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Social Media: Here is how it is creating Lifestyle pressure on Youth!

In these so-called "modern times", it has become so important for the students to ‘fit in’, to be considered ‘cool’ and ‘popular’, to have maximum like and comments on their uploads

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Researchers Develop System to detect Sarcasm on Social Media. Pixabay
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Feb 18, 2017: Raksha Sharma, 20, had committed suicide in Jalandhar, Punjab over obscene comments on Facebook by two friends. This incident which took place in November, 2012,  left many people shocked and alarmed. The incident made everyone wonder for the first time about the amount of pressure social media puts on adolescents. Years later, this still remains a cause of worry.

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Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more endless social media platforms consume most of our time on a daily basis. On an average, a teenager spends approximately an hour on social media every day.

It is a no shock that social media has become such an inseparable part of our lives. The scenario is such that we compromise a hot delicious meal for the sake of uploading a picture of it on Social Media.

In these so-called “modern times”, it has become so important for the students to ‘fit in’, to be considered ‘cool’ and ‘popular’, to have maximum like and comments on their uploads. What serves as a cause of worry is that social media, in some way or the other is affecting the lifestyles of people.

All of a sudden, smoking and drinking are considered as “cool habits”, whereas going to the “hottest new places” and attending the “funkiest parties” has become an absolute necessity.

This “Digital Age” has shaped our views in such a way, that we tend to spend more time living in this Virtual World, alienating ourselves from the Real World. Our days start and end by checking our smartphones and giving 100% priority to our social life when the sad truth is that, we have a friend list of thousands but still feel lonely and depressed on the inside.

Children aged 10, concentrate more on their Social Media accounts rather than their books. They have a higher knowledge of the latest apps than of their own curriculum. More time is spent in Parties and get-togethers in clicking selfies and talking to other people online, than in talking to the people present right in front of us.

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A smartphone with a good camera, in fact, the expensive Apple iPhone and DSLR cameras are considered as necessary so that Social Media accounts have great pictures in it.

Oxygen for the Youth today: Social Media; Source: Pixabay

Another matter which is disturbing is the fact that social media has somehow created this image of what’s perfect. Many girls who do not have a size-zero figure have fallen into self-loathing whereas guys are taking to the gyms for the perfect abs.

Wearing clothes of a particular label or brand, using certain items like makeup etc. are considered to be the rule by teenagers. In a way, social media has ripped them of their choices by creating imaginary guidelines of what is right and what is not.

Announcing everything on Social Media exposes users to a great deal of threat like cyberbullying, character shaming etc. It is a platform where people can become both famous and infamous. Sometimes, being put down on the Social Media platforms leads to chronic depression. Also, it gives greater power to people to do things which they know are wrong by hiding their true identities like defaming someone, getting into false contracts etc.

Social media is a virtual platform where it is very easy to modify the truth. Recently, a group working to create awareness about mental health carried out a unique project. They created a fake Instagram account where they uploaded pictures of a girl travelling to different places and enjoying her vacation. However, this project wanted to highlight how easily we ignore signs of mental tension. The fact that the girl had a glass of alcohol in her each single picture went unnoticed by the innumerable followers.

So, it is very easy to hide certain facts and show only what we want to on Social Media platforms. This is the reason why we never find people sharing sad pictures of themselves or bad experiences over social media, only happy ones.

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What we need to realize now and work upon is the fact that we control social media; it does not control us. We should have the power to ignore the negative influence it can have on us and not fall prey to it. It should be our choice to stop addicting about it and share only what we wish to show to the public and not every small detail.

-By Nikita Saraf of NewsGram; Twitter:  @niki-saraf

 

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Facebook Expands Its Feature Showing Local Information

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people's regular news feed.

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A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Facebook is cautiously expanding a feature that shows people local news and information, including missing-person alerts, road closures, crime reports and school announcements.

Called “Today In,” the service shows people information from their towns and cities from such sources as news outlets, government entities and community groups. Facebook launched the service in January with six cities and expanded that to 25, then more. On Wednesday, “Today In” is expanding to 400 cities in the U.S. — and a few others in Australia.

The move comes as Facebook tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling and rather a place for communities and people to come together and stay informed.

Here are some things to know about this effort, and why it matters:

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A Facebook logo is displayed at a start-up companies’ gathering in Paris, France. VOA

The big picture

It’s something users have asked for, the company says. Think of it as an evolution of a “trending” feature the company dropped earlier this year. That feature, which showed news articles that were popular among users, but was rife with such problems as fake news and accusations of bias.

Anthea Watson Strong, product manager for local news and community information, said her team learned from the problems with that feature.

“We feel deeply the mistakes of our foremothers and forefathers,” she said.

This time around, Facebook employees went to some of the cities they were launching in and met with users. They tried to predict problems by doing “pre-mortem” assessments, she said. That is, instead of a “post-mortem” where engineers dissect what went wrong after the fact, they tried to anticipate how people might misuse a feature — for financial gain, for example

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg, digital
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

.Facebook isn’t saying how long it has been taking this “pre-mortem” approach, though the practice isn’t unique to the company. Nonetheless, it’s a significant step given that many of Facebook’s current problems stem from its failure to foresee how bad actors might co-opt the service.

 

Facebook also hopes the feature’s slow rollout will prevent problems.

How it works

To find out if “Today In” is available in your city or town, tap the “menu” icon with the three horizontal lines. Then scroll down until you see it. If you want, you can choose to see the local updates directly in your news feed.

For now, the company is offering this only in small and mid-sized cities such as Conroe, Texas, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Large cities such as New York or Los Angeles have added challenges, such as an abundance of news and information, and may need to be broken up into smaller neighborhoods.

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

 

The posts in “Today In” are curated by artificial intelligence; there is no human involvement. The service aggregates posts from the Facebook pages for news organizations, government agencies and community groups like dog shelters. For this reason, a kid couldn’t declare a snow day, because “Today In” relies on the school’s official page. Discussion posts from local Facebook groups may also be included.

For now, the information is tailored only by geography, but this might change. A person with no kids, for example, might not want to see updates from schools.

Also Read: Social Media laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Safeguards?

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people’s regular news feed. But the filters are turned up for “Today In.” If a good friend posts something a bit objectionable, you are still likely to see it because Facebook takes your friendship into account. But “Today In” posts aren’t coming from your friends, so Facebook is more likely to keep it out. (VOA)