The invention of Web 2.0 and its relation with social media has been very influential in people’s personal lives and the business world. A number of technology geeks have given various explanations about what is web 2.0. The exact definition is still a topic of debate. However, I believe that web 2.0 is a web-based application, which can be accessed from anywhere, and the users can be contributors to content on internet, rather than just being viewers.
Is web 2.0 a boon or bane to the society? In discussions about web 2.0, one controversial issue has been about its various opinions. In a recent study, the researchers observed that, young people used this technology more extensively than older people did. They say that since young people regularly use social networking sites, which are based on web 2.0 technology, they become extensive users. On surveying the parents of children regarding usage of internet and other social media, most of them reported that their children constantly use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, to keep in touch with others; share pictures and videos of events; etc. Parents have also said that, children these days are trying to develop their e-skills by making use of such technologies.
Many business persons also claim that Web 2.0 not only serves as a source of communication and entertainment but also as a good platform for networking. They further add that since huge numbers of people visit social sites like LinkedIn and YouTube on a daily basis, it can therefore, be noted that social media marketing has become an easy and very effective means of business marketing today. I agree with all their points and support web 2.0 since it is very easy to use.
At the same time, I also believe that this technology has ruined the privacy of people to a certain extent. It allows a lot of information to be posted online, which creates a negative impact most of the times. Extensive use of social networking sites has made the children more prone to bullying, harassment and abuse. Making use of the easy access worldwide, people have started exploiting its features to do wrong deeds like hacking accounts, spamming, creating fake IDs, posting views and comments against competitors and rivals, forgeries, etc.
As much as the invention of Web 2.0 and social media are welcome, care should be taken to ensure proper use so that there can be a balance between its benefits and negative impacts. The inventions should be used to improve one’s personal life and not to put one’s life in danger.
SOCIAL MEDIA CAUSES EATING DISORDERS
An analysis of the impact of social media in the society exposes how it causes eating disorders among its users. A widely accepted opinion about eating disorders caused by social media has emerged among the researchers who study the relationship between media and eating disorders. They claim that thinness depicting and thinness- promoting (TDP) media have a huge impact on teenagers. Young men and women develop eating disorders when they are exposed to TDP media more frequently. More women start dieting, when they start reading more TDP magazines rather than watching shows. On the other hand, men start dieting and exercising when they start watching TDP shows. They exercise and diet much both for themselves and for women. A study says that Facebook triggers eating disorders. Teenage girls who spend hours together on Facebook, flicking photos and albums have chances of developing body image related problems and lead to eating disorders. Doctors say that, posting selfies (photographic images taken by one using a webcam or smartphone) on Facebook and constant sight of many photos and albums can make them think they are fat and hence have eating disorders.
Researchers Evelyn Meier and James Gray reported: “It is not the total time spent on the internet or Facebook, but the amount of Facebook time allocated to photo activity that is associated with greater thin deal internalization, self-objection, weight dissatisfaction, and drive for thinness.” The problem is that for almost all teenagers, Facebook has replaced the traditional way of meeting and talking to each other, said the researchers. Another trend which TDP has created among young women is the so-called ‘thigh gap’. This has caused a vast number of eating disorder cases. Experts blame the media for fuelling the idea of taking up diet plans with dangerous weight-loss goals, in the minds of young girls and women. They try to maintain a diet and become very slender, where the thighs do not touch one another when they stand. This originated from the time magazines, social media and TV shows started encouraging underweight models .
It is important that people make good use of social media so that it does not deprive them of their most essential basic needs such as food. Through this, issues such as eating disorders resulting from extensive use of social media would be addressed
ADAM MORDECAI’S ANALYSIS OF INCOME INEQUALITY IN USA
Income inequality in the USA is still existent and has led to most wealth being in the hands of a select few and hindered those living in poverty from joining the middle class. “ 9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact” is a video created by Adam Mordecai and based on the research by Harvard professor Michael I. Norton, who found that 9 out of 10 people taking his survey universally thought that wealth is more evenly distributed in the United States than it actually is. He conducted the study by dividing the population of United States into 5 groups: top 20%, bottom 20%, middle class sub grouped as second, third and fourth classes’ 20% each. He says that, 92% i.e., 9 out of 10 respondents said that the wealthiest people would be 10-20 times better than the poorest Americans, middle class would be booming and healthy, smoothly transitioning into wealth and the poverty line will be off the charts. I used to think that 20-30 % of the poorest are beginning to suffer, middle class is slightly suffering and the wealthiest are making 100 times what the poor make and 10 times what middle class people make. This was the assumption of the survey participants as well.
However, Mordecai says that the reality is not even close to what the people think is real. As seen in the chart, the poorest Americans do not even register on the chart. They hardly have any money for their own miscellaneous spending. Middle class is virtually indistinguishable from the poor. Even the top 10-20% is suffering. Only those at the very top are doing considerably better. Top 2-5% is also literally off the chart. Top 1% own 10 times more than what the chart can allow. Which means nearly 40% of America is owned by the top 1% and bottom 80% owns only 7% of the country’s wealth. Top 1% of the earners take home quarter of their income. They own 50% of the country’s stocks, while the bottom 50% owns only 0.5% of the stocks. The bottom 50% is not investing, but they are just scraping off the ground. Adam Mordecai concludes with a fact that a CEO is working almost 384 times harder than an average employee of the company is. My personal inference from the video was that, average employees must work hard for more than a month to make what the CEO makes in an hour. This kind of wealth distribution is very risky to the United States.
Although I should have a better insight about the people’s income inequality, I cannot help to think that this portrayal of income inequality indicates how broken the nation is and how the reality is ironically different from what we citizens assume it to be.
Innes, Emma. “Could Facebook trigger eating disorders? Teenage girls who spend hours looking at posted photos 'develop poor body image'.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article- 2518062/Could-Facebook-trigger-eating-disorders-Teenage-girls-spend-hours-looking- posted-photos-develop-poor-body-image.html>.
Mordecai, Adam. “9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact.”Upworthy. N.p., n.d. Web 23 Jan. 2014 <http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10- americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2>.
Rudd, Peter and Matthew Walker. Children and Young People's Views on Web 2.0 Technologies. Slough: National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales, 2010. Print.