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Word on The Street

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Compiled by Erica Wright

We asked Birmingham-area residents, What are some positives and negatives of social media?

Cameron Byrd: “Positives are it allows people to have perspective, which is the first rule of understanding and it also allows people to have a voice in oppressed areas . . . so it allows people to connect. The negatives are that it keeps people from regular face-to-face communication and it’s created an ecosystem for bullying… It’s easy for people to hide behind a monitor and it makes a place that people may not be as incentivized to get together anymore.”

Chelsea Wright: “Positives are that it shows how humorous millennials are, the connectivity that you get from people abroad and also it opens space for communication for people that you would think are [unreachable] sometimes. The negatives are the detachment from your peers and immediate circle because everyone is on their phone . . . social media companies intentionally make applications to where people are stuck on them and . . . not a lot of social media aspects are productive, it’s just pure entertainment.”

Helen Saab: “The positives are that it keeps us connected to the world and the negatives are that it sometimes can [seem] like people are living unrealistic lives that are hard to compare to . . . that can have a profound impact on people because they’re constantly comparing themselves and try to attain this great life that they don’t really have because of what someone else posts on social media. It kind of creates unhealthy competition a little bit.”

Samuel Robertson: “Positives are [that the] older generation can use social media to connect with people from their past and they don’t really get to see and I think that’s great. With my generation though, growing up with it in high school, the whole thing was a popularity contest and it was to build this digital platform to build your identity [and not] build [an] identity in real life and I think it’s just a pretty negative thing in that aspect.”