Millennial Exposed and Equipped With Technology From
A Young Age Tend Not To Succumb To Social Media Pressure
University of Houston- Downtown
April 18, 2021
There has been a lot of here say on the actual effects of social media on our daily activities and life in general for far too long. Social media has become intertwined in our day-to-day activities. From the way we get news to how we receive travel updates, the way we dress when getting out of our homes, and how we interact with the world. We can, therefore, not assume the role of social media in influencing and, at times determining human behavior. Many millennials are also directly affected by the occurrence of social media to the extent that it makes them do crazy challenges that can even lead to loss of life. Social media has also been attributed to making millennials have a standard double life because what is displayed online is not the actual situation therein. Still, it’s aimed to massage their ego somehow; a scenario referred to as fake life. Social media influence also tends to be crucial in the political landscape and even decision-making. Bearing these in mind, those who grew up with some knowledge or full knowledge in technology have a different opinion from those who grew up and got introduced to technology by friends and family. We will evaluate the various approaches to the above reasoning, get scientific data on the same, test our hypothesis, and arrive at a conclusive decision. We are going to base our paper on profound theories on social media influence.
Millennials Exposed and Equipped With Technology From
A Young Age Tend Not To Succumb To Social Media Pressure
The inception of social media in the early 2000s opened a new era of communication and interactions in the world (Fernandez et al., 2017). In the early days before the inception of social media, social life was primarily considered private because there was no public forum to share such experiences. Fast forward to the social media age; there be numerous platforms where people can share whatever comes into their minds or surroundings. The inception of social media was deemed to ease interactions in a population and even connect the world (Larsson et al., 2018). In his early days of launching the current social media giant, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg envisioned a platform that could truly connect the world and make it a global village. He was very obsessed with the idea that they even printed the inside of their hoodies with his vision. Many years later, Facebook has managed to connect the world and done many things, both good and bad, that even the founders didn’t envisage. Key among these things is influencing the public behavior more so millennials. Therefore, social media influence can be summarized as one’s ability to affect or change other people’s ability in an online social community. It’s deemed that this ability increase with the increase in popularity among the billions of users. The more popular you are, the more following hence, the more ability to influence.
Determining Social media influence
The most basic way to determine one’s influence is by following various social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram (De Oliveira et al., 2020). Going by this data, it’s easy to say that someone who has a following of more than a million people can have a lot of influence than someone who has a thousand followers. However, to ascertain the actual result, one has to go deep and look at various factors like the kind of people they interact with and their connections. Even the type of topics they focus on during their online interactions. Statistically, most experts have advocated for the use of a tool called Klout. It measures one’s online activities on a scale of 1-100. Primarily this gauge depends on the movement of the said person on various famous social media platforms. For most scientists, this tool is inefficient since a renowned writer can write a blog and focus on the right audience. The impact can be huge and felt regardless of the number of likes instead of a tweet that can get some preferences, but it does not affect reality. Most recently, there have been new tools to measure this kind of influence in a better and more efficient way. We used data analytical tools like google. It gives an impression on a post and tweet, the number of people reached, liked, and the widespread impact of the post or tweet.
Social Media influencers
Influencers are people who get paid by other people or organizations to either create awareness of a new product, boost sales of an existing product, or change people’s perception of products. Influencing is limited to business and has expounded to other areas, more so political influencing or social influencing. There’s an increased number of youths, or rather millennials, which are not politically connected to modern reality and would want their voices heard through the ballot. Most politicians are shifting their focus to such groups to twist their reasoning in their favor. In the recently concluded elections in the United States, 72% of those that have attained the voting age are active social media users. Of this, 69% are actively on Facebook. There are different groups of influencers; we have celebrity influencers, these are those who are popular among the public. Most of them come from the entertainment industry and have a significant impact on the lives of millennials (Chatzigeorgiou and C. 2017). For example, fast forward in 2017, Drake came out dressed in a “bomber Jacket” sooner, it became a fashion trend, and most of the companies had to increase their output to meet the demand. We also have consumer influencers; these are day-to-day social media users and have garnered a following because of their interactions. They tend to bring about new commodities in the eyes of the public and are credited with changing the choices and preferences of many millennials. We also have content creators who mainly include vloggers and bloggers whose role is to hype a product. They create funny videos and somehow relate them to the products. They also make informative ads about a product to convince new buyers of a practice that has proven successful. Lastly, we have micro-influencers who specifically deal in a particular area. They are also day-to-day users but with the technical know-how in specific areas. It can take beauty, politics, social life, and even finance. They play a vital role in influencing millennials who have either divided choices or are blank on a specific topic. Most of these tend to be professionals.
The Algorithm effect
An algorithm is a set of rules and sequences that are installed in a computer with the main aim of solving a problem, perform a specific action, and compute data. In some cases, it is used to make particular functions of processing data. Almost all social platforms employ the use of an algorithm with the main to achieve specific goals. Whereas many people are not aware, the consumption of news and other information is highly influenced by math through algorithms (Wölker et al., 2018). When one logs into their accounts, whether in search of something or to get the news brief, the information they get has highly been filtered by a set of algorithms to suit the said individual. Interestingly, a study by the Harvard business school has identified that most people prefer to get news from an algorithm rather than a human source as opposed to the expected norm. Many social media giants tend not to give an actual scenario on their use of algorithms, but it’s known that the algorithms play an integral role in determining people’s perception.
It was one of the famous and easy-to-use platforms, Twitter which is highly associated with political and media elites. Though people tweet, the tweets are not arranged in alphabetical order but according to the most relevant of all. In many cases, the aim of the algorithm is said to prevent bots and automatic tweets (Rodriguez- Ruiz et al., 2020). It still plays a vital role in determining and shaping one’s choices
Being one of the most significant search engines dealing in video platforms, it can have a complex algorithm to crack more when one wants to build a platform to reach the world.
