“The Good and Bad of Social Media” – practice English with Spotlight

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Robin Basselin. And I’m Ryan Geerstma. Spotlight uses a special English method of
broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no
matter where in the world they live. Every day, more than one billion people connect
with each other using social media. People post pictures on websites like Facebook. They like and share videos that they have
watched on YouTube. And they send messages to friends using programs
like QQ Messenger. In just the last 10 years, social media has
completely changed the way we communicate. And it has let us communicate with people
around the world. But how does using social media affect us? Scientists from many different countries have
studied this question. They have looked particularly at its effects
on human emotions and relationships. Some studies show that using social media
can cause depression. And other studies suggest that it can negatively
affect our relationships. Today’s Spotlight is on the positive and negative
effects of social media. The main positive effect of social media is
also its purpose: connection. Modern life can be very busy. Many people work long hours. Other people live far away from family and
friends in different cities or countries. Today, many things separate people. And it can be difficult to stay connected
with the people that are important to us. Zeynep Tufekci is a scientist who studies
social media and human behavior. In The Atlantic magazine, she wrote, “Social media’s very fast rise is a loud
and growing attempt by people everywhere to connect with each other. They are connecting even with all the barriers
that the modern world forces on our lives.” Social media can also help people make new
friends. Often, these are friends they would not have
met without social media. For example, imagine you have a very particular
interest. You love the science of soil! Usually, you would not meet very many people
who are also interested in soil. But through social media, you can find people
all over the world who share your interest in soil science. Social media can also help people spread news
about major world events. This lets people all over the world react
more quickly and even help. For example, in January of 2010, the small
country of Haiti experienced a major earthquake. More than 100,000 people died. Millions more people needed food and shelter. Soon after the earthquake, the International
Red Cross started an appeal for aid on social media. Very quickly, they raised many millions of
dollars to help the earthquake victims. Wendy Harman, the Red Cross social media manager,
told Mashable: “The result was huge. I am sure that it would not have spread so
widely without social media.” It is clear that social media has many positive
effects. But some scientists warn that social media
can also harm people. The Public Library of Science published a
major study in 2013. This study looked at people from the United
States who used the social media website Facebook. The study found that the more these individuals
used Facebook, the less they were satisfied with their life. And scientists observed that this could cause
feelings of depression. Another major study in Germany found similar
results. Scientist studies how 600 German Facebook
users felt while they used Facebook. They found that the most common emotion people
experienced while using Facebook was envy. So, why would using Facebook cause depression
and envy? Well, often, when people put things on social
media, they only post the best things about their lives. They talk about the fun things they are doing. Or they post pictures that make them look
particularly good. So, when people look at Facebook, they are
only seeing the best things in their friends’ lives. This can make them feel less satisfied about
their own lives. And, they can begin to feel envy because their
friends’ lives look so perfect. Researchers also noted that Facebook relationships
are different than normal relationships. When someone sees a friend regularly, they
see both the good and bad in that person’s life. But if someone only sees a friend on social
media, they will probably only see part of their friend’s life. This makes social media relationships very
different than normal relationships. Sherry Turkle is a technology expert that
teaches at MIT in the United States. Turkle claims that social media is decreasing
the quality of our relationships. When people use social media, they do not
talk deeply or for very long. And being someone’s Facebook friends demands
very little effort. Turkle wrote about social media relationships
in the New York Times. She said, “We expect more from technology and less from
one another. More and more, we desire technologies that
provide a false idea of relationship without the demands of relationship.” Many people have begun to notice the negative
effects of social media themselves. Ashleigh Elser is a young woman from the United
States. In 2011, she began to notice that Facebook
was affecting her relationships. She told the New York Times, “I was not calling my friends any more. I was just seeing their pictures and comments
on Facebook and I felt like that was really connecting to them.” But Elser began to recognize that she was
not truly connecting with her friends. So, she decided to stop using Facebook. She knew she would miss some things. But she felt that stopping Facebook would
improve her relationships with her closest friends. Sam Laird is a writer for the internet company
Mashable. Like Elser, he also decided to stop using
Facebook. For him, it was an experiment. He wanted to see what would happen. After 5 months, he found that he concentrated
more on his life and relationships. However, he also found that he missed shared
memories and fun events on Facebook. Laird enjoyed being off Facebook. But he said he would probably return to Facebook
one day. He wrote, “My experiment has shown me that social media
has become a part of human life. You can use it or not use it as much as you
like, but it is not going anywhere.” Laird is probably right. Social media is not going anywhere. But we may need to think more carefully about
how we use it and how it makes us feel. So, how do you feel when you use social media? Do you think it improves or hurts your relationships? Would you ever consider stopping using social
media? Tell us what you think. You can leave your comments on our website. Or email us at [email protected] The writer of this program was Jen Hawkins. The producer was Mark Drenth. The voices you heard were from the United
States. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and
read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “The Good and Bad
of Social Media.” We hope you can join us again for the next
Spotlight program. Goodbye!

