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Use social media responsibly

Social networking without a doubt has become a domineering force behind our media driven culture. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the newcomer Google+, it’s almost impossible to come across someone who hasn’t heard of these websites and their impact on our culture is far reaching.

With any new medium, most news outlets have quickly taken to denounce its use.

Almost every month now, there is a major news story focusing on the dangers of social media. Just a few weeks ago a young boy killed himself after negative comments on his social media networks, criticizing his sexuality.

Cyber bullying has become the new buzzword and a good portion of the population is convinced that social media and the Internet are quickly turning us all into soulless, distasteful, hate machines.

We disagree with that assessment. Criticizing something that has already proven that it’s here to stay is counterproductive and ignorant, and claiming something so extremely negative is so silly it’s not worth arguing.

At the same time, there’s no ignoring that there are negative sides to the use of this technology. We’ve all to an extent grown to become too emotionally attached to our social networking outlets. When someone deletes you off of Facebook it almost feels as if they’ve stabbed you in the back. If someone leaves a negative comment about something you post you immediately take it personally. Social media is social, and so there will always be an element of empathy.

Because social media requires its users to become emotionally attached, when used irresponsibly, feelings can quickly get hurt and things can get out of control. Internet drama is nothing new for even the moderate Internet user.

No matter the age, the race, or the gender, the moment some people become active on social networking sites they become 15 year-old teenage girls who gleefully spread gossip and are quick to start drama. This is the root of the problem.

When it comes to social media, it is not the medium itself to blame, it is that no one has ever bothered to establish any rules or social restrictions and some people are quick to revert to the most debase form of social interaction they know. In short, people need to learn to grow up when they’re online, plain and simple. If we ever want to see a world where children are not committing suicide over internet interactions we all must learn to stop before we post anything and ask ourselves, is this what I would say in real life?

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