Facebook is among the famous social media outlets in the world. Bearing this in mind, they have to employ the use of AI for profitability purposes. Facebook being a media giant, has come under strict scrutiny, more so after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that so Facebook being used for manipulation purpose to influence the outcome of the elections (Ekdale et al., 2019). Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy firm that majors in advising political parties and even countries on political matters, was accused of fetching Facebook data to alter voters’ mindset. The manipulation events were so dire that they led to hate, false wordings, and propaganda to achieve their aim. In the 2017 general election, their affairs led to server manipulation, hate, and even post-election violence and human life loss. Facebook’s algorithm of “hate propelled these events.”
The current study
Social media having to be an integral part of our society and having been around for more than two decades makes it enough tool to be prone to misuse (Fard et al., 2020). Growing up in the age of technology seems to be a blessing and a curse simultaneously. Through advancement in technology, it is made more accessible, efficient, and the output is increased. Social media has also been of great importance to our lives. It’s through media that we have got to make new friends. Go to places we could only imagine, connect to different people of different races and cultures, and learn new stuff innovative and inventive.
On the other hand, social media can be considered a vice in the making if necessary actions either regulate or call for more openness are not implemented. Many people have actually done things, bought stuff, and even commented on things they should not have due to pressure emanating from social media (Diba et al., 2019). Famous among these are the challenges that are being performed on the pages day in day out. Billions of people are tagging along the challenges to look fashionable without even noticing the manipulation behind this. At some point, it has been Catastrophic, as seen during the infamous “Blue Whale Challenge” (Mukhra et al., 2019). Because of such pressure, we decided to draft a research paper that would act as an eye-opener for others who might be putting themselves in harm’s way. We, therefore, decided to test the following hypothesis.
Hypothesis 1 (H1): Millennials exposed and equipped with technology from a young age tend not to succumb to Social media pressure
Hypothesis 2 (H2): Millennials who exposed themselves to technology due to peer pressure are the actual victims of social media pressure.
In the current study, we decided to get Students from the Southern university to assume that most of them have been exposed to technology. The present research needed lots of views, so we took two hundred students of both gender. Our decision to randomly pick ladies and men was arrived at based on the argument that influence is gender-neutral. From day-to-day experiences, both males and females are prone to some level of power either from friends or trends. Even though we randomly chose our participants, we focused on primarily those that have or have ever had access to social media platforms and those whose profile had been active for two years.
Specific social media pages. To attain our actual objective of determining the level of influence, our analysis had to be explicit. We had select social media pages on both Facebook and Twitter that we directed the group to follow. The several accounts ranged from celebrities and prominent media personalities who had a wide range of tastes, but our specific concern was their taste for music and clothing. The said accounts had—an active profile for about two years, identical to that of our selected group.
Media articles on social media influence. We depended on professional writings from various universities -Harvard school being one of them. We also obtained professional articles from popular media outlets (Fox News, CNN, and BBC). These articles aimed to give our participants a third eye thought on the various events, actions, and activities that resulted from the social media craze and how the different writers thought about all these. We provided articles with in-depth analysis and even highlighted specific areas of concern where they were to focus. Key among these were various hashtags and challenges in the previous post and are documented.
Images. We shared various screenshots of previous tweets and Facebook posts that actually had severe manipulation and eventually impacted society. Some of the pictures shared were those of unfortunate events attributed to the influence of social media. These pictures included those of violent demonstrations and mass arrests in various parts of the world.
Measures. Social interactions were a principal consideration in this research, so we decided to use Google Analytics to monitor and record data on the daily interactions and the impact on their lives.
Though the participants were randomly selected, there was a requirement for them to fill a form with specifics, including their acquaintance level in technology. They also stated whether they had s background in technology. Essential in all these was the kind of exposure they had in technology and the number of years they have used social media. We gave them the instructions to follow the displayed list of celebrities that we provided from the said group. The aim of the following ways to be acquainted with the timeline of the said people with an ultimate aim of easing the task forth hand. The participants were also required to be active online throughout the said period.
Indicators. These would arise from either a behavioral change in the user’s day-to-day online interactions, topics and issues they post, and their physical looks, specifically in clothing and general grooming.
After one month of the trials, we called off the problems and started analyzing the collected data. The collected data entailed the number of times one had logged onto their accounts, whether they were still following the said people, whether during the said period they actually liked or even commented on the posts of the said celebrities. From the cluster of two hundred, one hundred and fifty had a better understanding of social media in the sense that they had been exposed to technology from a young age in some way. The remaining fifty knew what social media was and had heard about it from friends and family. From the one hundred and fifty that had a good understanding of social media, only one hundred gads fully participated in the trials from the said data. From these one hundred, it was evident that there was little to no change in their way of doing things. They all had maintained their social life, and eighty among them were active followers of the said Celebrity and media personalities. The fifty who were not functional but had prior knowledge of social media cited boredom and disinterest in the media applications due to their lack of seriousness. From the fifty that had gotten to social media through friends and family, thirty had an actual behavioral change, including their hairstyles and clothing to align with their newfound idols, look fashionable, and avoid being left in the dark. The remaining twenty were still learning and taking a careful stride on the new corridors to better understand the social media streets before showing lots of interest. They had liked some of the posts and tweets and commented; this group’s interactions were limited to a small circle of people. It would take them another two to three years to be fully acquainted with the happening and pledging loyalty to a particular course from their response. From the above counts and events, our hypothesis tends to be true that millennials equipped with technology know-how through peer pressure are actual victims of social media influence. In this case, a victim does not mean they suffered and pain or physiological torture but were just influenced differently than they expected.
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