The use of social media has become increasingly popular and important in the globalized world today. People use social media for all kinds of reasons, including economic, social, and political reasons. However, the main reason for engaging in social media for most people is to satisfy their desire for connectedness. Human beings always seek new ways of doing things and social media have become that platform in the 21st century. Cultures have dissolved, and new ones evolved in the wake of social media developments. As people interact with one another from various parts of the world, they become more receptive to different cultural practices and abandon unnecessary cultural burdens. The American culture is one of the transformed cultures around the world because of social media interactions. Research shows that social media have a significant influence on the cultures of nations with high levels of technological developments as compared to their counterparts. This paper attempts to lay out specific impacts that social media have had on the American culture over time. The paper presents both negative and positive influences on a culture that relates to social media. The information presented was compiled using secondary data mostly print material.
Social media are increasingly popular aspects of the globalizing society today. The social aspect of life has transformed from traditional face-to-face communication to internet communication. The use of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google among others came into the world at a time that people so much needed it. As the economic waves change in the world, people find themselves with less time to interact with one another on a personal basis. Social media have made it possible for people to interact regardless of their busy schedules and commitments. Additionally, globalization allows people to interact with others from different backgrounds in business and other platforms. Companies today have branches all over the world, and social media have enhanced communication between staff across borders. People who have never met get a great opportunity to know each other and share valuable ideas on social media sites; thus, enhancing connectivity around the globe (Jenkins, Ford, & Green, 2013). Parents, on the other hand, have an opportunity to watch their children all day via social media because that is where all teenagers begin and end their days. Social media have transformed the world into a global village, which can be a positive and a negative thing depending on how people use the media.
Positive Impacts of Social Media on Culture
Social media allow people to communicate and engage with information that transforms their perception of life. The accessibility of social platforms within a nation determines the extent to which their culture is affected. The American culture has significantly changed over the years because the nation is among the leading nations in technological developments. Social media have affected the American culture positively by influencing business operations, social relationships, and political movements.
As people interact on social media platforms, they realize their uniqueness. This realization allows one to develop a personal identity in a better way to promote social distinctiveness. The development of one’s personal identity helps strengthen the culture of the land and maintain authenticity in all operations. The different perceptions of life make social media interesting platforms where people spend most of their time. To maintain those differences, people have to embrace their cultural definitions so that they can offer something new every time they interact with others from different cultures (Fuchs, 2015). The American culture, for instance, has become stronger over the years as people continue to engage in social media.
Intercultural adaptation is another positive outcome of social media interaction. People learn more about different cultures as they interact with one another on social media. Understanding different points of view allows one to embrace various cultural practices and thus improving intercultural adaptation. Other than understanding and embracing different cultures, social media help people to abandon unworthy traditional practices that hinder growth on their part.
In reference to the American culture, intercultural adaptation is evident in business operations (Fuchs, 2015). Normally, Americans carry out business transactions on official capacities. However, through social media, entrepreneurs, and business people are beginning to appreciate the use of both official and casual mechanisms in carrying out business transactions. Social media have demonstrated the entrepreneurial culture of Americans. Young people have used social media sites to overcome traditional marketing challenges and can now reach global potential customers free. Through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media platforms, young people have been able to reduce their marketing costs and run thriving ventures online (Ali, 2013). Moreover, they have used these sites as most viable communication channels. The approach creates more opportunities for entrepreneurs and enlarges the market range. Socially, social media enhance the understanding of global society, which helps to reduce issues of discrimination against the minorities in America. For example, as the world becomes a global village, young Americans have used social media to overcome communication barriers and promote global communication. Today, Americans can express their thoughts freely to large audience on a variety of controversial and technical topics such as illegal immigrants, social welfare issues, debt ceilings and the future of America among others. As a result, there is information and knowledge sharing and interaction among people.
Negative Impacts of Social Media on Culture
Social media have led to the abandonment of important cultural aspects in America. Today, teenagers and young people spend most of their time on the internet than they do in real life. For instance, young people have turned to social media for interaction at the expense of face-to-face communication. Their habits have turned to social media addiction. They spend countless hours on various social media sites instead of engaging in the traditional face-to-face conversation. Young people fail to learn practical aspects of communication and everyday life skills. This addiction has certainly eroded America values pegged on face-to-face communications and its relevance. As a result, the younger generation grows without the knowledge of key and practical cultural aspects of their society.
The values of a society lie within the community’s ability to uphold the authentic nature of its people. With the current statistics, the American culture will be forgotten as soon as the baby boomers generation exits. The young generation in America has embraced the collectivist culture and abandoned the individualistic culture of the American people as they interact with different people around the globe. American society has thrived on the culture of individualism and personal safety. Today, however, young people have turned to social media to share personal information. Personal information has exposed many young people to the world and has posed serious security threats to them and society. Vital personal information leaks to social sites even with all security measures.
Additionally, social media interaction breeds bad morals within the society because of peer pressure. For instance, the use of social media among young people has led to erosion of Americans’ moral values. In some instances, young people have misused social media platforms. They share information with strong language use, violence and sexually explicit materials, which could erode their moral values. Overall, it affects American society moral standards. As mentioned earlier, people use different social media platforms to satisfy the desire for acceptance. Young people will do whatever it takes to fit in and blend with their counterparts from across the globe. The desire to fit in has eroded the cultural and social morals of the American society among the youths (Musa & Willis, 2014). Consequently, intercultural adaptation resulting from social media has led to the abandonment of cultural activities and practices that helped update the youth of the nation’s history.
In conclusion, Social media affect the culture of a people significantly. The cultural aspects of life in America, today differ greatly from the original cultural ways of operation. Children today are in more contact with the rest of the world than they are with their immediate culture. The nature of life in America today, where parents have less to no time with their children, has given room for social media to mentor the youth. The constant interaction with social media among the youth with people from all over the world has diluted the American culture and allowed young people to be more receptive to different cultures. People tend to appreciate that exist in life on social sites more than they accept those differences in real life (Jenkins et al., 2013). Closeness can only occur if people accept one another’s differences, which in turn leads to embracing of various different cultural practices.
Ali, I. (2013). Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society. Web.
Fuchs, C. (2015). Culture and economy in the age of social media. New York, London: Routledge.
Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media, creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press.
Musa, B., & Willis, J. (2014). From Twitter to Tahrir Square: ethics in social and new media communication. Santa Barbara: Praeger.