Social media is everywhere, coming at us through our computers, tablets and ever-present phones. News, and rumors, spread to countless people at the touch of a button, in the blink of an eye. Everything these days has a hashtag. How has all this social media impacted our society? Has it changed it for the better, or for the worse?
That was the topic of the Lions Club Speech Contest, held yesterday at HHS. Participants had to write a short essay and then deliver a speech on the topic in front of three judges.
Freshman Cornelius “Haraden” Bottomley was the winner, with junior Aria Duff “coming in a close second,” according to Dr. Walsh, director of Humanities for HHS. Other participants included freshmen Abby Bulman, Abby Cummings, Julia Leskow, Ben Lee and Olivia Reddish; sophomores Sierra Little-Gill, Erica Perry, Alex Linn and Heather Nash; and seniors Andrea Bilton and Macy Hohenleitner.
For Andrea Bilton, social media has had a profound impact on not just how we express ourselves, but on how we value ourselves. “We have grown to associate positive feelings with every ‘like,’ ‘favorite’ and ‘follower’ that pops up on our phones,” she said in her speech. “We go through life with underlying motives – to accumulate Facebook friends, Instagram followers, and get the most ‘likes’ we possibly can.”
The topic was a challenge to Ben Lee, who felt he couldn’t really judge the impact of social media because he’s never experienced life without it.
“In order for me, or anyone my age, to compare life with and without social media, we would have had to live ‘on both sides of the fence’ and I haven’t,” he wrote in his speech.”There really isn’t a minute in the day where I don’t have my phone or when I am not on it. … I’m sure (social media) has had an effect but I couldn’t tell you what it is.”