Has Social Media Ruined Our Generation?

Imagine a world free of Facebook, Snapchat, Tinder, Skype, Geordie Shore, The Valleys or Kim Kardashian. Difficult isn't it? We've become so addicted to the fast paced, internet crazed, world around us, that nothing seems shocking, too much, too out there, any more. We're moving so quickly that if we only took a mere moment to step back and look at ourselves, we would likely be more than a little shocked.

In the past twenty years Ireland has evolved from being a small, predominately Catholic, sheltered, small minded country, that considered having five television channels exotic, into the technology dependent, open minded producers of shockers such as Tallafornia and Slane Girl. Our parents, not to mention our Grandparents generation have, as the media states, 'voiced their concern', but honestly, what is voicing your concern going to do, in the grand scheme of things? It's not about changing the world, it's about changing morals. It's about knowing that taking a picture that could, potentially, embarrass and humiliate the victim, is wrong and that adding said picture to social media, where it may then be spread around like a virus, is not the humane and decent thing to do. Without social media, Slane girl wouldn't have been humiliated and scarred, probably for life. Yes, she made a mistake, every single human being makes mistakes, most of us are just fortunate enough not to have most of ours splashed all over the internet. The ones who outed her should have been the ones ridiculed, that much was clear from the offset. In previous generations, there were clearly people who were sexy, free and generally just a bit out there, but other characteristics were far more valued, whereas nowadays, people are regularly accused of being too nice, too kind, too conservative, too private but never, ever, too sexy. If you haven't bedded half a football team, received 150 likes on your new profile picture and are wearing a dress so short you'll spend 50% of your time flashing people, then you're nothing. Who wants to be a covered up, well read, pioneer with no Facebook account, when you can emulate the cast from the latest sex filled, reality Tv show? Nobody does, because to fit in, is, in their minds, the key to success. This generation of teenagers have grown up surrounded by a society that is constantly 'on', meaning they feel the need to be constantly on, as seen in the bullying, trolling and sexting shenanigans that now form a part of their every day lives. Our parents can't do much because they don't understand, they can't keep up and they can't really get an insight into what their children are doing, so, to compensate, they sit by and do sweet fuck all. Perhaps it's because they think back to their teenage years with nostalgic, rose tinted glasses and presume that their little darlings are up to no worse and hell, perhaps they really aren't, but the problem is that their children can be recorded and splayed all across a giant, ever present platform, that was never, ever a factor in the decisions that they made themselves as young adults.


So, perhaps, young people of Ireland and indeed, the world, the next time you're thinking about taking that video, participating in that act or indeed, verbally abusing someone online, just stop and ask yourself this. Would you do that on stage, in front of a large, live audience, because that is exactly what you are doing with every action that you take on social media. Our minds after all, can forget, but the internet forgets nothing. Not even you.

Alison Keogh
Article written by
Alison decided to follow a sensible career route and chose to study Media. She happens to think of herself as a kind of Irish Beyonce after four Coronas, which usually results in her being deserted on the dance-floor by her loving friends. Her horrifically short attention span seeps into many aspects of her life, resulting in her half hearing important facts and hating people who walk at a leisurely pace.
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