Causal – PardonmyFrench

I am having a little trouble deciding the right topic for my essay. What I have so far is I could say social media decreases self-esteem in college students and therefor increases the risk of suicide. I could also link it to the number of likes someone gets playing a role in how they feel and if they post to social media frequently or not. Another cause and effect that could be looked at is the demand for social media will never go away so neither will the platforms nor likes completely. Basically I just wanted to know in your opinion if any of these sound better than the other from an outside perspective. Thanks in advance!!

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1 Response to Causal – PardonmyFrench

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thanks for asking, PardonMyFrench.

    1. Social media decreases self-esteem in college students and therefore increases the risk of suicide.

    This is a straightforward causal argument, but the claim is more complicated than you’re acknowledging, PMF. Not everybody needs the kind of affirmation that is provided by likes. On the other hand, some who need a LOT of positive feedback will always be dissatisfied if someone else gets more likes. In other words, the sort of satisfaction social media users derive from the attention is like anything else to which we can become addicted. Some are satisfied with a drink or two; the warm feeling and loosened inhibitions are gratifying and sufficient. Others get hooked on the feeling and need more until no amount is enough. That’s not the fault of alcohol any more than social media are responsible for its users’ reactions. EXCEPT: Breweries and distilleries make more money the more product they move, and social media make more money the longer their users remain on the site. Likes and comments are the product they “sell” to their users in return for their participation. They have no incentive to reduce the amount of interaction that takes place on their sites. You could say they’re in business to encourage users to become addicted. Are you planning to go there? If you do, you’ll be implicating them in the suicides that result.

    2. I could also link it to the number of likes someone gets playing a role in how they feel and if they post to social media frequently or not.

    I think I’ve already responded to that angle.

    3. The demand for social media will never go away so neither will the platforms nor likes completely.

    That one too. Likes (and the related emogees) and comments are the lifeblood of the platforms. Nobody would bother to post for long if they didn’t get any reactions.

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