Social media can be hilarious -- as witnessed by the student who went viral after forgetting her bluebook on the way to her first final exam -- and equal parts dark and disturbing as seen in recent trends with suicides and performance crimes done for an audience on Facebook Live.
Social media’s lighter side:
KFC’s Twitter account only follows 11 people including six men named Herb and the five Spice Girls, poking fun at their recipe of 11 herbs and spices.
With such drama as cyberbullying, trolling, revenge porn, fake news, digital disruption by foreign and domestic groups and the stress of information overload, why do we find ourselves using and sometimes overusing social media?
“It’s a desire to connect with people,” said Angeline Close Scheinbaum, associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations. “For every negative story, you hear about someone who found their birth mother or high school sweetheart.”
Scheinbaum’s research centers on the malicious side of social networks and last summer she penned a book titled “The Dark Side of Social Media” in which she discusses digital drama and unintended consequences for consumers, brands and business. She said in only a year since the book’s publication, an increasing convergence between social media and advertising has led to an escalated feeling of ubiquitous consumerism and a rise in privacy concerns.