How Social Media Affects our ‘Real’ Social Life
Social media has led to the deterioration of societal values. Our culture has been greatly affected by the social media. Ever since its discovery and adoption into our lives, social media has changed the way how we live, how we relate socially, and at times how we think. Technology has a great impact on our lives and so does social media. It is indisputable that how we relate today is not how we used to relate a couple of years ago, with the impact of social media being an explanation of this. Most people hooked on this innovation spend most of their virtual lives online rather than live realistically in the present world. It is impossible to establish whether these changes are short-term or long-term as the effects they have are clear in most of the different cultures around the world.
There are different age groups who have fallen victim to these changes with regard to the social lives. Most young people and even older generation have adopted these online platforms to seek what they think they do not have access to in the real world. The current generation includes different age groups; a big number of young people who have no skills to socialize in real life find it easier on the social sites. This is due to the change in our lifestyles and the impact of technology. The young people and the older generation are busy with the demands of life.
Education, career, and other engagements have limited the time people have to socialize and interact with new friends. This has been the biggest temptation to most people as they use social media to compensate for the time they lose. “24% of respondents to one survey said they have missed out on enjoying special moments in person because they were too busy tweeting, Facebook-ing or BBM-ing.” This statement from the author’s article is an indication of how the use of this media has affected the normal way of life of the users. Young people do not have the good times they would cherish with special people in their lives. Family members may not have time to communicate and share live experiences; doing it online seems to be the new thing to this generation.
Most people find it easier to find new friends on social sites and easily open up their lives to them as compared to the people in their physical lives. A good example is Facebook users sending a request for friendship to a mutual friend or stranger and beginning to share their lives. They exchange information about their lives and what they do hence getting closer. With time, most people get close as they provide real emotional comfort and security. It is always much easier for them to drop message to friends, post a comment, and share experiences within a short time. Social media also helps people get away from their real lives as they spend very little time reaching out to their physical friends. Evidently, social media addicts fail to sharpen some interactive skills with the people they live with as they avoid face-to-face meetings with some of the friends they make.
The adoption of technology is also another explanation of the change or erosion of culture. The young people are not the only ones who experience the effects of this change. Lately, we have most companies and organizations using social media and other corporate sites like LinkedIn to interact professionally. Speaking about those who are getting into the corporate life, they fail to develop negotiation skills and learn basic communication traits. The use of online conferencing technology has ruled out the need for board meetings; this means that the new employees can never learn how to communicate in real life.
“But what happens when we use social networking sites to be, well, less social and physically active in real life? When last did you take a run with your friends on the Kitty Seawall, or have a face-to-face group discussion in the Gardens?”. In this phrase, the author provides a reason why he believes that the use of these sites has definitely taken over the lives of most users. The social sites have dictated our style of living. The fact that we lack the time to socialize with our real friends means that our social lives are deteriorating in multiple ways. As human beings, we develop personalities and traits that help us to live comfortably with each other. As a result, we fail to live normal lives and subject our real lives to online experiences that replace the very nature we were born with.
Another worrying factor is that this is a growing trend as indicated in the statistics. The growth of technology and change in culture has caused significant growth in the number of social sites users meaning that it is the new way of life. The more technology grows, the more we adopt it into our lives; it definitely takes the place of other values in our lives. Lifestyle diseases are on the increase; this is caused by the fact that people are getting lazy day by day. Young people have less time to go out and communicate with their friends and no time to be involved in healthy activities like sports. In contrast, they spend many hours on social sites.
I have been a victim of this new way of life. I realize the impact that social media has on my life and its disadvantages. I find solace in the fact that I can find new people easily, have a good moments sharing my life with other people with less effort and time. As a routine, I make it a habit too, finding time to log into my accounts and send messages, read from friends, and chat for long hours. It gives me a sense of security and emotional comfort. As an advantage, I look at social sites as different homes I can belong to without feeling lonely. With hundreds or thousands of online friends, I find less time to look for other friends in my real life.
There is a need to educate the young people or the masses at large on the effects of social media. Failure to do this can result in a society that has weak morals and a disintegrated community. People must learn to interact, make new friends, and share good moments with the people in their lives. This helps create strong bonds among families and within the society. Young people can have the chance to learn how to live a balanced life. This would ensure that as much as they make new friends and interact using the social media, they also have time to live in their real world and learn all they ought to learn. Social media effects our reality, and the best we can do is to learn how to cope with the new world trends in socializing and communication. This is possible without compromising our social lives. With this, we can lead normal lives while appreciating the technology and social media.
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