Is Social Media the Door to Anxiety?
With the advancement of technology, social media have allowed people to be closer than ever. While the instant messaging is promoting people around the globe to interact with each other immediately, it fails to perceive face-to-face communication. In our daily routine, we are constantly checking on our cell phones because we don't want to miss any new messages or updates. In an essay published in The Independent in 2017, "Is Quitting Social Media the key to millennial happiness?" Olivia Blair points out that social media cause harm to our generation's mental health in many ways and that can eventually lead to anxiety. By persuading an informal ethos, addressing the reader directly, and relating supportive anecdotes, the author encourages her persuasive appeal in which people should take a break from the social media.
. In the beginning, Blair describes a scenario in which her first and last thing to do in a day was to check her Facebook and Instagram to see news and what her friends are up to. By relating her experience with many people in our generation, she presents herself as a cultural insider and points out that checking social media updates have been an inevitable action in our daily routine. A survey reveals that 88% of 18-29 year-olds indicates the use of any form of social media (Pew Research Center). Blair explains that the never-ending stream of information from social media can be overwhelming and that leads us to feel that we are constantly missing something (Blair 33). To appeals to ethos and show her credibility, she further provides the evidence that "45 percent of people who are not able to access their social networks or email felt worried or uncomfortable as a result" (Blair 41). Vannucci also supports Blair's claim in which "approximately 90% of young adults use social media, with the majority using two or more social media sites and visiting these sites daily" (163). By providing such convincing evidence, she warns her audiences that frequent use of social media can cause anxiety disorders. Nonetheless, the author also shows acknowledgment of the other side's point of view that social media has brought us numerous advantages and she then suggests that taking a regular break back into the real world can be beneficial.
Another essential strategy Olivia Blair used in her essay was directly addressing the audiences. Her frequent use of "you" in the essay helped to engage with the reader in which allows the readers to stand in her shoe. One example in the essay was that "... the worry when you share a carefully filtered photo on Instagram and wait for the likes to hopefully rack up leading your brain to somehow equate your popularity and value IRL..." (Blair 9). Blair uses a supporting scenario that is similar to our daily lives to attract reader's attention and successfully convinces that receiving no likes can lead to depression. Shensa also suggests that depression would develop if the individual does not receive the desired feedback from social media audiences (116). Furthermore, her use of internet acronym "IRL" here stands for "In Real Life" also reflects her character as an insider which further allows her to engage with the audiences. Nonetheless, Blair also made a transition in her essay from using "you" to "we" to address the audiences more directly and enhance her trustfulness. Use of such persuasive tone, she conveys that when we are looking at other's updates we are actually comparing our lives with others. She also claims that nobody's life is perfect and that what they share on social media is carefully curated and selected. She then explains that we often develop anxiety and depression when we try to compare with other's seemingly perfect life (Blair 27). The use of persuasive tone and direct address of audiences appeals to audience's emotion and strengthened her arguments that the use of social media can be stressful and unhealthy.
Furthermore, the author also relates supportive anecdotes to relate back to the problems she has stated. Blair first introduces Ben Jacobs who was a former Twitter user that took an indefinite hiatus from Twitter. By quoting Jacobs' own quote, she shows that the use of Social media devotes a large portion of spare times and makes people feel anxious because they are concerned with the feelings of others they have followed. Blair then compares with Jacobs' experience after the hiatus from Twitter and points out that Jacobs has had "a clearer head with plenty of time to devote to other things" (Blair 52). In order to show she was not totally one-sided on the use of social media, Blair then introduces the second story of Stina Sanders who was not able to get away from social media but was able to relieve herself. Sanders was a model with 119,000 followers that claim social media plays an important role in heightening her feelings. Vannucci also suggests that "social media sites may serve as a source of stress that contribute to elevated anxiety symptoms and related impairment in emerging adults" (164). Using Sanders' own experience, the author restates her claim that people can easily get caught in the unreal world and compare their life to others. While Blair acknowledges that it is hard to totally quit social media, she uses Sanders' strategy of avoiding unpleasant feelings to suggests that taking a break from social media can be the first step in reducing anxiety.
In conclusion, Olivia Blair strengthens her argument by presenting numerous danger that social media can cause in our generation. Through persuading an informal ethos, addressing the audiences directly, the author conveys the danger that social media causes. Through her persuasive tone and use of related anecdotes, the author suggests it is hard to totally quit social media but taking a break can be beneficial for our health. Though Blair begins her essay by presenting herself as an insider in order to enhance her trustworthiness, she could have been providing more supporting evidence to further strengthens her argument and thus develops a more persuasive tone,
·Anna Vannucci, M. S., Kaitlin M. Flannery, and Christine M. Ohannessian. "Social Media use and Anxiety in Emerging Adults." Journal of Affective Disorders
·Shensa, Ariel, et al. "Social Media Use and Depression and Anxiety Symptoms: A Cluster Analysis." American Journal of Health Behavior, vol. 42, no. 2, Mar/Apr2018, pp. 116-128. Academic Search Complete
·Smith, Aaron, and Monica Anderson. "Social Media Use in 2018." Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech
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Jiaje, this is supposed to be an analytical essay, That means that your perspective of the information provided should be front and center in the presentation. However, this essay relies mostly on information taken from other sources to strengthen the presentation of the original author. There is a lack of personal analysis in the essay as the sources you chose to use are not connected to the original article that is being reviewed. These are independent articles that may support information from Blair, but does not share an analysis of Blair's essay. Therefore, you should try to insert paragraphs that contain your personal analysis of the article as well. While the information you provided in addition to the original article is acceptable, it does not provide a true analysis of the original article which is what this essay analysis should be all about. Use more of your personal analysis and less of the supporting information from other sources. That changes the essay from an analysis essay to a research essay.