  1. Currently, I decided to stop using Facebook. Then, I have seen I have more time to read books, meet friends, talk to my parents and learn something new. Before when I used Facebook, I always felt I was busy, I did not have enough time.

  2. I'm used to checking facebook every day. Exactly, It makes me quite busy. , I've spent a lot of time online on the Facebook instead of interest in the other things. But now, I have limited unnecessaries things in order to spend more time to hang out with my friends, discovering strange places and make a new thing. Let's live to see the new things. Balance among certain things. It's truly important.You can read a book instead of surfing the internet.

  3. i delete my facebook permanently .after some days i fel that our life can run without using social media.but i did not get any information about my friends,teachers and even a whole world.now social media is a part of our life.we have to minimize its use . without social media we cannot get any information about our todays world.

  4. I 'm from Viet Nam, I think social media that has two sides if we have positive thoughts ,social media helps us having lives better.For example we make friends with good people we will receive useful advice and improve relationships we can read good news in our country and oversea from websites on Facebook or watch videos from YouTube from our friends.Ofcoure we must choose them to watch we don't have enough time to discover good videos. I have learned english from Language Master on Facebook. Don't use social media like nonsense way we make it serves us useful. Thanks Spotlight so much.

  5. I decided to stop use Facebook 2 months ago
    so have more and more time .
    I really like this video it's very useful

  6. It's really helpful..whenever I start my study…I put my phone on my study table which distracting me…so from today I decide that I stop using any of social media apps..but using sometime whenever it's very important then.. after all we r student basically our main work is study..

  7. Hello. I'm from Brazil.
    Thanks very much for this video. It helps me more to learn English. I don't like social media. But I use it when I need.
    Then I have more time to study without social media.

  8. I have been decided to stop using Facebook before watch this video. Because I find it so bad to use anymore. it is destroying our life's.

  9. I think the social media can have good effects in our's lives, if everyone use them with sense and rensponsibility.

  10. After I heard all of this video, I decided to spend less time for using Facebook. I just use it for check my class in FB. And now, i feel better than before. Therefore i have free-time, instead of surfing the internet , i can read more useful book, hang out with my friends, learn some new programming. I truly feel regretted because se realizing this sooner. Many thanks for this video <3

  11. I never had Facebook and I do not want a waste of time. but I really like reading Spotlight. Best regards to the Spotlight editorial team

  12. I stopped using Facebook but I still use Instagram but no that much and I like it more than Facebook although Instagram is a Social Media as what you just had said now about Facebook now it is not that addictive although it does affect some couples relationships have been through fights and I think that sometimes you are right that if you use too many social media and your parents/guardians/older siblings/wife/girlfriend will sever some depression it's true I'm saying its not I love using Social Media but not that addictive who agrees with me.

  13. 5:19 I listened "using social media" I hope you can fix it instead "on social media". Thanks for reading ^__^

  14. In my opinion social media like Facebook is good app but I think it’s a little procrastination and wasting time sometimes I really get headache when I use it to much Facebook and I tried many times to leave it but I couldn’t even I delete but after three hours I installed again Because I couldn’t forget to not think about it and I downloaded again

  15. Every thing in life (work,relation,trip…)contains advantages and inconvenients.Surely social media have positive effects and the same time present negative effects.People  everywhere must benefit more and more from good effects ,and be careful from bad effects of social media.

  16. We are paying too much attention on putting the grate minds of silicone valley on wrong side they are making use of data providing better service but government taking all the money in form of tax and having fun it's ruthless the media is taking this because they are losing the market of creating fake news fake news existed even before social media came in light so it's politicians spoiling up your mind

  17. I think it is nice to have social media because it has so many good ness and bad ness
    Thankyou mam for this wonderful class

  18. Facebook and other social networking sites can play a significant role in influencing one's behaviour when it comes to making choices. I have seen many people especially students decide who to vote for based on a candidate who gets more likes and they do not use their discretion while exercising their franchise. So, there is no gainsaying the fact that it is possible to influence elections in democratic countries like India. As social networking sites are a part of life now, it all depends on an individual on how to use them. Now and then I use Facebook to post some good information. In my view, social media is flooded with fake news and there is no way to stop the flow of misinformation at present. So, it is better not to depend on social media for correct information.
    Thank You Spotlight for enlightening us about the positive and negative effects of social media.

  19. I think that social media we can use to interchange information about different themes ,but depent on ,what people need to know ,it is your option. Thanks

  20. This video is helpful to us for caution about using internet in currently
    I’m the who love this study on internet just like listening 💙💙

  21. Yes..when i was out of fb i was frendly.i started a relationship but now im boring cause im single again and i spend more time in fb then

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