One way in Which Depression is Caused by Social Media

In modern times, the rise of social media has lent a hand in starting a new type of depression, called F.O.M.O, or the Fear of Missing Out. The fear of missing out is quite self-explanatory. It is defined by Google as, “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” F.O.M.O may seem like something that happens to very few people or on rare occasion, but shockingly it happens to millions of people multiple times per day. For example, a teenager gets home from school and they are watching a bit of TV. The F.O.M.O unconsciously occurs in their mind and so they are prompted to check social media. Once on social media they see pictures and posts of all these people doing fun things which they are not a part of. This causes the teen to think negative thoughts about their own life and how they are missing out on all these things. Unfortunately, there will always be someone or something out there more interesting, and so F.O.M.O can easily happen over and over again.

Recently a study was conducted by experts from the Australian Psychological Society to measure the levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression that teenagers experienced as a result of F.O.M.O created by social media. The study included questions about F.O.M.O asked to teens 13 to 17 years old. Here are some of the results:

Of all the teenagers involved in the survey 24% percent said that they connect to social media while eating breakfast and lunch every day. More than 40% used social media a minimum of 10 minutes before bed every night, and an astounding 50% of the teens in the report said they felt the fear of missing out on their friends’ inside jokes and events, as well as the chance to show everyone that they’re having fun on social media. (Rahamathulla)

From this data we know without question that so many teenagers are affected negatively in these ways. Especially from the last line, “as well as the chance to show everyone that they’re having fun on social media” shows that the teens also felt left out because they were unable to share any experiences that they were having. Why would this be? Well if likes and follower’s equal popularity, then the way to achieve it would be to post things that causes others to have F.O.M.O. So social media platforms are all essentially one big vicious cycle, whereby all users, to a degree, have F.OM.O and so are forced by themselves check their social media. Then once they do, they are somewhat forced into feeling anxiety or depression for seeing that they are being left out and so are urged to post exiting things of their own. This then is seen by other users who have gone through the same process and now are feeling left out by that person. In the end, people are hurting both each-other and themselves through F.O.M.O, and it is all the fault of our social media culture.


Works Cited

Google. “FO-MO.” N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016. <>.

Rahamathulla, Mubarak, Dr. “#FOMO Leads to Depression and Anxiety in Teen Social Media Users.” N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 24 May 2016.

The Web 2.0 and The Impact on the World and Myself

In 2015, it was recorded that 3.2 billion people are currently using the web. That’s close to 50% of the entire population. In 2006, there were 1 billion people and it’s widely agreed in this year the web transformed into the “web 2.0”. Websites have become more reliable, complex, and social media arrived. Today, we witness 1.7 billion people using Facebook. Google and Wikipedia are typical references of daily information. Personally, I believe the web 2.0 is something extraordinary. Being able to enjoy YouTube, social media, and online games are all pleasures of mine that wouldn’t be possible without the web 2.0 and it’s advancements from the early web. Furthermore, I believe YouTube and social media have had the biggest impact on me.

Aside from google and other search engines alike, YouTube is a fascinating tool that helps me educate myself, entertain myself and communicate with others. It’s capabilities are really groundbreaking. Aside from YouTube, social media keeps me and my peers glued to the web. Facebook allows us all to interact with each other, cherish each other’s photos and it keeps us informed educationally with intellectual articles and videos. Social media has made my life better in a plethora of facets by informing, entertaining me and helping maintain my relationships with other people. Nothing has ever been so in depth like the web 2.0, and I’m thrilled to say I have the privilege of using it.

World 2.0

Web 2.0 marks the transition into a bigger corporate greed. This is seen through the fact that Web 2.0 has moved into a more secretive way to create profit.  For example, advertising has changed into a way that steals data to create these advertisements more personalized. More than that, articles have shown that these companies are getting this data and using it more malevolent way to click-bait users. This now brings me into my next segment of how cost per clicks now have replaced page views. The Web 2.0 is creating a bigger way to connect advertisements to users that would click it. For example, one user of he inter-web was viewing leather faux jackets on his laptop. His laptop had his social media website up. The next day he logged onto his phone’s social media and the advertisements for jackets appeared there. Web 2.0, or World 2.0 has the power to move cross devices.
Web 2.0 has affected my life through advertisements being more apparent. More mass media is using user interface and user participation. For example, YouTubers now create content that requires their viewers to interact through liking, sharing and commenting. These interactions are increased as YouTubers use their videos to attract viewers and bring them to different platform websites. Web 2.0 has created a World 2.0 where the internet now has become more interactive. Now normal high school students can edit scholarly articles that used to be reserved for pundits.
Web 2.0 has created a World 2.0 where now things around us are always moving, from tablet to tablet.

