The Two Faces of Social Media

The positive and negative aspects of social networking websites


Victor Galicia

Students at Oxnard High School access social media through their smartphones.

Victor Galicia, Reporter

The creation of the world-wide-web introduced, enhanced capabilities of keeping in contact. With it’s ease of access, social media has become a cultural phenomenon, affecting individuals, including students.

At Oxnard High School, students said they often use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Social media has become a source of entertainment and a place where adolescents can have conversations with one another.

However, it also has its negatives. Some sites are notorious for being a distraction for students. Junior Michael Purdy said he uses social media as a break — at times questioning himself how time has passed from scrolling across his timeline. Social networking sites make it easier for students to procrastinate. In addition, they are known for the bullying and sexual harassment which take place on a daily basis. Despite the negatives, social networking can be a useful asset if  there is a balance.

One of the positive aspects of social networking is that it makes staying connected with friends and family easier. Junior Jadelyn Raza said that she used social media sites to “talk to [her] cousins from the Philippines or Hawaii on Twitter or Tumblr.” Additionally, social media can relieve some stress from too much school and homework. “It’s not something that would lead us away from doing our homework the whole night, it’s just something to go to when we need a little break from reality,” said Raza.

However, too much time on social networking sites can be negative as well. “I can go on Twitter and I’ll be scrolling through my timeline for 20 minutes. That time I could have been doing my homework or studying,” said Purdy.

Another positive aspect about social networking sites is that they help spread news about local and world events. News of important events spread rapidly because social medias are used a lot throughout the day. Senior Mavi Medina said that she would not have known about the “Ice Bucket Challenge” if it were not for Facebook.

Some people such as Purdy said that the information on social media is unbiased “because it comes from so many different people, it is impossible for 2,000 people to all have the same opinion.”

Social networking sites are not always a positive place. It is common to find cases of bullying and sexual harassment. “This girl posted a selfie and this boy commented back on it saying, ‘eww why even post pictures of yourself on here.’ And then the girl who posted the selfie didn’t reply back because her self-esteem shot down a thousand notches,” said Raza. Although people will bully others, there are those who stand-up for those being picked on. “People will stand up for you even if you don’t know them,” said Raza.

Social media has become a mainstay in many adolescents’ lives. Disallowing the negative elements from deterring individuals from their daily tasks, is necessary for these sites and people to coexist.