Question 1: How many social media accounts do you have? Do they help you or distract you?
I only have Twitter, and TikTok, which I use exclusively to promote content for this website, and then I have Snapchat, and an Instagram account that I run for my dogs. Sometimes, I can find myself just mindlessly scrolling through TikTok and Instagram for hours and hours. They can be a really nice distraction from the real, stressful world and in this sense, for me, distractions are not a bad thing, they can actually really help me get through the days when my anxiety is running high and I just need some cute dog pictures to get me through it. So I don’t think that for me, there’s always a strict dichotomy of helpful v.s. distracting. Although, sometimes, when I should be doing work I find myself using Instagram and TikTok to procrastinate. In this case then, distraction is not helpful.
On the other hand, I do follow a handful of environment/sustainability accounts on those three platforms, which I primarily use as inspiration for my own content, but also, sometimes looking through this kind of content can bring me more stress depending on what I find on a particular day. There are a lot of informative posts, but also a lot of people shaming other eco-influencers for not being eco-friendly enough or making certain unsustainable lifestyle choices. In addition to that, posts about the political climate, Covid, and the climate crisis, while it’s good to be informed and stay up to date on things, more often, they just really don’t help me at all and make me really stressed about the state of the world, and make me feel like I’m not doing enough, like I could never do enough, or be enough.
All in all, I don’t think if the social media accounts I do have cause me more harm than good, I do know that the ones I got rid of (Facebook, my personal Insta, Pinterest, Reddit) were really hurting me, and I am much happier to have purged them from my life.
Question 2: Which social media app is your favorite? Why?
Out of the three social media apps I have, my favorite is definitely Instagram. I only have a dog Instagram account, not a personal one, where I mostly follow other dog accounts and some of my friends. I end up spending a lot of time scrolling through adorable pictures of dogs, because seriously, who doesn’t love cute dogs? I also really love posting photos of my own dogs’ adventures because in my opinion, they have pretty cool lives, and I just want everyone to know about them!
Question 3: Name three positives and three negatives of social media. Do you think it’s a fad or the way of the future?
- 1. Connect people and causes;
- 2. Distracts from the real world;
- 3. Can be a fun activity and make us feel good.
- 1. Purposely designed to make you addicted, keep you hooked on them, and lead you buy things you don’t necessarily need or even knew you wanted
- 2. Drivers of consumerism and over consumption
- 3. Create a façade of false ideals, especially for women and young girls
Unfortunately, I think social media is the way of the future. As much as it has been shaped to further and support consumer capitalism, and as much as I would like to see that system dismantled, it doesn’t look like it’s just a phase, or it’s going anywhere anytime soon. It seems like it will only get more and more pervasive in our societies and their functioning. It seems to be the future (and present) of advertising altogether, which is a scary thing to think about.