The Social Network and its influence

Social networking has had positive and negative influences on our society, that is certain. As far the negative goes, it has made the more current generations much less talkative and approachable than the older ones. The art of simply making small talk has been turned into more of an awkward encounter than it should be. And the social network era is to blame for this change in public interaction. It’s hard to say that everyone has this new subconscious, but it is definitely able to be seen.

But we cannot forget about the positives that the social network has done for our lives. First and foremost, it is way of plugging oneself into groups and being part of a “community” (whether it is Facebook, Instagram, etc.). For example, through Facebook I was able to join the Rutgers Class of 2018 page, and that has answered countless questions of mine that dealt with Rutgers. Or it can even be used to plan huge events such as sports games, tailgates, parties etc. Without social networking, it would be much more difficult to make these connections that so many people have made through these social networking sites and apps. Social networking has the potential to change our lives for the better, or for the worse.

Social Media and Social Interactions

Many in our generation see and appreciate the benefits of social media. Social networks literally allow us to communicate with one another in the privacy of our own home, at a restaurant, on vacation in another country, and just about everywhere else. We can communicate our ideas at lightning speed from distances as far one person being half away across the earth from another. This idea of the web is more interesting when we consider the part of the web dedicated solely to social interaction online. With the ease of communicating through social media, critics have frequently highlighted the costs of something so popular and efficient.

In the picture below, titled by me as “Playdate in the 2010’s”, is a picture of three children all on Mac laptops. Social media and technology overall has impacted the way we live and interact. There have been numerous studies on how social media has impacted our real life human interactions. In the photo below, the children are trapped in cyber space, all sitting next to each other, but all in their own world. A picture of three children half a century ago would probably be of them all physically playing with each other. Even for adults social media has been detrimental in terms of interpersonal communication. One may see the many people are so absorbed by their smartphones in public, that they may ignore obvious things that they commonly would notice. At a party or social events, smartphones sometimes monopolize people’s time more so than actual conversation that the event was intended for.

“Playdate in the 2010’s”

Information Manipulation

Not all information is equal. Some people may give out insignificant information like their name or favorite color, but other information, like sexual or social habits, may not be given out so easily. Everyone has different opinions about what is taboo and what is acceptable to bring up in conversation, and this can lead to a skew of information — especially in something like polls. Online or impersonal polls offer the facade of anonymity, which comforts some and allows for a more open and honest dialogue and exchange of information. However, more personal polling can make some feel uncomfortable while talking about more private information.

In the small amount of polling that was conducted in class this week, it became apparent that some people may not have been entirely honest when answer questions about their study habits and social life. This could be due to the fact that they may feel uncomfortable revealing this information to total strangers, they may have been afraid of judgement so they altered their answers, or they may want to appease the the interviewer by giving information that they think the interviewer may be looking for. This manipulation of information does not exist only within the domain of polling; it is something that people do constantly — whether conscious or unconscious.Everyone alters what they reveal to people, it’s just a matter of the extent to which they do.

The Relationship between information and People

In today’s ever changing social media landscape, information continues to completely impact our lives. The internet in general impacts us by providing information at a rate faster than any other source can. Other media outlets such as newspaper, radio, and television have been key in informing us of whats new. Today, news websites such as Huffington post, and Yahoo give us updates on anything from who the Giants beat on Sunday, to predicting ISIS’s next move. Social media spreads information at an even faster rate, which was alarming to some governments across the world. Social media sites Twitter, and Facebook were used during the 2011 Islamic revolutionary wave for organizing protests and other demonstrations. Citizens would use Twitter to inform people of happenings and the whereabouts of others, while Facebook was used to organize groups to denounce governments.

