There’s no doubt that society has become more liberal over the years, and that’s great. People nowadays can be who they want to be, do what they want to do, love who they want to love, and ultimately have the freedom to create his or her own ideal life. What could be better than that?

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Overall, as millennials, we have a more understanding approach when it comes to sensitive topics such as race, gender, sexuality, you name it. But why? I, along with many others, tend to believe that it has everything to do with the advancements of social media.

Think about it.

During the times of our grandmothers and grandfathers, social views were extremely conservative, and the existence of technology was sparse. People with mental illnesses were shut away in asylums, homosexuals were misunderstood and ostracized by society, women were treated as objects expected to make a home cooked meal every night. Furthermore, the internet was unheard of, televisions were a strangely new concept, and cellphones weren’t even a thought. As advancements in technology were made, people started doing research on the internet, watching the news every night, or voicing his or her opinion over phone call or instant message.

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With all of these new ways to communicate, society started to become more and more aware of the differences in lifestyles, opinions, and interests of one another. People were speaking their minds. People were being brave. However, I strongly believe that this bravery has developed nowadays into something with a more negative connotation: passivity.

The most relatable example I can think of when explaining how society has become passive would be cyberbullying. Statistics show that 52% of teenagers report that they have been bullied via social media, and 95% of teenagers report that they have witnessed instances of cyberbullying on social media of some sort. Why are these statistics so high?

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Easy. It’s because 81% of teenagers agree that cyberbullying is way easier to do than bullying in person. Typing out a harsh message behind a screen is much easier, faster, and less confrontational than saying the same hurtful statement in person. Who would actually chose to stare someone in the face and call them a loser as they break down and cry? Why not just press send and let the victim read the message, with no retributions?

Social media has provided many positive outlets for people to express themselves creatively, make advancements in science and health fields, and ultimately, have a voice. All of this is undoubtedly wonderful, but it also must come with a cost. Every great thing has its downfalls, and social media’s downfall is making society passive aggressive, one cyberbully at a time.

 

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