The Facebook effect: As social media turns 20, Taryn de Vere and Ciara Kelly share how it changed their lives for the better and the worse
Briefly

The advent of social media has revolutionized the way we interact and has had both positive and negative impacts on society. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have transformed how we communicate, work, date, shop, and even run political campaigns. However, this has come at a cost, with issues such as online bullying and toxic behavior becoming more prevalent.
In the two decades since Facebook was launched, an abundance of platforms from Twitter and Instagram to Snapchat and TikTok have revolutionised everything from how we interact to how we work, date, shop and run political campaigns. But there has been a high price to pay, with the advent of online bullying and weaponised toxicity.
For some individuals, social media has played a crucial role in providing a sense of connection and support, particularly in situations of social isolation. Taryn de Vere, a lone parent of five children, found solace in social media during a period where her social life was limited to school pick-ups and doctor's waiting rooms. Through various platforms, she was able to maintain connections with old friends and make new ones, ultimately saving her sanity.
I became an enthusiastic user of various platforms when I was lone parenting five small children. My social life back then consisted of waving at other parents during school pick-up time and, if I was lucky, running into someone I knew in the doctor's waiting room. I began using social media platforms during this time and while I wouldn't say social media saved my life, I can certainly credit it with saving my sanity.
Read at Independent
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