In this relationship between information and people, people have been gaining more equality in the sense that everday citizens can influence information. While major news outlets control information for the masses, one can easily exaggerate or omit pieces of information when tweeting about current events or certain subjects. The same goes for posting statuses on Facebook as well. Misinformation can spread as easily as the right information with the rise of social media. This appears to be a negative effect of the invention that allows us to disseminate information at lightning speed. Although this is nothing new, with cases of Yellow Journalism prevalent throughout history, social media appears to be even more of a deadly weapon in the sense that it’s popularity has surpassed standard reputed information outlets to an extent. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 may browse Instagram and Twitter more frequently than they read a New York Times article online, or on paper.

Information and People: A Two Way Street

Information and people, one can not exist without the other.  They work together in a way that is not just one affecting another but the two working together, affecting each other on many levels.  Until I got to the Republic of the Web seminar, I just really thought about how information only affected and influenced people.  It is does not work that way, it’s a vice versa situation.

After doing the research on the street this past Wednesday, it opened up my eyes to how much people can change information.  I knew people produced information to some degree but it seems like with everything the internet has to offer now, that has increased exponentially.  Seeing the results from the little bit of research we did, it was clear how much we change information through our Facebooks, Twitter,s or email accounts. Social networking sites has offered so much to those wishing to change information.  Even this blog post is allowing me to change information.

Getting more bangs (participation) for your bucks (videos) on YouTube

[The following was published in Politics Magazine in July 2009 with title What do you look like on YouTube?]

Political parties and candidates bombard us with their messages and counter-messages; they always have. But with new social media thriving—from blogs to Twitter to YouTube—what matters more is how the audience of these messages responds to them and shares them.

For a long time there’s been no good way to measure that social media presence. But we at UNC-Chapel Hill have developed two programs that help keep track of what’s happening on YouTube and other social media.

The first, ContextMiner, is a framework to collect, analyze and present not just data but contextual information. The ContextMiner website provides tools to collect data, metadata, and contextual information off the web by automated crawls from blogs, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter. The second, TubeKit, is a toolkit for creating YouTube crawlers. These allow you to search YouTube based on a set of seed queries. Both are free, open-source projects distributed under Creative Commons licenses.

The 2008 election—which set a new standard for YouTube use—gives a good example of how the programs can be helpful. We monitored election-related YouTube videos beginning in early summer 2007. We developed a system to simulate a visitor who goes to YouTube every day, looks for election-related videos by running certain queries and then browses through the top 100 videos for each query. Just before the elections, we analyzed our data to see what our hypothetical YouTube visitor would have discovered about both the presidential candidates.

We found that running the queries “Barack Obama” and “John McCain” every day for about 18 months and looking at the top 100 results, we could have seen about 600 unique videos for the former and only about 100 for the latter. The official channel of both candidates had a similar disparity, with nearly 1,500 videos on Obama’s website but only about 300 videos on McCain’s.

More importantly, the Obama videos that we found using our query approach had significantly higher views than those of McCain’s. The videos found by running the Obama query totaled about 35 million views (60,000 per video), whereas the McCain query’s videos had only about 2 million (20,000 per video). What’s more, Obama videos had significantly more comments (70,000 vs. 24,000) and ratings (220,000 vs. 15,000). What all these numbers indicate is that while Obama had many more videos than McCain, community involvement around Obama videos was also much more successful.

Yes, sending more messages—including YouTube videos—and reaching out helps. But whatever your outreach strategy, it’s important to see how many bangs you are getting for your buck. Now you can measure those bangs online.

Election “salesmen” on YouTube

YouTube did not exist during the last presidential election in the US and in this time, it has become such an important tool to reach to the people that any political party serious about their campaign cannot ignore the influence of YouTube. While most of the candidates running for the presidency (or the party ticket) used YouTube quite a bit, Barack Obama left everyone way behind. See for yourself in the figure below. This picture shows the name of an author followed by the number of videos he/she/they posted on YouTube. These data are coming out of our collection of election-related videos from YouTube.

Authors on YouTube

Authors on YouTube: username followed by the number of videos posted