Social Media Impact on Youth and Minorities Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Social Media: Impact on Youth and Minorities

The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of social media on education, specifically related to youth and minorities including the Asian, Latina and African-American populations. The researcher believes that social media when used correctly has the potential to create great leaders, and provide a forum for ethical decision making and a forum for the voice of the people to be heard. This includes not only people in the U.S. But people throughout the word. There are many different feelings regarding social media; there are some people, including minorities who believe that minorities are under-represented in social media. However a close examination of statistics reveals that social media is very diverse, with youth and minorities taking advantage of technology and using social media as an outlet not simply for expression, but also as an organizational tool and method of free speech, to put content on the Web and Web 2.0. Several researchers have noted that the Web is in fact very diverse, representing young people including minorities and many other cultural groups including immigrants. Social media is in fact one of the most powerful tools youth and minorities can use to level the playing field with regard to leadership, ethical and social justice issues when used as a tool not just for recreation and entertainment, but also as a resource for networking, publishing, marketing, education and other valuable resources.

Hoy & Miskel (2008) note the relevance of specific interventions and dimensions of success and effectiveness related to leadership, justice and ethics, stating that it is critical to satisfy the least advantaged groups and different groups at various times, including youth and minorities; it is the position of the researcher that the prime beneficiary of many minorities in the past related to social media have not been minorities. From a social justice perspective, it is essential that minorities have adequate access to social media, because it has become a framework for building relationships and networking related to business relationships and the potential for leadership roles. This is evidenced by youths that do have access to media outlets including social media, which has allowed prominent youth figures to achieve high status and fame early on by accessing these resources. It does not matter what one's cultural background is. If they have access to social media, they have the potential to reach a world-wide audience. If one's aim is to make millions, this is certainly possible. There are certain markets including the very young where this has been evidenced. Take celebrities including Justin Bieber who reached fame instantly, overnight in fact by accessing social media. Corey et. al. (2011) notes that such changes and evolutionary processes in some instances and industries are inevitable particularly in school management organizations, although even here a mismanagement of funds or access to social media and computer literacy programs may be possible. In fact, "hidden barriers and sly forces of tenacity" are always a risk factor related to the potential for growth relevant to social media, but there is always a counter factor that may balance any hindrance to success whether one is looking at social media as an outlet for education, or as a tool for networking; one can discover "the way toward appropriating barriers in order to engineer their abdication through robust policy design. (p.20).

When it comes to diversity, it is necessary to ensure adequate access to social media tools. If a discrepancy in access is found, particularly in the realm of education it is important to discover the source of such discrepancies and to uncover whether they are real or imagined. Part of the reason there are diverse views on "diversity" is that many researchers have not done all of their homework. Hoy & Miskel (2008) also note that it is difficult to ascertain real problems associated with "standards-based reform measures" within the U.S. (p. 20) because there are various factors that are relevant to differences in acquisition of information. The institutionalized system may impose standards and behavior that is "locally efficient, acquired through practice, anchored in the logic of the task, and legitimized through unremarkable repetition" (Hoy & Miskel, 2008, p. 18; Snook, 2000). When it comes to social justice, many studies of the effects of systems including social media do not take into effect all factors, for there are far too many confounding effects, including the individual characteristics and track assignments of teacher and departments, just as there are the type of minority examined, the ages of youth examined, their cultural background, access to social media cultural beliefs, religious and social customs, etc. (Hoy & Miskel, 2008, p. 147).

From an ethical perspective how fair is this to the rest of the population? From an evolutionary perspective, this can only be seen as a natural process (Chelladurai, 1987). What is key to understanding diversity in social media is discovering why there is a perception of lack in diversity in social media anywhere, in schools or elsewhere, when there are dozens of statistics showing Asians, African-Americans, and other ethnic populations far exceeding in some instances the number of Caucasians accessing certain social media outlets.

There is a lack of diversity in social media circles among some white users, suggesting that minorities use social media much more than whites; for example statistics tend to suggest that 36% of the Latino population and as much as 33% of African-Americans use social media including mobile phones and Facebook; this is compared with just 19% of the Caucasian or white population; why the disparity (Sutton, 2011). There are others however that argues that social media is in fact very diverse, depending on where you look for your statistics, suggesting that many attendees to social media conferences and marketing seminars tend to be young, white individuals under the age of 40. Brown, co-founder of a marketing organization suggest that in the United States, many visible minorities living in the U.S. tend to visit social networking engagements more often, which is why it appears they are more often users. A quick view from Merkle (2010) offered by Sutton suggests that Non-ethnics tend to use Facebook as often as Hispanics, with African-Americans using about the same percentage of the time, 53% compared with 52%.

A study of 23,000 Canadians suggest that many immigrants and ethnic members of the community produce their own social media content rather than simply follow what is happening on the net. According to Delvinia and Environics Analytics survey from the same (Sutton, 2011), young ethnic singles in urban environments are mostly likely to use, followed by multi-ethnic middle-aged families in the same setting, followed by young, upper-middle class South-Asian families, followed by young immigrants.

Many people have noted that African-Americans are more likely to use social media than ever before; many suggest that social media is an excellent resource that can highlight minorities including blacks in technology in media; social media for definitive purposes may include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogging (which is a lead platform for social interaction and pop culture) (Brown, 2011).

Despite this there is still what seems a domination of white "presence" in social media. Why? Perhaps it is a lack of effort on the part of social media enterprises to represent minorities; perhaps it is a lack of effort because of pre-existing social biases, or a lack of effort on the part of groups to make them known. It is important that experts work to get their name out to show indeed that diversity does exist within the social media circle. There are still many racial biases that exist within society. While it is not the fault of the enterprise altogether, it still exists, and something must be done to overcome these prejudices and boundaries so that social media more accurately reflects the…

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