Digital media is an around the clock source that can be accessed at any time from any device. It has become easy for one to market their brand, stay connected with their friends and family, create new connections, share moments and much more; with its vast amount of social media platforms. With all of the positive affirmations that digital media seem to offer; what is the negative impact that it has on society? The answer to that question is not a simple one.
Social media enables the spread of unreliable and false information, has become an addiction for adolescents who have a need to stay connected, and also cause people to spend less time interacting face-to-face. Digital media had become an avenue for deceptive and confusing information. Society has labeled the current President of the United States ‘twitter fingers’, which describes someone who views themselves as a social media expert that tweets excessively as if their every thought is important to the well-being of humanity.
With his inappropriate misuse of the POTUS twitter account, Donald Trump has caused major controversy over his tweets. Whenever he has a disagreement with major news channels, he describes it as “fake news”. As an individual of power, using such terms on a major platform can influence the public to distrust news outlets. John Dickerson believes, “The risk of journalism, of course, is that people spend all day Twittering and reading other people’s Twitter entries and don’t engage in news any other way”. Society no longer watches news channels or read newspapers, they would rather go on social media platforms to get their daily dose of what they consider “news”; even though news outlets remain one of the most accurate sources for keeping up with current events.
According to the American Press Institute, recent studies show that 86% of twitter users uses Twitter for news content. Of those 86%, 64% of those individuals encountered something that they later discover wasn’t true.
In addition, digital media has caused an abundance of addictions in adolescents surrounding technology. Technology today is designed to utilize the basic human need to feel a sense of belonging and connections with others. Often people feel the need to engage with digital devices even if it is inappropriate or dangerous for them to do so. “Why do they text while driving? Their reasons are not reasons; they simply express a need to connect … these young people live in a state of waiting for connection. And they are willing to take risks, to put themselves on the line” (Sherry Turkle 579). Distracted driving is becoming one of the biggest concerns in this generation. According to the DMV, in 2015, 42% of teens say that they have texted while driving; and 26% of all car crashes in 2014 involved cell phone use.