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Since the media was introduced to the world, people started to focus on their electronic devices which hold my hands called smartphones. Social media has more impact than you thought. It can make users happy, moreover, it has an effect on mental health. However, how could you know that the world or data that you are reading or watching didn’t plan or control you to become a user as the media anticipated. 

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and moreover are shaping our activities and mindset for business benefit. Have you ever wondered why your Facebook feed suggests products that you are interested in or suggest things that are close to the categories. I suspected it, so I started to find data and watch documentaries about the media industry. After I have cultivated, they collect data from your behavior. Every movement on your social media affects your account. To highlight  my point, they count the second that you stop each post to observe your preferences. There are many more secrets about the media that controlled us, so to not be worthy of it this blog post might help you be more open minded about the medium, and know more the impact of it.

I started using the internet when I was 12 years old. First platform that I learned about was Facebook followed by Instagram and many more. The algorithm of Facebook will suggest friends or content which I am interested in, and it works. I bought lots of products from advertised algorithms or Facebook suggestions. I do not have enough knowledge to search or read reviews from comments. Consequently, sometimes the product doesn’t contain catfish. Nevertheless, my experience is a little affected by the media. There are many more stories from media platforms which are more effective and impact the society. At that point, I started to comprehend the internet, and scholars have more concern about impingement of social platforms. 

Around 2006, there was a rumor or sentence which adults always said “Social media is recording our voice, so don’t say things that you wanted”. Moreover, the research results depicts that social media makes your child become depressed. People started to pay more attention to the medium effect after the impact was getting more serious, for instance, commit suicide. After populace have more comprehension about depression, media brings more attention to the fact of committing suicide and more affect from it. Consequently, scholars and executives in big tech companies desire to share the story and impact of the media because it is the rights of consumers to know pros, cons, and control their own data. To highlight my point, they believe users must know the facts for a better society and online connection world. However, not every administrator of Tech companies gather the same opinion for sharing the cons and pros of the social media system. Then the story began. 

System of human future business 

Big tech companies create new businesses which trade exclusively in human futures. Human prediction business needs to have a lot of data. They collected every single action of the user. What particular image do you pause at, and for how long do you do so. Sometimes they have more information about yourselves. On the other side of the coin, the building establishes AI cloning to predict consumers preferences. They divide data into 3 types of goals. First, the engagement goal. Second, the growth goal. Lastly, the advertising goal. For the first goal, they expect users to keep scrolling on the platform. Second, keep users coming back and inviting as many friends so the application will be more noticeable. Last goal which is the most significant that keeps the media business continuing is advertising and controlling humans though are the first and second goal cause users to be interested in ad feeds and  are making as much money as possible from the advertising. All 3 goals can predict your future and understand the identity of users.

 Social platforms used psychology to bring the attention from users. When you are playing Instagram, everytime you pull down or refresh, it’s gonna be a new thing at the top, which is called positive intermittent reinforcement. In deep down, users will feel surprised with their top feed like you are playing slot machines. In addition, if users are not interested in top feed they will refresh again, and that is the data which depicts that users are not fascinated with the content.

The system not just collects the data about you using the product consciously, but they try to implant inside of the users an unconscious habit. Consequently, consumers are being programmed at a deeper level without realizing.

Cause and Effect of Social media

One way social media influences people is through the content people consume. Social media algorithms are designed to show users content that they are likely to engage with based on their past behavior. This can create an echo chamber effect, where people are only exposed to ideas and opinions that align with their own, leading to confirmation bias. As a result, people may be less likely to question their own beliefs, leading to the formation of narrow-minded and polarized views.

Another way social media influences people is through the emotions it can elicit. Social media platforms are designed to keep users engaged for as long as possible, and one way they achieve this is by creating content that triggers emotions such as anger, anxiety, and fear. This can lead to a sense of emotional manipulation, where users are unknowingly being manipulated by the content they consume. It can also lead to the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, which can cause harm to individuals and society.

Social media can also influence people’s behavior in a variety of ways. For example, social media can promote unhealthy body image and unrealistic standards of beauty, leading to negative self-image and poor mental health. It can also lead to increased consumption of material goods and unhealthy lifestyle choices, as people are influenced by the images and messages they see on social media.

Moreover, social media can be used as a tool for propaganda and manipulation. Individuals and organizations can use social media to spread false information and propaganda to influence people’s opinions and behavior. This can have significant consequences, as we have seen with the rise of political polarization and the spread disinformation during elections.

How to prevent yourself from using social platforms.

There are a lot of ways to protect yourself from behavior that seems to negatively affect your actions from using social media. 

  1.  Diversify your media sources: Social media platforms often create echo chambers, where people only consume content that confirms their existing beliefs. To avoid this, it is important to diversify the sources of media you consume. Look for reputable news organizations, blogs, and podcasts that cover a variety of topics and perspectives.
  2. Join online communities: Social media platforms are not the only places to connect with like-minded individuals. There are many online communities, such as forums and message boards, that allow you to connect with people who share your interests. These communities can provide valuable information and support, without the negative aspects of social media.
  3. Be critical of the content you consume: Not all media content is created equal. Some sources may have agendas or biases that can influence the information they present. It is essential to be critical of the media you consume and to fact-check any claims made by the sources you use.
  4. Create your own media content: With the advancements in technology, it is easier than ever to create your own media content. You can start a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel to share your ideas and perspectives. By creating your content, you can control the message you want to communicate and avoid the negative aspects of social media.
  5. Use offline media: While digital media is convenient, it is important to remember that there are other forms of media that can be just as effective. For example, you can read books, listen to the radio, or watch TV to stay informed and entertained.

It is a powerful tool that can be used effectively without relying solely on social media platforms. By diversifying your media sources, being critical of the content you consume, creating your own media content, joining online communities, and using offline media, you can use media to its full potential while avoiding the negative aspects of social media.

In conclusion, social media can have a significant impact on people’s minds and activities. While social media has its benefits, it’s important to be aware of its downsides and the ways it can influence and control us. As users, it’s important to be critical of the content we consume and the emotions it elicits. We should also be mindful of how social media can influence our behavior and decisions, and strive to make informed choices. By doing so, we can mitigate the negative effects of social media and make the most of its benefits.

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