November 17, 2015 17 November 2015
Comment [JA1]: Correct MLA date format
Social media plays a major role in the human daily practices now more than ever. The
majority of people now receive their day to day news via social media, interact through social
media platforms, and enact change through the fast spread of information. The use of social
media contains various positive aspects yet there are various negative aspects as well. Taking
Comment [JA2]: Looking back, I realized how these three
sentences acted as a filler that does not convey information.
both sides into account draws an intriguing argument that is worth discussing. Society is heavily
Comment [JA3]: I felt that I should remove this sentence
since the discussion will happen throughout the paper.
reliant on social media’s use, all coming with it’s own set of positive and negative attributes.
Comment [JA4]: Taking feedback of these statements
being filler into consideration, I aimed to convey my points
into a concise statement that has something to say.
After conducting a great deal of research it is easy to see that social media is secretly damaging
today’s society. Although it has technologically advanced society and has made certain aspects
of life much more simple, simple is not always better. Through the fast spread of information
comes false information. Additionally, being connected at all times makes it easy to be distracted
in classroom settings, thus making learning even more challenging (Bellur et al par 6). It is even
changing how we view our relationships with society and others, and it is destroying face to face
Social media provides quick and easy access for groups and individuals to become
informed and updated on current events. It also provides society an efficient platform to express
their thoughts, ideas and opinions that they see as true. However, the ability to spread false
information is faster and easier as well. Yet, there are those that argue that the false information
found on social media is relatively insignificant as opposed to major world issues. An online
scholarly article In Leticia Bode’s article, (title) she goes against this argument stating that,
“social media propagates unconfirmed or untrue information upon which people rely in a crisis
situation” (Keim & Noji as qtd. Bode par. 1). Additionally, To further her point, Bode quotes
numerous authors who advocate that, “research on misinformation has resulted in several clear
takeaways. Citizens are misinformed about foreign policy (Gershkoff & Kushner, 2005),
domestic policy (Jerit & Barabas, 2012), and scientific policies (Leiserowitz, Maibach, RoserRenouf, & Hmielowski, 2011)” (Bode et al par. 6). To side with Bode’s first statement would be
Comment [JA5]: Throughout this paper I noticed a
common theme when addressing my sources. The preface
to the quotes seemed wordy so I aimed to make my
language more concise and have more of a continuous flow.
The rest of the paper will have similar changes when
introducing an article.
Comment [JA6]: I realized it could be confusing for a
reader to understand that this quote was taken from the
same article so I felt that adding “To further her point,
Bode…” helps the readers see the following quote came
from the same article.
It also could be confusing to see the multiple authors
credited in this quote. Therefore, I made sure to make it
clear that author Bode was quoting in her own article.
biased without her follow-up statement. This is because the follow-up statement in Bode’s article
derives from facts found through research instead of mere opinion. Nevertheless, arguments on
this subject continue. In fact, they even expand within the same article, “given its daily presence
in many users' lives, social media may also offer an opportunity to combat misinformation”
(Bode et al par. 2). Looking at this objectively, the spread of false information is equivalent to
spreading rumors. This act can take a toll on personal life as well, with social media influencing
different aspects of people’s lives. Moreover, the rate of suicide has increased due to cyberbullying, a product of social change.
Many individuals in society use social media as a tool to express their ideas, beliefs,
Comment [JA7]: This sentence was intended to preface my
next point on social change, but felt out of place. This is why
I completely took out this sentence and ended the
paragraph with the sentence before it.
opinions and experiences. However, this beautiful tool can be harmful depending on it’s user.
