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How social media and pop culture affect our society

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, December 8, 2013 15:12

Affects of social media

Photo in the Public Domain

We live in an age of technology, where pop culture and social media seem to be everywhere. No one can go anywhere without seeing the faces of famous actors and actresses in a store or on a TV screen. And no one can seem to go a day without checking in on their social media accounts. We can know so much about a person at any given moment that it’s sometimes scary. The power of social media and pop culture is outstanding in both good and bad ways.

Undoubtedly, social media has a problem with glorifying the wrong things people do. When something terrible goes on in the world, that’s all we hear about on the radio, TV screen, and social media websites. When someone commits an outrageous crime, they suddenly become household names and their pictures start appearing all over the world within a matter of minutes. They soon become the punch line to every joke and background to every meme. We make them look like stars of pop culture instead of recognizing that they are criminals and should not be idolized.  
Furthermore, pop culture has a big effect on how people feel about themselves. Girls look through websites such as Tumblr and Pinterest and all they see are stick-thin, beautiful girls on the pages in front of them. They become obsessed with wanting to look like them and wanting to look perfect, yet the reality of it all is that the girls in the pictures do not really even look like that. But it is not presented in that manner and some people will take extreme measures to try to look like that. Everything is edited to look “good” and we are all guilty of it as well. How many times have you uploaded a picture to Instagram and not added a filter? We are consumed by our own judgment of ourselves, so much that we cannot even accept who we are and what we look like. Because of pop culture putting such a strain on looking perfect, our confidence has been shot.

On the other hand, social media has positive effects as well. It’s become a big factor in keeping in touch with family and friends we do not communicate with on a regular basis. Social media also has the power to get information to millions of people within seconds if need be. If social media is used for the right types of things, it can be very helpful to our society.

Another upside to pop culture is that pop stars often do things in order to go against the norm. They take what people think is “perfect” and throw it in the trash. They do not care what people think of them and they want to send that message out to the world. For example, Beyoncé just cut off all of her hair and she still looks as beautiful as ever. And Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s: it was obviously crazy but she did what she wanted to do and did not think twice about the opinions of others. Because these famous people do these things people feel more confident in doing the things they want to do, even if it is against the norm. They want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin and be proud of who they are. And they are accomplishing just that.

No matter how we use social media or look at pop culture, it is always going to have its pros and cons and they will affect people in different ways. I don’t think there will ever be a way that we can avoid the negatives of it all. But eventually I do think that the positives of social media and pop culture will out-weigh the negatives and have a positive impact on people.

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