Dear corporate America: You have ruined social media

As the internet has engulfed much of society in recent decades, social media and e-commerce websites have grown in conjunction – the first impressively heightening virtual interactions, and the other optimizing remote shopping on certain websites. Yet, as corporate developers of these technological advances have grown more powerful and money-hungry, an integrated crossover between commercial and social sites has become much more prevalent, impeding the true benefits that come with virtual engagements. 

Now, corporations have increasingly flooded social media with superfluous grabs for consumer money, signifying the necessity for these companies to extinguish their distasteful leadership in modern socialization by reinstating the fundamental goal of solely connecting users through online platforms.

In the past few years, Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, has substantially increased its promotion of advertisements, collecting over $69.7 billion in advertising fees in 2019, according to These promotions are prevalent reminders of the temptation of material culture permeating the simple method for users to interact – such advertisements are always present when reading others’ stories and posts, corrupting these social experiences and encouraging users to buy their way to happiness instead. 

This shameless encouragement of materialism directly guides users away from the psychological benefits of communication with other humans, meaning the potential for positive virtual socialization is being destroyed by unnecessary focuses on material transactions, signifying that corporations have disgracefully taken the “social” out of social media.

The most startling impact of this material culture is the audience it affects. According to, 72 percent of all American teenagers use Instagram, a site that promotes such materialism, effectively corrupting the pure intentions of most teens to simply interact. These advertisements directly target user preferences, so teens are most likely to be faced with opportunities to purchase personally enticing merchandise. 

This is directly averse to the socially healthy benefits they could otherwise receive from online engagement. According to a MacArthur Foundation study about online socialization, teenagers may learn technology and communication skills from online interactions. Materialism does nothing to aid such developments, but instead serves as a capitalistic distraction, showing the shame in corporations as they selfishly gain revenue while sacrificing the potentially positive impact young users could receive from these platforms.

Nonetheless, these corporations feel no guilt, as recently, Facebook and Instagram have been consistently promoting in-app “marketplaces,” intending for users to directly buy products within the social media platforms. This advocacy reflects nothing but a selfish seizure of user money – according to Facebook’s Business Help Center, the corporation will begin taking a five percent profit from every product purchase from the virtual marketplace in 2021. 

It’s clear that, in desperate greed for revenue, social media corporations like Facebook have descended into purely intending to receive some moneyed benefit from the implementation of harmful capitalist culture into social media. From this avarice, these corporations have failed global users in remembering the true purpose of their platforms: to engage users into a system of unique, rewarding socialization.

Corporations like Facebook now face a choice – do they wish to continue impeding virtual interactions with greed-based materialism, or do they wish to ethically promote beneficial engagements? To take a better path, these corporations must put aside their greed and recognize the importance of improving user experiences as intended.