The act of bullying has always existed but social media has increased this act, known as cyberbullying. According to author Krystine Batcho, not only has the web increased bullying but it,
“takes place in a more extreme way over social media because the authors feel no responsibility”
(qtd. in Graham par. 5). A scholarly article written by Rina Bonanno In Rina Bonanno’s article
she expands upon Batcho’s claim when she says that, “perpetrators of cyber bullying enjoy a
degree of anonymity and invisibility that is not always possible with more traditional or face-to-
Comment [JA8]: Once again, eliminating the use of “a
scholarly article” when referring to sources. This new
introduction of the article helps the sentence flow better
face forms of bullying, and which also can make them less aware of the impact of their behavior
on victims” (Bonanno par. 7). Bonanno also shows the relationship in the links between victims
of cyber bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation. Research proves that victims of cyber
bullying are most likely to become depressed and have suicidal thoughts more so than victims of
traditional bullying (Bonanno par. 1). However, there are many that use the beauty of social
media for the greater good. For example, many strive to put an end to all forms of bullying.
Hyesun Hwang, author of a scholarly article Social Media As a Tool for Social Movements says
Comment [JA9]: I added the name of this author’s article
instead of using “a scholarly article”.
that, “social movements can be efficient and effective via social media in two respects. First,
social media users may contribute to globalized social movements by conveying messages to a
broad audience. Second, social media empower users to generate messages that urge new
activations” (Hwang par. 16). For example, think back to summer’s 2014 phenomenon, the ALS
ice bucket challenge. Hundreds of millions of ice dumping videos were posted on Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, and other sites to raise awareness for those suffering from ALS. It is obvious
that social media allows more people to participate in social movements now than ever before,
but I questioned the importance in the number of participants in social movements. Reading
further in Hwang’s article, critics bring attention to the fact that, “through social media people
may join social movements without substantial commitment and thereby remain passive users
rather than active members (Earl and Schussman, 2003; Van Laer and Van Aelst, 2010)”
(Hwang par. 18). It is easy to side with these critics considering the importance of quality over
quantity. Putting yourself in a social media user’s shoes, it is easy to see why they want to get on
board with a good cause. With that being said, there are many external distractions that come
with social media, which may explain the lack of commitment. These traits are displayed through
students and their various interests more than ever before.
Comment [JA10]: I added this example so the readers can
have a better understanding of the idea being discussed.
This example also provides valuable information while
allowing readers to connect better with my writing. Thus,
keeping them interested.
While many argue that social media enhances student’s learning, others argue that social
media diminishes it. Beginning with the latter, students grade point averages are decreasing due
to the multiple distractions of social media. When multiple distractions are going on in the
classroom, a student’s focus is shifting back and forth. This act requires them to learn the
material outside of the classroom independently, thus making it hard for students to maintain
their grades (Bellur par. 7). Yet social media continues to distract students outside of the
classroom. Results from a non-scholarly source Results from an independent study suggest that,
“students who use social media had an average GPA of 3.06 while non-users had an average
GPA of 3.82” (Pro & Con Arguments sec. 3). However, author Elizabeth Heatley views the use
of social media in classroom settings to be extremely beneficial. In her scholarly article, Heatley
suggests that sites such as Facebook levels out the classroom stating, “students who require more
time to process ideas or formulate thoughtful responses have equal access to online forum
discussions, while face-to-face discussions reward quick thinkers and strong verbal processors”
(Heatley sec. 1). Also, social media is a great tool for students who are timid and scared to speak
out in class because some teachers use Twitter during class time so these students can tweet their
thoughts or opinions on certain subjects (Heatley sec. 2). Although Heatley makes strong and
valid points, it is hard to ignore the question whether it is okay for teachers to make school easier
for these shy students or if they should help students overcome their fears. Social media allows
individuals to escape face-to-face interactions, which does not address these students’ needs to
function in real world settings. Furthermore, social media may be one of the sole reasons for the
loss of social skills seen in today’s society.
For today’s younger generation, social media is the preferred mode of communication.
