Social Media & The Effect It Has On Its Users

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Social Media & The Effect It Has On Its Users

An image showing many popular social media platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat.

An image showing many popular social media platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat.

An image showing many popular social media platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat.

An image showing many popular social media platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat.

Samantha Brown, Editor-in-Chief

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Some may not realize the power that social media has over the world until one stands back and looks at the image in front of them. Most may not be aware of the shadow that social media casts over us until we open our eyes and observe the darkness around us. Sounds crazy, I know. But, listen to the facts. According to a trustworthy online source in 2010 approximately 0.97 billion people worldwide used social media. Fast forward to today; that number has almost tripled to an astonishing total of 2.62 billion people.

This evidence proves that social media has literally spread worldwide. Even if you don’t use social media, it still will affect you in some way; whether it’s by getting news from your friends according to their favorite social media app or the latest celebrity gossip, social media will find a way to influence you.

One example of a way that social media influences society is an Instagram account going by the name ‘world_record_egg.’ It spread rapidly on Instagram and its goal was to beat the most liked photo (a picture of Kylie and her baby which got over 18 million likes). In less than a week, the only picture posted on the account (a plain egg) boasted over 50 million likes, surpassing Jenner’s like count and taking place as the #1 most liked photo on Instagram.

Social media influencers are an important part of keeping many of your favorite apps such as Instagram popular and relevant. Most people use their platform to entertain the public by making videos that are usually comical, newsworthy, or art related subjects. These influencers create an image of themselves online, and some can use this page to manipulate their fans. This can be observed when taking a look at the Fyre Festival and how that affected hundreds of people.

Now, you may be wondering, what is the Fyre Festival, and what does it have to do with social influencers? Well, Fyre Festival was an event planned by entrepreneur Billy McFarland. This event included a luxury stay and celebration taking place at a private island in the Bahamas.

This event exploded all over social media once the public heard that some of their favorite celebrities such as Migos and Kendall Jenner will be either performing or attending. Many social media influences like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner posted images of them at the Fyre Festival and telling their followers to attend it.

A screenshot from a post made by Kendall Jenner telling their followers to go to the Fyre Festival.

Promptly after Fyre announced their festival, tens of celebrities posted photos of them on the lovely beaches of the so-called “festival” and encouraging their millions of fans to join them in paradise. In response to these posts, the media went wild, and many fans spent thousands of dollars to experience the luxury that was Fyre Festival. Everyone was raving about the promise of a luxurious festival until everything went terribly wrong.

Rumors started to spread through the online community that the entire festival was one big hoax and that it wasn’t as luxurious as everyone thought it was; these rumors were proven to be true, and everyone who pre-bought tickets began to panic. They spent thousands of dollars on one giant scam because they thought that they could trust their social media influencers.

This event was significant because it showed the social media community that their reliable celebrities weren’t as trustworthy as they seemed behind their screen.

James Elmore, an 8th-grade student at Dana Middle School says, “From my perspective, I think that events like the Fyre Festival prove that social media can harm people and that it can be very misleading.”

In review, social media has the power to manipulate people into believing practically anything. Events such as the Fyre Festival are a great example of how social media creates a fantasy that lives completely online and the sad part is that people believed that it was true.