Chapter 6: 21st-century media and issues

6.10.1 Social media and communication (prospectus)

Lindsey Matier

English 102, March 2021

Social media and the media in general have shaped the way that our society is impacted by news. Whether it be political or news about celebrities, social media outlets are the first to let everyone know and cause the most controversy about it. Social media is in our everyday lives, whether it be positive or negative. It affects the way we live and the way we react to the news and what is going on in the world. It has changed the way we communicate with each other. I chose the topic of social media literacy because it has such a strong hold on our lives and has impacted us significantly. It has taken over our lives and controlled us. We wake up checking our social media or emails and go to sleep every night doing the same. I think it is important to talk about it because it has given us a sense of false claims and political bias. It has impacted teens worse than anyone, sometimes causing suffering mental health. The media and social media have such a specific set of information it wants us to see, and we give into it so easily. Communicating and reading through social media gives the media power and helps us critically think. Using media literacy, we can learn how to communicate and navigate through the positive and negative aspects of social media and ways to help it improve our overall day to day life.  

 I plan on asking questions that may lead me to the statement of “Social media literacy has changed the way people interact with each other”. I will answer this question and expand on it by discussing what social media literacy is. I will explain what it is and how it is presented to us. I will explain how it is presented to us through examples such as social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. I will also describe how these apps affect us and the way we interact with each other. Using examples like online schooling, it will help stress the importance of how addicted we are to our phones and social media itself. I plan on using the data from the “Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data” from the Journal of Medical Internet Research. With this data, I will justify why social media is becoming toxic and how it has taken over our lives in the past year. I will describe the way it has affected certain generations compared to others.  

Following the idea that social media has taken over the way we communicate and interact with each other, I will describe more in detail about how it has directly affected us. From the previous article about social media and the pandemic, I will then use that data along with information from the article “The Positive Effect of Not Following Others on Social Media” from the Journal of Marketing Research to explain how social media effects the people who use it and the influencers who are on it as well. I plan on using this as a transition from the previous paragraph about how it has affected us over the past year to how it continues to affect us currently. Social media has given us unreal expectations when it comes to body and lifestyle images. Instagram is used singularly for the purpose of putting the best and most important aspects of our lives for everyone to see. This impacts the way people think about their own lives and leads them to compare themselves to other people. Social media sets a higher standard for how we are living our lives and this tends to affect people in a negative way. I also want to talk about a positive side of social media and how it is helping people. The Black Lives Matter movement has become even more widespread due to social media and being able to share information through it. This is an example of social media literacy because it is giving us a chance to communicate to each other through a specific platform. I plan to go more in detail about this topic through the article “Building Bridges” by Maria Khornbluh. This article explains how social media gives young adults the platform and opportunity to speak up about racial injustices and spread awareness on certain issues.  

Transitioning from the previous article, I will then explain how social media has changed the way younger generations communicate with each other. I will explain how social media has changed the way we communicate and how we will continue to grow throughout social media. Through the article “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Health: Challenges and Opportunities” from the North Carolina Medical Journal, I will explain the effects of being exposed to social media at such a young age and how it has affected certain generations in comparison. I will ask questions relating to screen time, during the week and weekend. A major point I want to discuss is whether it has caused positive or negative effects on younger generations. While social media has caused mental health issues in young adults, it has also given them a safe space to communicate what they are feeling. This can be seen as a positive or negative way depending on how one chooses to look at it. This is a major topic I want to question in my research paper. I want to question if it has a more negative effect due to the exposure of sensitive information and amount of content being seen, or if it has a more positive effect due to the fact that it is giving young adults a space to express their feelings with people also going through similar difficulties. Social media has created a new aura and way of communicating and I want to challenge that thought and determine whether or not it is good for us. I also want to set a heavy emphasis on how it has changed already, but how it will continue the way we communicate with each other.  

For my last research point, I want to discuss how social media is hindering communication skills. I specifically want to focus on nonverbal communication skills in younger adolescents. I plan on using the articles “How Social Media Affects Our Ability to Communicate.” by Stacey Hanke and “Social Media and Communication Skills” by Lindsey Nolan. I think these articles will provide good supporting details for the studies of lack of nonverbal communication impacts. I also plan to bring in the points made about social media and communication in the workplace because I think that would be a good place to wrap up the argument. I have both advantages and disadvantages of the use of social media in the workplace from the article, “A Guide to Using Social Media in the Workplace in 2021.” by Clark Boyd. I also want to keep implementing the statistic about social media communication groups and how they provide a good resource for all ages. I plan to continue to ask questions about the positive and negative aspects of social media and if it is worth the risk of our communication as a society and from generation to generation.  

Annotated Bibliography 

Valsesia, Francesca, et al. “The Positive Effect of Not Following Others on Social Media .” Journal of Marketing Research , vol. 57, no. 6, Dec. 2020, pp. 1152–1168. 

  This journal talks about how social media effects people who use it and who are influencers on it. They go into detail about the marketing strategies of social media and what we are planted to see. They provided studies showing how people react to certain posts and follower/following count. I plan on using this information to show how strong social media influences us and how much it has taken over. I also plan to explain how this has shaped the media and the way we communicate online  

 Gee, James Paul. “What is literacy.” Negotiating academic literacies: Teaching and learning across languages and cultures (1998): 51-59. 

