Social media is a constantly growing phenomenon in contemporary society with more and more users appearing on the social media platforms on a daily basis. We see people interacting with each other even though they have not met each other in real life. The fact that one does not know the other and that one’s identity could be kept secret opens up the opportunity for one to hurt others and to criticize them in an unproductive way. This leads to many disputes and emotional harm, leading up to what this blog holds as a theme for the week: self-perception on social media.
Personally, I use Facebook and YouTube a lot. Even though YouTube does not always classify as a social media, I consider it a platform of social media, for users are able to create content, share it with others, and also get feedback and/or comments about it. As I used these two platforms, it became clear that as I was posting more and more content, I was seeking recognition and likes. Every video I posted on YouTube, every meme I tagged someone on Facebook, and every content I interacted with on either platform became me looking for likes, reactions, and recognition. This was an eye-opening moment, as I was seeking for recognition on an imaginary society created by the new Web 2.0. This moment pushed me to take a step back and observe what was happening. Why was I so immersed in getting likes from my friends on social media and why was I looking for more views from strangers I did not even know or interact with in real life?
All these questions and thoughts I had became big key themes in modern social media, especially for the youth on social media. As more children join social media through the increase in access to electronics and technology (i.e smartphones, computers, laptops), they were looking for the same things I were. However, the one things many young social media users overlook is repercussions from the diverse audience and members of Web 2.0. As social media became bigger, a new term was coined in the late 2000s called “haters.” “Haters” were individuals on social media who criticized other users for their distasteful look or lack of talent in the content they posted. “Haters” breed off of attention as well, as their hurtful comments elicit a response from the content creator themselves or from other users interacting with the content. “Haters” became a big problem in recent years, as many young people began to contemplate suicide and self-harm due to the hurtful comments online, which led to damages on self-perception.
“Haters” are still relevant today. They exist everywhere on social media and do not seem to go away. As more people join social media platforms, “haters” continue to grow as well. There is no way to completely destroy “haters,” but some social media users are attempting to mediate this by reporting “haters” and trying to increase positivity online. Self-perception online has changed with the growth of “haters” and this clash between attention-seeking individuals has led to a greater conflict within the society on Web 2.0.