The world has changed so much from a technological standpoint in the past twenty years, Orange County, and at the forefront of that change has been social media. When MySpace and Facebook first debuted, who could have imagined that similar platforms might rise to the prominence that they enjoy today?


Some members of the older generations decry social media as signaling the dumbing down of the masses. Perhaps there is some credence to that, but the same was said about television, and radio before that. Maybe there are more young people who are inclined to send out a tweet than there are to crack a book these days, but that doesn’t mean that social media is without value, Orange County. That is certainly true from a marketing standpoint. But just what is it about social media that makes it so enticing, and what can that tell us about the younger generations coming up?


The Cult of Personality Meets the Age of Inclusion


Those who refuse to participate in social media usually feel as they do because it is their opinion that the users of these platforms are self-involved and fame-obsessed. These are teenagers, in many cases, who are too busy trying to convey a particular image of themselves via Facebook and Twitter to be active participants in their own lives. They want to be seen as the coolest of the cool, with the most friends, likes, and followers, even if they’ve never met 98 percent of the people with whom they interact via social media.


These are valid arguments, Orange County, but those who completely dismiss social media for this reason fail to see the other side of the coin. Teenage angst is a real thing; it involves more than just whining about the difficulty of the Algebra homework. Many of those young people who are online and active via social media are having a hard time fitting in, and they are looking for acceptance. Having online friends can help those who get teased and bullied, and it’s a mistake to think that this sort of hazing is good for kids, or will somehow toughen them up. Teenage suicide as a result of bullying in schools is very real. For some, social media is a place that they can belong and feel safe.


Yes, there is plenty of marketing potential presented by social media, Orange County, and there are a variety of businesses and companies looking to profit off of that. Nor is there anything wrong with that impulse, because radio and television were used for the same purpose in their day. Social media is a way for companies to reach out to young people who in short order will become adults with more disposable income.


In this respect, social media can serve multiple purposes, and even those who don’t wish to participate in it can take many lessons from observing it. It’s where we’re heading as a nation and as citizens of the larger world. It’s an experiment in sociology that has all sorts of potential. Whether that potential is for a positive impact or a negative one depends on how cynical you are, or how optimistic and ready to embrace the next big thing.