The Good. the Bad, and the Brainwashing

The Negative Impact Social Media Has on Society

Sarah Haylow, Writer

People come in all shapes and sizes, both physically and mentally speaking. We are shaped in both ways based on the choices we make and the things we consume. It is important that we make healthy choices and consume healthy things in order to lead a life where we can thrive. Every day of our lives we are faced with all kinds of media that influence us in ways that we don’t even realize and I think that it is important to assess what we consume and understand how it affects our daily lives. It is easy to fall into a trap of deception all because we are too influenced by the things that fill our world.

 

I want to be a writer when I am older. I want to be a person who gets to wake up, roll out of bed, and create stories for a living. I have had this passion ever since I was a kid and it has been an unwavering goal of mine ever since. This passion was ignited due to my seemingly endless imagination as a child and was spurred on by my sister, who was a self-proclaimed bibliophile at the time. I would follow her down the street to our local library and watch as she would pick up five books, read them in the allotted two week period, and promptly return them on the due date. I would sit and wonder what she would find so interesting in those books so I made myself learn to read really fast and was slowly converted into a bibliophile as well. I became obsessed with all kinds of fictional worlds and characters, one of my favorites as a kid being the Percy Jackson series. My world then exploded. I suddenly had a direction to aim my creative rifle at and began to shoot rounds like nobody’s business. I began creating worlds and stories from the young age of seven and have been obsessed with it ever since.

 

I have run into bad influences as well, though. 

 

 Being a member of my generation means that I am exposed to a world where everyone can post about everything from what they ate this morning to the drama about another person to political warfare. Being online means signing yourself up to be in a tidal wave of opinions and thoughts and it can come at a cost. I have found myself worrying too much about something that someone said online about something that I have absolutely nothing to do with rather than worrying about a test that I have to take the next morning. I get wrapped up in what other people think and feel and find that I don’t even take the time to figure out how I feel. I let myself take what people say online too seriously and I often scare myself with stupid things I read online.

 

There are so many things we are subconsciously influenced by every day without realizing it and many people are content with just accepting that and not actively trying to better themselves. According to The Daily Universe, children and teenagers spend approximately 75 percent of their waking lives staring at a screen. Following or letting a bad influence get to you can cause you to fall down a slippery slope that you never even noticed, bad influences are good at disguises. People do not think to question if what they consume adds any benefit to their lives and I think that can lead to accidental brainwashing and manipulation. 

 

We are all victims of influential manipulation and brainwashing, it is not something we can avoid. We are surrounded by all different kinds of people and media and it is easy to get caught up in those worlds. Taking a step back and looking through the things you consume and the people you include in your world and deciding if they are beneficial additions to your life can help you improve yourself in exponential ways.