Lecture: “The impact of social media”
On the third day of the 25th National Week of Science and Technology, the lecture “The impact of social media” was carried out by PhD José Luis Jasso, Teacher of the Psychology School of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León. The lecture was attended by students from the High school No. 7 “Puentes” of the UANL. The students were participants during the event and had the chance of knowing the laboratories of the Neurosciences, Genomics, and Emergent Pathogens Units.
During the lecture it was mentioned that technology has been changing constantly throughout the years, which has come with a big impact in society, to different levels, like personal, educational, and at work. This significant influence makes the use of these technologies to be more necessary. The most benefited factors have been Information Technologies, and Communications.
Some statistics from the Asociación Mexicana de Internet (Mexican Association of Internet) show that 79.1 million Mexican internet users exist today, with an average internet use time of 8 and 12 minutes in 2018. 64% of the internet population feels to be on it the whole day, and 68% of Mexicans have said the internet has impacted their habits.
With the purpose of knowing more about Internet and Social Media in Mexico as an overview, PhD Jasso emphasized the most used social media as Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter. Just 1% of internet users do not use any social media, and 7 out of 19 people use the internet through a smartphone. Online shopping is more common, as well as checking bank accounts, scheduling activities, etc. However, as good as it has a positive impact and provides helpful strategies, it also carries negative aspects: 30% of car accidents are caused by distractions, and social media can be found within the factors for this to happen.
Considering the negative impacts social media can have, we can mentions: addictive behavior, when an individual manifests withdrawal when not on social media, or not feeling satisfied after a certain amount of time on social media. Another negative aspect is that of ‘sexting’, meaning sex through messages; ‘cybervictimization’, which is virtual harassment through social media; and ‘grooming’, a strategy used by adults to gain trust from young users and teenagers, to then obtain personal data from them.
On the other hand, some positive aspects can be educational, to strengthen social relationships, creating social campaigns, promoting health, sexual education, among other things. In young people and teenagers, social media can help build an identity. Social media can promote adaptive strategies that also help with psychosocial behavior.
Social media have brought tools for the youth of today, but it is important to count with the proper orientation for its use. Knowing the necessary measures that can help prevent risks is important.