Examiner: Is social media popular in your country?
Philippe: “ Very much. Many people, especially the young, are trying to become vloggers and influencers. The try to accumulate as many followers as possible. Apparently, there are people in my country earning a considerable income from this.”
Examiner: Do you use social media often?
Samanpreet: I must confess that I am an avid user of social media. I am constantly DMing my friends the newest memes and the latest viral videos. It’s a way to connect with them even when we can’t be together.
Why do some people choose not to use social media?
Ali: the internet is still in many ways, like the wild west with very little legislation or controls. It is extremely easy to fall prey to scammers trying to trick you out of money or even worse, your identity. Social media sites are full of trolls who only post in order to incite a reaction or haters who badger other posters or spew negativity everywhere.
Talk about your favorite social media site or application
Say when you first used it
While many people my age have moved on to Snapchat or TikTok, Instagram remains my favorite social media site for a variety of reasons. I started using this app five years ago when I started experimenting with photography and I find that it is an application that allows me to express myself creatively, by using various filters for my photography or videos to create an effect I desire.
I have accumulated a rather large number of followers over the years, but I certainly would not call myself an influencer. I now use the application at least 3 times a week to post stories or to dm my friends and followers.
I still enjoy using Instagram very much and would absolutely recommend it to others ….but you do need to have thick skin if you amass a large following. I have had people make derogatory comments to me which can be rather upsetting but fortunately you can block them easily. I have been fortunate so far, but some people I know have been victims of catfishing, which can be traumatic.
At what age are children are generally allowed to use social media in your country?
I think it really depends on which application the child is using. Some applications generally expose a child more to potential predators or cyberbullies so I think children should be at least 15 to use them. I have heard that predators create fake profiles in order to groom children – this is despicable and is just one reason why parents should monitor their children’s device use.
Do you think people will social media more or less in the future?
With so many things changing so quickly, it’s rather difficult to predict what the future holds. A few years ago we were sending emojis to one another and now everywhere you look people are dancing in front of their cameras for the world to see. So, I imagine our obsession with social media will continue although I hesitate to predict what form that will take.
Why do you think bullying on the internet has become so widespread?
I think cyberbullies and trolls generally feel that a shield of anonymity protects them. Many people are on social media area out there with dummy profiles harassing people at will and I guess like in all kinds of bullying, it makes the bully feel important or worthy. So the bully gets the validation he or she needs without any of the repercussions that might occur if the bullying were to take place in the real world.