Social Media: The good, the bad, and the ugly

A look at the pros and cons of the one the most revolutionary technologies of this era

Social Media: The good, the bad, and the ugly

From raising money for a charitable cause, to verbally attacking someone who happened to have a bad game, it truly is a crazy world that social media has created for us.

By now almost every man, woman and child on Earth is aware of social media and uses it to a certain extent. Some people use it sparingly to occasionally chat with friends and post updates on what’s going on in their lives. And then you have the socially awkward people whose lives revolve around updating Facebook or staying updated on the latest tweets and snapchats.

When major social media websites, namely Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, started getting popular in the late 2000’s-early 2010’s, it was widely accepted and quickly became THE thing to do. I remember practically begging my parents to let me get a Facebook so I wouldn’t be the only one in school without one.

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. But like any other new kind of technology, it comes with its own set of pros and cons.

There are many amazing things social media has done for us that would never have been possible without it.

If it wasn’t for social media, the Ice Bucket Challenge probably never would have grown and spread as fast as it did, and so much money that went to ALS Research would have probably been wasted on something less important.

It gives us the amazing ability to keep in touch with people that we haven’t seen for years, and be able to message them instantly without having to write letters back in forth that take weeks to get to each other.

Social media has been very helpful to local authorities by helping them track idiots who post their crimes online, and are eventually tracked down and brought to justice.

Personally speaking as a journalist, it’s made my job a lot easier because it allows me to do interviews through online messaging instead of trying to find time in my busy schedule to do them in person.

All of that being said, social media still isn’t without its imperfections.

It gives anyone who is angry or ticked off the ability to take it out on whoever it is they’re mad at, and often times they don’t even give it a second thought.

One of the latest victims is the center for the Clemson Tigers, Ryan Norton, who received multiple death threats on social media after the 23-17 loss to Florida State. A bad snap by Norton led to a 23-yard loss, a missed field goal, and a lot of outraged Clemson fans wanting his head cut off.

There have also been many, many other accounts of hate on social media that you’ve probably already heard of, (athlete meltdowns, twitter beefs, post Trayvon Martin trial, etc)

One of the biggest issues encountered with social media so far has been the easy access for cyberbullying.

Sadly not many people are informed of the silent killer that is cyberbullying. Even though you can’t see the cuts or scars the pain is still real, and like most bullying today it goes unattended and the victim doesn’t get the help they need.

One social media site,, may not be as popular as the big name sites, but it might be the worst of all when it comes to bullying. On this site, people can send messages anonymously and tell people anything they want without their identity being revealed. It makes the job of the cyberbully almost too easy, and makes them even more of a coward than they already are.

A lot of people have heard about Amanda Todd and how her cyberbullying story went viral on social media, but not a lot of people have heard about Rebecca Ann Sedwick, a girl who killed herself at only 12 years old after being repeatedly bullied on social media sites.


When she switched schools because of physical bullying, Sedwick said she loved her new school, but that didn’t stop the online bullying. As many as 15 girls ganged up on her and sent her hateful messages via social media websites, and eventually convinced her to off herself. Two of the girls were later arrested after they openly bragged about her suicide on a Facebook post.

All that’s left of Sedwick now are the hateful messages sent to her that cannot be erased and the example she leaves that cyberbullying MUST be stopped as well as physical bullying.

Social media also has made privacy almost nonexistent. Anything that can get leaked or stolen will most likely be posted for the entire world to see. Examples include the recent celebrity nude photo scandal, the Ray Rice domestic violence video, and the leaked audio of Donald Sterling’s private conversation with his girlfriend.

The influence social media plays has a huge role in our society and transforms our opinions on different people.

If it wasn’t for the Ray Rice video going viral then most people might not even know what had taken place, and now people who don’t know the first thing about football think he’s the biggest piece of crap on the planet.

Nobody knows social media better than my brother-in-law Andrew Curtis, who owns a clothing and bow tie company he basically built on social media, never having to pay a dime for advertising fees and being able to connect his business with anyone in the world at any time or place,

“Social media has completely changed how companies advertise and market to their customers.

I started a  business right out of college and have never spent a dollar on advertising. I have over 6,000 Facebook fans, 2,000 Instagram followers, and 6,000 on Twitter.

“Almost 15,000 people follow/interact/buy things from my company and it would never have been possible without social media.”

“On a side note, check us out on Facebook (Luxley and Bernard), Twitter (@luxleybernard) and Instagram (luxleybernard), and hit us up for prom season!”

He went on to talk about his personal views on social media and how it’s changed the world we live in,

“Social media has changed advertising/news/ and how people communicate and absorb information. Information becomes readily available to the entire world instantly. People being born today will someday be able to literally scroll through their timeline and look back at every single day of their life,”

“The negative aspects are that everything you do is basically online forever. Future employers now look at your Facebook page along with your resume. Posting pictures of you doing dumb stuff, or saying stupid things can cost you a job, i.e. football players using twitter.”


When it comes down to it, it would be impossible to list all of the pros and cons social media provides, because it’s so vast and has changed our lives dramatically in so many different ways that we don’t even think about.

Social media is an amazing tool we’ve been blessed to have in this day in age, and it’s up to us whether we decide to use it for good or for bad.