I was very excited to read an article that focused primarily on the positive impact that social media has been having on younger generations, as opposed to the detriments. Danah Boyd is quoted saying "My frustration about how we approach young people is that we think that everything must be so much worse because of technology" (2014). It seems to me as of late, that the older the person is, the more negative of a perspective on social media they seem to possess. Older generations seem to take solace in continually comparing their supposedly superior traditional lives, where social media did not exist, to the lives of youth who have never lived before the existence of social media. They do this without taking the time to consider the positive impacts that it has on our youth.
The biggest fear in those who oppose Facebook and similar social networking websites and applications seems to be that it disengages youth from communicating with one another in the real world, creating a false sense of a social life, and instead perpetuating the invention of loneliness. What they fail to realize is that, on the flip side, these social media outlets give humanity the ability to feel more connected with one another than ever before. Boyd exemplifies this in her example of the One-Direction fan girl who identifies with different communities on each of her Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook profiles. In a world without social media, forming many different groups based on personal interest like this would have been close to impossible, however with the introduction of all these websites and applications, a quick hashtag search has made these communities much easier to access and get involved in—an online miracle which in turn helps to diminish the idea of social loneliness.
Controversial perspectives on social media stem up all around us (i.e.; the viral Ice-Bucket Challenge bandwagon) and social media users are constantly being reminded of all the hurt, and negativity in the world. It is easy for a casual user to associate social media with negativity because of this, but one cannot deny that the existence of social media has begun to bring worldwide communities together and has successfully enhanced the our awareness on a global scale, as well.
Update Monday September 15, 19:22 MST: Check out this the following video called The Instagram Generation; it offers an interesting view on how today's instagram users are "smarter than you think".