Social media: connecting the world or tearing connections


What less than twenty years ago was completely unheard of, is now one of the main components of our everyday lives; of course I am talking about social media sites and applications. We are constantly posting things in our Facebook wall, tweeting absurdities, instagraming our food and basically ignoring everything and anything that is not contained in our phones. Social media is the new way of getting close to others, and yet I believe we've never been so far. 

Whether being overly active in social medias is healthy or not, has become a very controversial and often discussed topic. A 2012 article on The Atlantic argues that social media can result in users experiencing increased levels of loneliness, which actually makes sense. As the article says "We meet fewer people. We gather less. And when we gather, our bonds are less meaningful and less easy.". I have actually experienced in the flesh the words expressed on this article and can give testimony as to how many of my relationships seem weightless and platonic. Still, I guess the real question is what is lonelier: being consumed by the social media along with everyone else and accepting the meaningless relationships, or breaking free from it when everyone else is still lost inside?  



It seems like only yesterday that my best friend in middle school, during one of our many sleepovers, turned to me and said, "Do you have a Facebook?" Keep in mind, we were in eighth grade, and though I genuinely had no idea what it was, I knew that if everyone was doing it, I was somehow missing out, and needed to be a part of it. The rest is, shall we say, history. The concept of social media destroying lives may sound a little exaggerated, but the reality is far more sobering. An article I recently discovered found that "the suicide rate in the United States has gone up by 30% over the last decade." This isn't, of course, directly related to solely the invention of social media sites, but a link could definitely be seen, as viewing people's "lives" on a computer screen that seem so perfect could cause depression and anxiety. Though I think social media is progressive and effective in some ways, in others, it may be detrimental to one's social and emotional well-being.

Here's a link to the article if you're interested!

I think that people are so consumed in social media because it brings them attention, good and bad, and allows them to meet all kinds of people. I think tons of people get online to try to rid of their loneliness, but end up getting too caught up and into it and sometimes end up like these people on Catfish! Haha.

I think that people are so consumed in social media because it brings them attention, good and bad, and allows them to meet all kinds of people. I think tons of people get online to try to rid of their loneliness, but end up getting too caught up and into it and sometimes end up like these people on Catfish! Haha.

I'm so glad you touched on this topic because it is beyond relevant and controversial. It is so apparent how in today's society people are overly reliant on the internet for entertainment and information. This isn't always a bad thing, but I do worry that people don't have enough face-to-face interactions and are compromising their social skills with constant social media use. I try to limit my internet and electronic use in general because I worry I'm not spending enough time actually experiencing the world instead of viewing it through technology.

I value face to face interactions with people. I'm not that tied up into social media at all. I don't have a twitter or instagram, but I do have a Facebook that I'm on every once in a while. I just believe that social media is becoming something that too many of us are depending on.

For my COMM class last semester we measured Social Media and we actually found that Twitter use and community involvement actually increased together! As crazy as this sounds the more friends they had in real life, the more they were involved in Twitter as well! Even though social media cannot be a good thing in some aspects, it can actually really help someone to stay involved in the world around them. Involving communications and journalism, Twitter use actually is a sign of involvement in the community and proves you can stay connected even if you're not actually there.

I have always argued that Social Media, and modern day technologies can be a good, and bad thing. Social Media can be incredibly detrimental to one's professional career if one posts personal, and compromising photographs for the world to see (assuming one has their privacy, and trusts their friends). However, there is the concept of 'Electronic Leash' where despite one being on their downtime, vacation, ect. One tends to check their phone constantly to keep in touch with the world, whether it is social media, news, or even work. In the end, I personally believe that technology has become a detriment since it tends to take us out of the moment. In-fact, one of my best friends one day decided to text while we were out with a group of friends. It was at that moment I took all their cellphones, put it at the center of the table, and said "First one that grabs their phone, pays for dinner."

While I do think that social media limits our face to face communication I did not think that it would really affect our feelings of loneliness. To me it seems that social media would in fact make us feel less lonely, because you can always find someone online. There is always someone on facebook or twitter and hopefully you can talk to them, which to me would make you feel less lonely.

In high school I took this college course called Interactive Media in which we studied social media for the entire year so I've learned more than the average person about how it can affect our lives. In the course we tried the "> Thirty Day Challenge in which we gave up all types of social media for one month to see how it affected our lives. The sad thing was most of us didn't make it past ten days but it really helped to show up how dependent we are on our technology and how difficult it can be not communicating with the others around us without social media tools such as twitter, facebook, or instagram.

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