Social media sparks hate

Negativity evolves on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat

+In+2021+Twitter%2C+Snapchat%2C+Tik+Tok%2C+Instagram+and+Facebook+were+some+of+the+most+used+social+media+apps.%0AWhat+started+as+sharing+platforms+has+formed+its+own+cons+over+the+years.%0A%E2%80%9CI%27ll+get+distracted+by+it%2C+then+my+whole+focus+just+shifts+to+social+media%2C%22+said+Corey+Whelan.

Illustration created by Ryan Atkinson

In 2021 Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook were some of the most used social media apps. What started as sharing platforms has formed its own cons over the years. “I’ll get distracted by it, then my whole focus just shifts to social media,” said Corey Whelan.

Ryan Atkinson, Staff Reporter

If you live in today’s world and have a cell phone, you most likely use social media. Although social media began with good intentions, negative use is evolving in more recent years. Social media, at first, was meant to share your life and connect with others, but now, social media is a platform full of false information and hate comments causing people to become more insecure about who they are.

Social media has become the spotlight of the world. If something happens in today’s world, platforms feature events within minutes. But not everything will be true, since the information spreads so quickly.

“With this most recent election, and seeing some of the things that people are posting, are sometimes just completely blatantly wrong. It makes me angry, because they’re sharing information that’s wrong, and people are believing it and buying into it,” said social studies teacher James Plaza.

Misinformation isn’t the only toxic part of social media. In recent years, more hate comments have risen and continued rising to the scene.

“It gives people a chance to do things they wouldn’t do face to face and kind of be rude or mean, or just otherwise treat people negatively because they can kind of hide behind their computer hide behind their phone,” Plaza said.

GCHS junior Bryn Sato, who currently has 1.2 million followers on Tik Tok, has run into her fair share of internet trolls.

“I normally just delete them. If there are a lot of rude comments on my videos, I just turn off the comment section,” said social media influencer and GCHS junior Bryn Sato.

But hate comments aren’t even the most irritating part about social media. Scammers are all over the place, too, affecting the security of bigger influencers.

GCHS class of 2020 graduate, Corey Whelan, who currently has 4.8 million Tik Tok followers, also experiences scammers.

“There’s one person who texted me today. And they’re like, ‘Hi, this is my old number, and I need the verification code to log into my account.’ They’re just trying to log into my account, and they wanted my verification code,” said Whelan.

Simple posts that are meant to be positive can shift someone’s entire day.

“There’s always that idea that comparison is the enemy of joy. Once you start comparing what you’re doing to other people, you start to think why don’t you have that, or I’m not doing that, and then you start to feel bad,” said Plaza.

Although there are many things wrong with social media, it does present new opportunities to young people.

“It’s showing me new opportunities, like job opportunities, new ways to make money, and new ways to be successful that I never even thought about, like marketing,” said Whelan. 

Next time you see a hate comment or start comparing yourself to others, remind yourself if it’s worth your time and energy.