May 12, 2020 at 12:23 pm #2596Huong NguyenKeymaster
Mohamed Ashraf Abdelaleim Hassan
Kectil Assignment 2: Social Media and Personal Branding
Please write a short paragraph of less than 300 words on the negative personal effects of social media on youth in your community or country. Have you or someone you know experienced depression, cyberbullying, or other negative result of using social media? How was it handled, if at all? What is the youth social media culture in your country? Can youth take a stand and change the culture?
Indeed, everything in our life has some drawbacks and some merits as well. Today, most youth in my country cannot visualize their life without social media. However, there are some disadvantages of using social media for youth such as its impact on their health. I can see that sharing posts and receiving positive messages from peers can be addictive, so it may lead youth to spend more time on the internet and social media websites. Then, it will lead to insufficient sleep, depression, anxiety, lack of focus, and procrastination. Finally, all these negative results from using social media will automatically mirror their negative personal effects. In my country, more than 60% of the nation are social media users.
As I can remember, I have a friend who has been cyberbullied from unknown people due to her religion, skin color, and her thoughts, and I know a friend who has been hacked by someone. And, this guy asked my friend to give him money to avoid sharing his personal messages to the public. And, yeah.. youth can take a stand and change the culture. There are many events on social media that are conducted by youth such as clean-up the rivers from wastes, painting the bridges and old houses, and feed and share clothes with the poor people to change our culture to be better.
In your opinion, is excessive use of social media by youth an addiction? Are the damaging effects as bad as drinking or drugs?
Yes, it is. Indeed, there are many research papers that discuss the relationship between the usage of social media and its impact on youth’s health. According to Olivia Calancie et al in their article, “Exploring how social networking sites impact youth with anxiety”, The use of social media has risen since the past few years, with 51% visiting these websites daily, and 34% re-visiting them several times a day, including websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, they found that most youth who regularly used social media believed that life is unfair, and 10-20% of them had anxiety disorders and depression, because the possibility of encountering negative posts and comments may lead to negative emotions, as well. Moreover, youth who are addicted to social media may suffer from permanent stress, anxiety, isolation, sleep deprivation, and depression which reflects completely on their daily performance.
It is said that use of social media reduces job and academic performance either by wasting time or by consistent mental distractions. Do you think this is true or false and why?
Yes, I do. Nowadays, there is an observable difference in youth’s academic performance before and after joining their universities. One can infer that the difference between colleagues who maintain their excellent academic performance and others who do not is the duration of using social media. After joining universities, youth have to join Facebook and WhatsApp groups to follow-up with their colleagues on any updates about any projects or teamwork. So, some students are being restricted to be responsive to social media by liking posts and answering direct messages throughout the day. Then, youth tend to overuse social media channels daily. Thus, according to 2015 U.K. Office for National Statistics, youth who spend about 3 hours each day on social media are more than twice as probably to suffer poor mental health. Finally, if social media affects youth’s mental health, then it will influence their academic performance, because of its impacts on their level of concentration and attention span.
Please write a paragraph of 400 words or less on whether social media played a role in government elections or politics in your community or country? Have you experienced “Fake News” in your country? Have you observed the attempted manipulation of public opinion using social media as a platform? Has any social media networking been shut down or censored?
Egypt can be considered the most country that has been affected by social media. There were 2 revolutions that were the turning point in my country’s history had been planned by people on social media, mainly Facebook in 2011 and 2014. So, yeah, social media can play a pivotal role in any political situation these days. Moreover, one of the fake news that is spreading now is that the number of COVID-19 cases is much larger than that the national ministry of health announces. Much other news is like there is a school which is closed due to all the staff and students got infected or most of the soldiers in our army are died now due to Corona Virus. Unfortunately, there are many ways to manipulate the opinions of the public especially illiterate people via social media. For instance, someone may share a video about a policeman was attacking a citizen in the country, but the truth is that the video is from another country. Also, someone may share a post that the country will ask for more loans from the International Monetary Fund, the truth is that our government does not need it. Also, someone may say that government will provide more taxes on this and that next due to any reason, so people go and but these goods, so the price of these goods increase due to the high demand, and the truth is that the government haven’t planned anything regarding these goods. So, one of the websites that have been banned in my country due to its fake news is Al Jazeera. Finally, as the users of social media exceed now thousands of millions, we are talking about the mass of people who can lead to action or plan in a second.
Please write a paragraph of 300 words or less on whether current social media “Influencers” are having a positive or a negative effect on youth in your country? Are they “Influencing” the right subjects and actions? Please be specific and provide names.
