Op-Ed: Give social media a like


Photo credit: Allie Worchell

Molly Goldberg ’20 shows her phone. Her most recently used apps include Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.

Last summer, I spent three weeks at Yale’s Explo program. There, I met Gigi Soltero, a girl from Puerto Rico. We instantly became friends, so when the program ended, it was hard to say goodbye. The only thing that gave me some consolation was the prospect of being friends on Snapchat.

Even 3,345 miles apart, she could see my life, and I could see hers through a seemingly simple app: Snapchat. It almost felt as though we were still at Yale, sitting and talking in our dorm room late at night.  

When Hurricane Maria hit on Sep. 20, I saw the devastation on Snapchat. I feared that something had happened to her. Immediately, I used the call feature on the app to talk to her to make sure she was okay. Luckily, she was fine, but I saw firsthand the destruction, turmoil and tragedy that had struck her home.  

Like Soltero and me, many teens are preoccupied and don’t always take time to read the news — but Snapchat does it for us.  On Snapchat’s homepage, the app displays stories from news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post. Every day teens can go onto Snapchat, which for me is a daily routine and can look at current events. Different news outlets provide short clips and summaries of big news stories, and Snapchat also provides community stories where regular citizens can film and post about major events for other users to see.  

According to Forbes, social media allows for more news alert distribution. Delivering news alerts on social media can notify people faster, allowing for more help and support from other countries and organizations around the world. 

The BBC states that 40 percent of the world’s population uses social media, and there are about half a million tweets and Snapchat photos sent per minute. Although some might argue that social media diminishes one’s well being, decreases effective work and creates stress, statistics prove otherwise.  

Marketing researchers Jonah Berger and Eva Beuchel found that people who are emotionally unstable usually post more about their emotions.  This can help them receive the support they need and bounce back after negative experiences. The study also found that social media can help stress in women specifically. The more that women use these sites, the less stressed they were.

According to CBS Boston, social media also help to grow small businesses. Social media has helped create loyal customers by allowing business owners to communicate with their customers in real time.  Social media also helps build a brands. For example, a new business creates an Instagram account and manage to get a strong amount of followers, they can grow their brands by having a network of people to reach out to. 

Because of social media, I have created long-lasting friendships that would not be possible otherwise. Social media is becoming increasingly necessary for everyday life. Whether it’s learning about global and local news in record time or building a business, social media is a necessity in many people’s lives.