Although you may be embarrassed to admit it, checking social media is probably one of the first things you do in the morning. For a lot of people, especially millennials the day has not started unless they are fully caught up on what happened while they were sleep. Thanks to social media we are living in a heavily connected society and although this is great for networking, cultivating ideas, and sharing information there is an obvious negative effect on creativity and individuality.
Retweets, Repost, Re-Everything
Retweets, repost, and shares are some of the ways we can share cool and important things we come across with our followers and friends. The problem does not come from the actual act of retweeting, but from the decrease of personal voice. A common issue that all social media users see is people stealing tweets and post for likes and retweets. Agreeing with something is one thing, but taking someone else’s idea and using it as your own is another. In many instances, people’s creative projects have been stolen from them. Social media makes it easier for people to get away with this. A basic principle for all social media users should be to always credit the source.
Get Up and Do Something
While websites like Pinterest and Instagram are great for inspiration most of us don’t even make it off the couch to make half the things on our boards. I hate to admit it but social media can be a huge time sucker and that time can be used in so many other ways. The “constant scrolling effect” doesn’t just steal your time, but it can also be a huge mood killer. Twitter and Facebook bombard us with how well everyone is doing and how much other people are enjoying life. Often times people find themselves comparing their lives to the ones they see on social media and in turn this can discourage your self-esteem, growth, and creative process. There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with friends and checking out your favorite celebrity’s Instagram, but when it’s done too much the effects are not pleasant. When not used for leisure, social media should motivate you to do instead of watch.
Following the Crowd
The gap between early adopters, early majority, and the late majority has become increasing small in the digital age. Everything catches on quicker and fizzles out faster. Trends are coming and going at a rate we’ve never seen before. The “Monkey See, Monkey Do” and “Keeping Up with the Joneses” phrases apply very well to the social media-driven society. An interesting article from Natural News explains social media’s relation to the social conformity theory and its impact on individual opinions. The article using a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project to support its findings. Social media does, in fact, give everyone who uses it a voice, but the majority suppresses their voice to fit in and follow the popular opinion. Users may not want to admit it, but “doing it for retweets are just another way of conforming to the majority.
Hampton, K., Raine, L., Lu, W., Dwyer, M., Shin, I., & Purcell, K. (2014, August 26). Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ | Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/26/social-media-and-the-spiral-of-silence/
Heyes, J. D. (2014, September 3). Social media users are more likely to conform to the perceived group opinion, censoring their own unpopular views – NaturalNews.com. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/046710_social_media_conformity_censorship.html
Lawson, R. (2013, February 20). Stealing Is Stealing, Even on Twitter – The Wire. Retrieved from http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2013/02/guy-fieri-fake-menu-stolen/62338/
Volk, A. (2016, February 11). Is Social Media Killing Your Creativity? 3 Ways to Get It Back | The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-volk/is-social-media-killing-your-creativity-3-ways-to-get-it-back_b_9206242.html