If you’ve heard anything about the new “Twilight” movie lately, you might know that the handsome English actor, Robert Pattinson, is featured prominently in a fairly revealing scene in the trailer. While fans of the movie eagerly await the July 20 release of “New Moon,” starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, this scene has mostly garnered a negative response, with one popular Twitter hashtag reading, “#RobertPattinsonNakedSelfie.”

What is Social media doing to our culture?

This was a trend that could be seen with the “Lord of the Rings” movies, where fans were disappointed at the sight of Frodo wearing pants, and it continued with the upcoming “American Hustle.” While there is nothing wrong with seeing a beautiful woman naked, and we’re certain that the filmmakers were well aware of this when they shot the scene, it’s a little unsettling to think about the impact these kinds of videos are having on our culture.

Pervasive use of social media is increasing people’s visibility and creating a climate where anyone can be famous for minutes.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 66% of American adults use social media, and 22% of kids between the ages of 8 and 35 are online daily. While these numbers seem relatively low in comparison to the number of people using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the fact remains that there are more people online than ever before, and these platforms give people the ability to be heard regardless of their audience size.

This is why, when a major scandal breaks or a celebrity makes a questionable move, people instantly turn to social media to react, share, and discuss the news. These days, it’s more common for people to become famous for a few days or hours than it is to receive widespread recognition for years or decades. It just takes a quick Google search to find anyone at all, regardless of whether or not they’ve been “discovered” by social media and the public eye.

What is Twitter doing to our culture?

People on Twitter have almost as much to say about the culture as they do about the celebs, and often, these tweets express a common frustration with the endless and often meaningless conversations on the social network. This is more pronounced amongst the under-30 set, with 56% believing that Twitter has a negative effect on relationships (41%) and makes people dishonest (55%).

That’s a lot of people worried about their relationships, but the fact remains that people are using the platform to find love, engage with others around the globe, and to discover new things. It’s a place where people can easily share their thoughts and feelings, and whether or not you agree with these sentiments, you have to admit that Twitter has done a lot to further the modern-day conversation. 

And What is Instagram doing to our culture?

Instagram, which serves more than 400 million monthly active users, is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to effects on society. On the one hand, 40% of Americans use the app, and it’s the most popular social media platform amongst Asian-Americans, according to a 2017 Facebook survey. On the other, 55% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have said that Instagram encourages them to behave immodestly, with 27% saying it encourages them to be dishonest and 24% saying it makes them feel unashamed of their bodies.

Once again, though, these numbers probably underestimate the effect that the app has on society, as much as the mainstream media has been quick to embrace the salacious nature of many stars’ accounts. Take, for example, the photos of Scarlett Johannson, which have been viewed more than 400 million times on the platform. It’s easy to see how this could potentially influence young people, encouraging them to be vain and push their bodies to the extreme. Or take the Kardashians’ influence, which extends well beyond their own family’s social media accounts. The famous clan owns a majority of the app’s top-liked accounts, with Kylie Jenner, Khloé, and Kim Kardashian West’s accounts all totaling more than 300 million followers. The combined following of these accounts is more than 400 million, which makes them the most influential group of millennials.

These accounts, along with others like Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, regularly post photos of themselves in revealing, tight-fitting clothing. While the majority of the fashion-related content on the app is about body positivity and empowerment, it’s still difficult to deny that many of the accounts, particularly the celebrity ones, have a strong influence on culture, especially amongst young people. 

Why do people love to slut-shame Kristen Stewart?

In some circles, it seems like everyone has an opinion on whether or not to like “Twilight” and its cast. Most people probably can’t resist the allure of vampires and werewolves, but even those who despise the series probably can’t help but be a little bit curious about Kristen Stewart, who portrays Bella in the films. It almost seems like everyone has something to say about the “Snowflake actress,” as she’s frequently referred to in social media, but many of these posts are in regards to her personal life, not her professional work. 

The actress’ relationship with Robert Pattinson makes for the perfect tabloid story, and it’s been reported that she’s actually not even spoken to her co-star since the beginning of the year. Although she and Pattinson have been romantically linked since 2013, they’ve kept their personal life relatively private, only inviting a select few friends to their homes and making sure that their romance remains a secret. Rumors began to spread that they were an item in 2015, but since then, they’ve remained quiet about their relationship, with Stewart even occasionally declining interviews and social gatherings that may have threatened to ruin their “hush-hush” engagement. 

The 29-year-old actress isn’t always the easiest person to love. She can come off as a little bit aloof, and while this may stem from her privileged upbringing (her father is the billionaire media mogul Larry Stewart), it doesn’t exactly inspire feelings of warmth and compassion. Like any other celebrity, Stewart has also been the target of intense internet trolling, which may explain why some people don’t like her or choose to ignore her; let’s be honest, being ignored is probably better than being hated, right? Unfortunately, this is what happens when you become a target of gossip and slander in today’s society, and it’s really not fair. 

It’s not like anyone is asking Stewart to change who she is or to go against her beliefs; instead, they’re simply pointing out that she’s an actress who plays a character that might be considered seductive. This is a very different thing from asking someone to change who they are, their race, their gender, or their sexual orientation; it’s an example of the double standard that many people, especially women, experience when it comes to the media. We want to be clear that this is not an attack on Kristen Stewart or her acting abilities; we’ve all seen her do some amazing things in the past and are certain that she’ll continue to land some great roles in the future, but until then, we’re not exactly sure how to feel about the “Snowflake actress.”