Social Media

Prompt: The essays we have read on social media emphasize two opposing tendencies. On the one hand, Thompson, Jenkins, and Wortham argue that social media has the potential to bring us closer together and allow for more expression. On the other hand, Twenge and Deresiewicz (as well as The Social Dilemma) emphasize social medias deleterious effects. Your task in this essay is to consider which set of arguments are more important for our current historical moment.
 
Note that the prompt does not ask you to agree or disagree with individual authors. It does not ask you to take a pro or con position against social media. Instead, it asks you to evaluate a debate. You should argue why calling attention to one side of a debate is more important than another side of the debate given the time-period in which we live. You might agree that social media is harmful, for example, but believe that the opportunities different platforms create for meeting new people should be emphasized for a particularly relevant reason. Conversely, you might agree that social media allows for new forms of intimacy and connectivity, but also believe its ability to cause harm should be examined and discussed for specific reasons. Keep in mind that the prompt asks that the reasons you supply reflect our current historical moment. Why, in other words, is it important to defend or attack social media now?
 
It may also be helpful to narrow your topic beyond the broad idea of social media. You could focus on mental health, cyberbullying, attention spans, online dating, networking, or the value of specific apps (e.g. Snapchat) or phenomena (e.g. selfies) as a specific example of social media usage that lead you to take a certain position in the debate.  
 
Directions: Your essay must discuss at least three of the authors from our syllabus. It should be 4-5 pages, double-spaced, contain a descriptive title, your name on the top left, and include a Works Cited page in MLA format. Times New Roman Font size 11