Gee talks about discourse and the way we communicate through identity kits. He explains what literacy means to him and using primary and secondary discourses to help explain it. Primary discourse is the language someone grew up with and secondary discourse is the language that someone picked up or learned from another source. I plan to use this to talk about how our communication and literacy has changed due to media and social media. I will talk about how we have a secondary discourse and literacy of social media.  

D, Valdez, et al. “Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data.” Journal of Medical Internet Research , vol. 22, no. 12, 14 Dec. 2020, pp. 1438–8871. 

This article discusses the effects of social media specifically during the Covoid-19 pandemic. They talk about how social media had a greater effect during this time and how much it negatively affected mental health. They talk about how Twitter has taken over some people’s lives to the point where they feel the need to share every miniscule detail. I plan on using this article to express the concern for mental health and how it influences our everyday lives.  

J, Nesi. “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Health: Challenges and Opportunities.” North Carolina Medical Journal, vol. 81, no. 2, 2020, pp. 116–121. 

In this article, Nesi talks about how young teens have been shaped by social media. She discusses the positives and negatives of being exposed to technology at such a young age. I plan on using this to show how young teens are changing the way they are growing up due to social media and technology. They form new ways of communicating and spend more time on the internet than they do outside. I plan to use this as one of my main research points.  

Kornbluh, Mariah Elsa. “Building Bridges.” Youth & Society, vol. 51, no. 8, 2017, pp. 1104–1126., doi:10.1177/0044118×17723656. 

The journal article “Building Bridges” approaches social media and how it has helped young adults speak up about the racial injustices. She stays on the more positive side of social media communications and connections and describes how it can connect people to new backgrounds and interests. I really like this article because I think it has an interesting outlook on social media and can provide helpful insight for my paper. I plan on using this to describe the way that social media can connect us to new people and give us new ways to communicate.  

Tayeb, Seyed Mohammad, et al. “The Role of Information Systems in Communication through Social Media.” International Journal of Data and Network Science, vol. 3, no. 3, 2019, pp. 245–268., doi:10.5267/j.ijdns.2019.2.002. 

The article “The Role of Information Systems in Communication through Social Media” provides an overview of social media and the way it is used within certain aspects of the world. Some of the aspects contain social sciences, economics, business, and psychology. The article goes into detail about media in general and the way it helps and negatively impacts our world. It shows how it is connected from one society to the next and from different generations. The main point of this article is dealing with social media and information systems.  

Sobaih, Abu Elnasr E., et al. “Responses to COVID-19 in Higher Education: Social Media Usage for Sustaining Formal Academic Communication in Developing Countries.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 12 Aug. 2020, 

This article explains the level of communication needed for education and how the pandemic impacted that. The article uses surveys and questionaries to determine student and teacher opinions on how social media and being in a strictly online environment affected them. The results and findings in this article give reasoning for why social media could possibly be a new era of social learning and communication. Significant amounts of responses were shown relating to online groups and communities.  

Hanke, Stacey. “How Social Media Affects Our Ability to Communicate.” Thrive Global, 13 Sept. 2018, 

This article explains different methods of communication through social media. It highlights four different aspects which are information binging, social graces, conversational boredom, and taking control. Hanke explains how each of these parts of social media affect the way we communicate and how they impact us as a person. The article discusses those ways in which we have a social media literacy versus a communication literacy. Hanke explains how at the end of the day the way we use social media will change and most likely negatively affect the way we communicate with each other face to face.  

 Retchin, Sarah, et al. “The Impact of Social Media Use on Social Skills.” New York Behavioral Health, 1 Dec. 2020, 

This article gives statistics showing how much social media is used by teens and how it is impacting them. There are very important statistics about screen time and phone usage. The article lists the risks of social media along with the positive points of it. The author discusses the social skills of kids who are more likely to use social media versus the ones who use less. Important parts like nonverbal social cues and communication through various forms because a major argument in this article.  

Nolan, Lindsey. “Social Media and Communication Skills.” Medium, Medium, 10 May 2018, 

This brief article discusses the negative impacts of social media. The article revolves mostly around nonverbal social cues and how they are used by young children. When face to face communication is replaced by social media, it shows how younger adults suffer socially and lack the important social cues and nonverbal cues needed to act appropriately. I plan to use this as one of my main arguments and argue the impact of replacing social media with face-to-face interaction.  

 “How Social Media affects Communication Skills?.” Free Essays –, 22 Aug 2016, 

This article also explains the negative effects of social media on mental health and hindering communication skills. The article gives real life examples from people and helps give more of a personal connection to the topic. I plan on using this article as backup information for my argument. I will use the people’s explanations and stories as reasoning for my argument. I will use this to also explain why social media lacks the meaningful purpose behind it, causing it to become more detrimental for young adult’s mental health.  

Boyd, Clark. “A Guide to Using Social Media in the Workplace in 2021.” The Blueprint, The Blueprint, 13 May 2020, 

This article describes the numerous ways social media is used in the workplace and the appropriate way to use it. I chose this article because I think this will be good information to use to prove that not all social media aspects need to be negative. While this is a small portion of social media, it is a large portion of what our future could be and is important information to know. It does give advantages and disadvantages, but I will plan on using one or the other as a counter argument.  


Share This Book