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Media in a New Generation

By Kylee Weber
On January 22, 2021

Graphic by Kylee Weber

A tool or a toy? Our generation has grown up with some form of social media for us to communicate through. However, many people in this generation see it as a toy, such as using it for posting pictures with friends, letting their feelings out in a “subtle” way and communicating their opinions with others. While these examples are beneficial to the user and friends, what we don’t see is the original use for these media platforms. Many were created to share life updates, connect with people from around the world and spread awareness of brands, life events and news.


Users have the potential of spreading an important message through media channels. For example, companies use media to support their brand, influence potential customers and expand their target market. 


As young adults, we use media to share messages of life events that have occurred. With recent incidents in the United States, we have found ourselves typing away on Twitter and attempting to fit all of our beliefs in one single text bar. 

The reality of social media is that we use it to express our opinions and feelings. 


We use media for other objectives as well, but when we are frustrated or upset about a situation, we tend to go to the media and express it. I am guilty of it as well, whether it comes from heartbreak, angry events, political beliefs or just for humorous stories, I go to the media to let the world know how I feel. The questions I am left with is, is it beneficial and do people really feel better after pressing the send button for their opinions and beliefs to be out for the world to see?


According to EMarketer, over 3.23 billion people used social networks in 2020, and a projection of 3.64 billion users are projected for the upcoming years. With those statistics in mind, there are 7.8 billion people in the world. This means we are slightly under half of the world being on some sort of social media platform in the year 2021. How many of those users actively participate and share their beliefs? 


When we compare our generation to the previous generation, we find a gap between amount and quality of posts. Previous generations tend to post life updates on average once a month. The current generation will post on some form of media every week. Our generation has become attached to the idea the media solves all our problems. Social media wears several masks when it comes to the user’s needs. Media platforms can wear a therapist mask, a friend mask, a comedian mask and a devil mask. Each mask fits to what the user needs and wants.


Before pressing send, reflect on what “mask” social media is wearing in that moment, and will it be beneficial to you? When we post about something, we don’t think about the influence of actions on others. Your post has the potential to be a million things, positive and negative. When we press send, it pops up on at least 10 other people’s pages within a blink. Those people have the potential to share it to another 10 people, and so on and so forth. Once something is on the internet, it never goes away, even if you delete it.


Social media can be used as a tool to share your beliefs in a calm and reflective manner. But before you press send with all your emotions, opinions and beliefs smooshed into a tiny text box, ask yourself if it will still be important in 48 hours. If the answer is yes, press send. If you find yourself questioning it, leave it in the draft bar because likely you are not going to delete it in 10 hours after reflecting on the potential influences it has.


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