WJBF EXTRA: The Facebook Effect - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

WJBF EXTRA: The Facebook Effect

By Randy Key

Thanks to social media, buzz words like hashtags, retweets, and likes have found a new meaning. Just in the last few years, new sites have popped up to let us check-in, view photos, and even follow celebrities. But, what effect has sites like Facebook and Twitter made on our daily lives...from relationships to the workplace?

Every day, thousands of status updates are posted on Facebook, tons of tweets are exchanged on Twitter, and plenty of pictures are posted on Instagram. An online survey shows one of out every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook.

“We have family that lives so far apart and get together 1 time a year, so it's an opportunity so how their lives are...new baby, pictures, weddings, jobs," says Georgia Regents University student Angela Monroe.

Social media has its advantages...

“I have a friend who’s estranged from her grandchildren and the only way she sees them is through Facebook," says Aletha Wilson, from Wrens, Georgia.

“I think of the uprising in Egypt that was prompted by the younger generation getting together and discussing on Facebook. They made their demands known so it has a lot of positive social and political aspects to it," says Monroe.

But, social media also has its disadvantages...

“It can cause breakups, it can cause feelings of hardship even hate," says Wilson.

“I think it keeps you from meeting people in person. You can meet them online, but you won’t know how they feel and it creates a bridge," says Georgia Regents University student Bailey Fisher.

Some people say positive posts and pictures on Facebook can lead to negative consequences...

“You only post good news. You don’t post pictures in PJ's, or if you’re sick, or no make-up. It could give the impression that their life isn’t as perfect as the ones that is posted," says Monroe.

Archith Seshadri, reporting: “Social Media can impact you not just personally but also professionally. There’s new legislation in Georgia that could prevent employers from ask for your id and password for social media sites.”

Since Congress did not pass the Password Protection Act, six states have made it illegal for employers to ask you for your social media account information. Georgia and South Carolina have not yet made it illegal.

“You say things around friends and family that you wouldn’t in a professional environment," Monroe says.

So, from our jobs to our relationships, has social media helped or hurt us? We asked you to chime in on Facebook.

John tells us, "I see several HS mates are already retired. That is depressing as I am nowhere close."

Ingrid tells us, “Many of us who use it to uplift and support each other!"

Bryan tells us, "What else are we supposed to do at work?"

Experts say the key to using social media successfully is just like a diet...all in moderation.

“Some research suggests that those who spend time on social media tend to have less control in their lives. They eat more, they spend more, being overweight...”says Dr. Rob Reeves, a professor of Social Psychology at Georgia Regents University.

A recent study shows 340 million tweets are sent out daily, and around 300 million pictures are uploaded on Facebook. The study also shows 60 percent of Facebook and Twitter users are women. Pinterest has more female users, while Google + is more male-dominated.

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