The Dangers of the Media
By: Sara Solórzano, 12°
Social media is not something new to us. We grew up surrounded by it. Social media helps us share information, as well as read information posted by others. It helps us meet people and find people we already know. Social media in a certain way exposes us to the outer world. But like most good things, social media also has its disadvantages. The fact that it’s on our phones, computers, tablets, and other electronic devices makes it easier to have them anywhere we are and post whenever we want. However, it also makes it easier for people to say whatever they think without feeling guilty about it.
According to Dr. Brendesha Tynes, 44 percent of minority youth had experienced discrimination on a social media platform at one time, and 22 percent said they experienced it through text messages. This discrimination was expressed through the use of racist nicknames or labels, stereotypes, racist jokes and racist statements, symbols of hate such as the Confederate flag, threats of death or physical harm, and images of dead black bodies. (Tynes, 2015). This study focused on youth/ teenagers, and the hate coming towards them comes mostly from other teenagers, such as their classmates. On Twitter, the hate group with the most amount of followers has an anti-immigrant agenda, with an average count of 17, 569 followers. Followed by the anti-muslim group with an average of 14,680 followers. Finally the anti-LGBT group with 7,032 followers (safehome.org).
Social media has turned hate and discrimination into normality. Our society has become apathetic towards the hate crimes discrimination creates. We know what is happening and are aware that it is wrong, but we refuse to act upon it. Hate has consumed us, and how people convert an idea that is supposed to be beneficial, like “freedom of speech” and turn it into hate. If this is the path we are taking as a society, where will we end?.