Let’s face it: social media does not mirror reality. If that was the case, we would all look flawless 24/7, have a booked social calendar, and be completely satisfied in all aspects of life. It is clear that social media misrepresents our social lives, but how does it represent social division?
If we go by this idea that life is perfect on social media, we would likely conclude that social divisions are nonexistent online. But as Danah Boyd expresses in “Inequality: Can Social Media Resolve Social Divisions?” this is unfortunately far from true. When we go on social media, we can try to create a new persona, but we can’t disregard our “knowledge, experiences, and values” (Boyd 307). Instead of connecting with a wide variety of people, we merely connect with those who we are similar to.
Social media not only narrows our perspective on social division but also makes it so that we are exposed to limited information. This places an immense responsibility on the writer. As John Duffy discusses in “Writing Involves Making Ethical Choices,” writers develop a relationship with readers. Writers need to be thinking about the consequences of their words on impressionable audiences who may not be exposed to outside ideas; yet it seems that many fail to do so.
Advocates for clean eating often portray their way of eating as the ideal diet. But in doing so they can unconsciously mislead audiences, particularly teenagers. Teens who blindly follow the advice of these youtubers may take on diets that lead them down a dangerous path and jeopardize their physical and or emotional health. Now that is not to say that these youtubers are causing these problems; it simply means that youtubers (and all people who put out information) should be aware that their influence is powerful.