Today’s technology allows society to stay connected with the world around them at all times, but
Comment [JA11]: Another example where I avoided
making this same repetitive mistake. After making these
changes various times, I now see how much this helped the
strength of my writing.
at the same time it allows people to escape reality – thus creating a disconnection. However, in
his article, Enabling Community Through Social Media, author Gruzd argues the opposite. He
starts off by stating that one of the main advantages of interacting online is, “that the focus is on
Comment [JA12]: I made no changes to this one because I
felt that it had a different approach than the other source
transitions that needed to be fixed.
what people do with each other rather than the medium or face-to-face context through which
they do it” (Gruzd par. 6). He then explains how it builds support systems for individuals and
helps them stay connected and up to date with their friends and relatives. It also helps them meet
new people that have similar interests (Gruzd par. 6). Another scholarly article remains Another
article I consulted remained supportive of online interactions, but says that it helps them said it
Comment [JA13]: Replacement of “another scholarly
helped them stay connected with those they already know, not strangers (Hottell sec. 5).
Comment [JA14]: Because of the previous change above, I
made this revision in order to maintain the past tense being
Although it is hard to side with either source, it most certainly makes more sense to side with the
latter. This is because individuals are able to provide completely false or exaggerated
information/pictures on social media that lead people to believe they are someone much different
than who they are in reality (Dalton par. 7). Expanding on this idea, I chose to create a product
that tackles I began to brainstorm ways in which I could tackle this subject with the appropriate
audience – social media users.
There is a clear disconnect between the lives people portray online and the lives they live
in reality. For my product, I created two Instagram accounts, one titled “The Real Me” and the
other one titled, “The Instagram Me”. I aimed to highlight the juxtapositions between these two
ideas of what people post or express on social media versus what really happens or how they
truly feel in reality. I used old pictures while also taking news ones to portray real life examples
that occur on social media sites. To exemplify the way people’s relationships in today’s society
consists of making the relationship look a certain way via social media, I posted a picture on
Comment [JA15]: This new sentence provides a better
conclusion of this paragraph while also leading into the next
paragraph which will discuss the creation of my product
without referring to it as “my product”. Referring to my
product as “my product” in my paper is a bit confusing for
readers outside of this class who are unaware that I was
required to make a product along with this paper.
Comment [JA16]: Separation of these two paragraphs that
had been together into one long paragraph. The product
paragraph needed to be by itself in order to show my
“The Instagram Me” account of my friends and me about to go out together and have a great
time. Then, on “The Real Me” account I posted a picture of what was really going on in the
moment. All three of us were sitting in the same room together with our eyes glued to our phones
and absolutely no interaction between one another. We were more concerned about getting a
picture of what looked like fun to everyone else rather than having fun ourselves. Social media is
addictive and is commonly the first thing people look at before getting out of bed each morning.
Society has become so obsessed with viewing other people’s seemingly adventurous/perfect
lives and relationships that they are unable to enjoy their own. This leads individuals to become
insecure and feel as though their life does not compare to the ones they see on the web. In order
to support these statements, pastor Steven Furtick quotes that “the reason we struggle with
insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”
However, many social media users seem to be unaware of this when they scroll through their
newsfeed. Due to this unawareness, individual’s self esteems begin to deteriorate as shown in the
following study, “in 2012 a team of researchers in the UK surveyed users, 53% of whom said
social media had changed their behavior; 51% said it was negative behavior because of decline
in confidence they felt” (Probst sec. 2). Steven Furtick explains the reason behind the decline in
confidence stating, “the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behindthe-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” (Furtick). I wanted to get this message out to
social media users, which led me to create two Instagram accounts. The name on the first
account is, “The Social Media Me” while the other is named, “The Real Me”. In these accounts I
aimed to highlight the juxtapositions between what society posts on social media, versus what
they actually feel and do in real life. Furthermore, I exemplified an exaggerated lifestyle filled
Comment [JA17]: I did not like this paragraph discussing
my product at all which is why I completely started over. I
gave too much detail and not enough meaning. Therefore, I
took out the specific long examples and made it much more
concise. I gave broad examples so that my readers could
visualize what the two Instagram accounts consisted of
while I also showed the intended message and purpose
behind these accounts.
