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JOUR 4270 Section 002 – Ashlyn LeVesque – 10/9/16 – Group A: Blog Three

3-new-followers

Blease, Matt. 3 New Followers. n.d. Breed London. Retrieved from http://www.breedlondon.com/artists/matt-blease/.

I have learned time and time again in my journalism courses that the success of a social media page, whether business rooted or otherwise, is determined by social engagement rather than likes, followers, page views, etc. Proof of total reach, rather organic or paid, is most easily measured through story feedback, shares, comments, and discussion.

Sure, follower count doesn’t justify social reach, but how often does the content shared even withhold a feedback-worthy value? People are so engulfed in social media today that follower count brings a level of significant self-distinction, and each like, comment, or share brings merit to the user. I won’t deny the fact that businesses should use social media engagement to measure community and consumer reach. However, when it comes to the average user, the status of one’s social media page has become all too noteworthy relating to societal status and self-worth (or should I say egocentrism).  Despite the number of followers or page views, individuals today have become so engulfed in the virtual world that they over share, or rather share things that no one cares about or needs to see.

Those obsessed with social media range from the, “Oversharer, Creeper, Brand Ambassador, Content Curator, Newbie, Attention Whores (including depressed/woe is me updates, Selfie a day, Ranter (politics, traffic, anything), The “my life is so great” person (whether or not it actually is), The idiot that keeps sending you game invites…the list can go on and on (Apaliski, 2016).” All of these personas lack the thoughtfulness to talk to their audience, not at them. For whatever reason, it seems people only care about social media content if there is a benefit for them to engage. And often times, the content that crowds sites such as Facebook are not worthy of being discussed. Rather, if they are worthy of discussion they are still strewn out of proportion with comment wars, uneducated personal opinions, and online bullying.

A Psychology Today article maps the statistical obsession with social media, and the psychological effects this obsession brings. The results exposed that, “From our study alone it appears that people are using their technology for a combination of gaining some pleasure and from avoiding anxiety about not knowing what is going on at every moment on every electronic communication platform including social media (Rosen, 2014).” The research from this article points out the sad reality that while maybe one fourth of our mentality towards social media is pleasure-seeking, nearly three-fourths of the motive for engaging online is anxiety, or fear of missing out. How pitiful that if we are not connected with the social world, we feel disconnected from the world itself; a world that is literally all around you waiting to be embraced and enjoyed for the authenticity and actuality that it is.

Regardless of the content you share, the interactions you experience, or the followers you have on social media, it is important to remember at the end of each day that you are still a true part of the actual reality of society. You are a person beyond your webpage. The only way to be right with yourself and have the self-esteem that everyone deserves to obtain is to find self-assurance within you, not within your social media page.

Know yourself, be true to yourself, and never betray yourself. Don’t follow something just because others are. Don’t conform to the newest trend on social media if it isn’t something that interests you. Most of all, if you find social media is bringing your confidence lower than you deserve, step away from it. Remind yourself that your virtual being does not equal your true self. Never let social media change who you are.

Bibliography:

Apaliski, Christopher. “Facebook Lecture.” Strategic Social Media, JOUR 4270 Section 002. 13 September 2016. University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Course lecture.

Blease, Matt. 3 New Followers. n.d. Breed London. Retrieved from http://www.breedlondon.com/artists/matt-blease/.

Rosen, L. “Our Social Media Obsession.” Psychology Today. 17 July 2014. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewired-the-psychology-technology/201407/our-social-media-obsession.

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