platforms create the need for instant gratification that users must avoid remaining safe. As a result, users develop anxiety when they do not get a text back immediately or respond to their posts CITATION Won18 \l 1033 (Wong). Although such feeling does not occur all the time, it sometimes happens for people to be concerned about it. Occasionally, users feel uneasy when people want to respond to their posts but are snapping and taking time to compose a response CITATION Won18 \l 1033 (Wong). Social media applications have also been adapted to appeal to the users’ sense of urgency and expectation. The same matter goes back to the fact that people have phones and computers with the ability to send instant messages. Many users have adopted a mindset of quick and easy communication with each other. Going against such norms is considered backward and at times frowned upon.
Avid users of social media should beware because it cultivates the unhealthy habit of comparing oneself to the actions of others. Humans are created to be different in every way, and hence two individuals cannot ever be the same. Comparing oneself to others is unhealthy and impractical CITATION Buc161 \l 1033 (Bucher). True happiness can be limited, and life cannot only be composed of happy moments. Social media was created with the intent of keeping up with close friends, neighbors, and family. Globalization has widened the world, exposing users to many different global cultures CITATION Won18 \l 1033 (Wong). This trend has been beneficial and detrimental in equal measure. Users do not know when the comparison is useful and when it is harmful. For instance, fake comparisons presented on social media platforms may make people depressed. Moreover, overuse of such internet resources as...
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