The paragraph was also a bit confusing before I made
certain revisions. With these changes, such as the way I
introduced my product without calling it by that name, all of
my readers are now able to comprehend with ease.
with happiness, friends, parties, and adventurous on “The Social Media Me” account. Then, on
“The Real Me” account, I portrayed a more accurate, transparent life, consisting of loneliness
and depression. Society has become obsessed with viewing other’s seemingly perfect lives, in
addition to making everyone else believe their life is just as perfect. This deception has led to the
inability to live in the moment and enjoy a non-virtual life. My hope is that we, as a society, can
put an end to these issues; but in order to do so, they must be addressed. If they are addressed,
people will be able to realize their problems within their own lives, instead of pretending
everything is perfect. Needless to say, this is why I felt it was important to show and address this
issue through creating my two Instagram accounts.
While social media has advanced society by allowing us to seamlessly connect with
Comment [JA18]: This is the new paragraph. This first
sentence here follows behind the opening sentence, “there
is a clear disconnect…” which then makes this the 2
sentence of the product paragraph.
others across the globe, as well as providing a level of convenience in our lives, it still creates
more harm than good causes greater harm than good. With all factors considered, social media
leads to the spread of false information, perpetuates social change – sometimes for the worse as
evident in bullying, distractions in classroom settings, and the deterioration of social skills, self
esteems and relationships. It should be the goal of society to channel social media’s positives,
while not getting too attached. In doing so, our social skills will enhance, we will have more
meaningful real life relationships rather than virtual ones, and we will begin to enjoy life by
living in the moment.
Comment [JA19]: I felt that this way of making the
statement was better sounding.
"A Quote by Steven Furtick." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
Graham, Regina F. "Psychologist: Social Media Causing A 'Distancing Phenomena' To Take
Place." CBS DC. N.p., 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
"Pro & Con Arguments: "Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?"" ProConorg
Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2015.
Probst, Caitlin. "10 Ways Social Media Affects Mental Health." Degreed Atom. N.p., 29 Apr.
2015. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
Comment [JA20]: In the paragraph discussing my product,
I added a quote from the previous paper. Therefore, I
needed to add it in the citation.
Bellur, Saraswathi, Kristine L. Nowak, and Kyle S. Hull. "Make It Our Time: in Class
Multitaskers Have Lower Academic Performance." Computers in Human Behavior. 53
Comment [JA21]: Journal titles must be italicized which I
was unaware of having to do before getting feedback. The
following are italicized as well.
Bode, Leticia, and Emily K. Vraga. "In Related News, That Was Wrong: the Correction of
Misinformation Through Related Stories Functionality in Social Media." Journal of
Communication. 65.4 (2015): 619-638. Print.
Comment [JA22]: Italicize.
Bonanno, Rina A, and Shelley Hymel. "Cyber Bullying and Internalizing Difficulties: Above and
Beyond the Impact of Traditional Forms of Bullying." Journal of Youth and Adolescence
: a Multidisciplinary Research Publication. 42.5 (2013): 685-697. Print.
Comment [JA23]: Italicize.
Dalton, Jon C, and Pamela C. Crosby. "Digital Identity: How Social Media Are Influencing
Student Learning and Development in College." Journal of College and Character. 14.1
Comment [JA24]: Italicize.
(2013): 1-4. Print.
Gruzd, Anatoliy, and Caroline Haythornthwaite. "Enabling Community Through Social Media."
Journal of Medical Internet Research. 15.10 (2013). Print.
Comment [JA25]: Italicize.
Heatley, Elizabeth R., and Talana R. Lattimer. "Using Social Media To Enhance Student
Learning." Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers 88.1 (2013): 8-9. Education
Research Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
Comment [JA26]: Italicize.
Hottell, Derek L, Ana M. Martinez-Aleman, and Heather T. Rowan-Kenyon. "Summer Bridge
Program 2.0: Using Social Media to Develop Students' Campus Capital." Change: the
Magazine of Higher Learning. 46.5 (2014): 34-38. Print.
Comment [JA27]: Italicize.
Hwang, Hyesun, and Kee-Ok Kim. "Social Media As a Tool for Social Movements: the Effect of
Social Media Use and Social Capital on Intention to Participate in Social Movements."
International Journal of Consumer Studies. 39.5 (2015): 478-488. Print.