Of course, there are positive influencers and negative ones as well. One of the positive influencers is Dr.-Ing. Ramzy Abdelaziz who is a Nanoscience Researcher at Aalto University. He has a page that involves 150K followers. On this page, Dr. Ramzy shares any available opportunity for the Egyptians inside and outside the country. He also shares free courses and educational sources in different fields such as in English language, engineering, science, recent research topics, and any new discoveries. He stated once that “I want to motivate you and inspire your family towards a fruitful path to science and smart learning based on sharing my skills and expertise in Europe.” So, I think every Egyptian has to send him a big thanks for his efforts.
Furthermore, another example is Ahmed Haggagovic who was honored in the Egyptian Honor List as one of the most inspiring Egyptians in History through documenting his travels around the world and share them for free on his page which has 1.4M followers. His page is about sharing the different cultures and global traditions and highlights in which each nation is better than us, so we can take them as a role model and improve ourselves. I remember that Ahmed has made a video about the educational system in Japan, and once the whole nation here likes the system, the ministry of education here started making a collaboration with Japan to make Japanese schools here in Egypt. And, now there are 1000 Japanese schools where there are Egyptian students.
On the other hand, Hanen Hosam who has 5 million followers in all her social media accounts, and what did she? She asked girls to have a video call with unknown men, and they will get a salary of about 3000 USD, 60000 EGP. So, the national police have arrested her, because some girls have blindly followed what she said.
Is there a lack of positive role models in your community or country? Does social media make it better or worse? What kind of role models would you like to see leading the voice on social media? How can you and your peers make that happen?
Unfortunately, yes, and social media makes it worse. Now, youth are more careful about getting views and ads on social media without caring about presenting a good or beneficial content for the readers. So, social media influencers in my country who have millions of followers do not put the idea of being a role model for others in their minds. In fact, I want to see role models who ask for donation campaigns, open a discussion or dialogue with their followers about a debatable topic in society, try to find effective solutions to any challenges in the community, and share with their followers some good traditions from other countries or global breaking news. I really wish that my peers and I can get in contact with those youth and advise them to have a good purpose behind everything that they are posting on their pages. Also, I hope to initiate an awareness campaign to the public that we do not have to share everything that we see on social media, just share what can be good for others to avoid accidentally making some people famous. Finally, doing that will help to save the youth especially teenage from imitating the content of a random famous person.
Do social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook lead to narcissism—an effort to get self-attention? Is it leading to the “look at me” syndrome? How is that damaging to the poster and to the reader?
Yes, obviously they do. Social media platforms especially Instagram and snapshot pay money to the user according to his numbers of followers and likes that he gets on his pictures and posts. So, nowadays, some users of social media trying to earn money from sharing everything about their life: their breakfast, their job, their marriage life, their free time, their mood, their cars, their success even if it is fake, and even news about their family and friends. These users want to surround their followers with hundreds of posts per day, just to keep their followers looking at them. Of course, these behaviors affect both the poster and the reader. The poster has made a fake life for himself/herself because they are mostly sharing the good events and occasions only. They started having two personalities: one is on social media, and another is in the real-life with its challenges and difficulties. On the other hand, the reader may be bothered by seeing what others have, comparing to what he doesn’t have. Even if the reader sees the poster needs help, he may not help because he can see that the poster’s life is so happy and easy, so he does not need any help.
Is it possible for youth to show the self-discipline to limit themselves to 2 hours a day on social media?
Of course, everything is possible as long as you the purpose of what you are doing. Are you using social media to keep chatting with remote people (mostly fake friends)? You can go hang out with your real friends and open any face to face discussion, much healthier. Do you want to share your status with your surrounding people? You can make a group of those people and share with them only which will definitely save time for anyone. Do you want social media for money? Working on yourself through spending your time on gaining knowledge and experience will definitely earn you more money in the future. Do you want social media for certain functions? Google exists; you just search about what you want and get it then close the browser. In Social media, when you search about something, you get attracted to another, so you waste a lot of time.
A positive aspect of social media is education and awareness. Please describe a few examples where youth in your community have learned about an issue or subject and reacted appropriately to address a situation because of a social media campaign.
One of the awareness campaigns that was conducted last year was about challenging university students by experiencing the disabled people’s life. The idea was about what if we all are disabled people, what our behaviors are going to be. In the video, we can first that students were blindfolded and tried to walk using a stick. Also, some students were using a wheelchair to maneuver through some arranged cones. Actually, I was excited about revealing this unique creative campaign, and I think all the viewers have become more inclusive and receptive to people with disabilities.
Another awareness campaign was about the usage of bicycles to preserve the environment. The purpose was to encourage youth to leave their cars and use bicycles as an alternative mean to roam within the city. Also, it encouraged the national institutes in the country to conduct events like Earth Hour every year and dealing with people’s daily habits and bad behaviors like useless lighting.
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