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.
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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.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media and the Internet
Evidently, one of the benefits of the Internet, as well as social media, is that they have increased the number of options for communication. The media provide worldwide connection. Today, keeping in touch with colleagues and friends is easy. By using the Internet and social media, people establish numerous relationships, thus increasing their possibilities of social change. People can now communicate freely as the media enhance information delivery and also data discovery (Daniel 2014). In terms of health care, the Internet provides an array of potential sources and effective online support to people seeking information. There are many support communities and groups on the Internet that impact healthcare as they provide knowledge about physical and mental health. On the other hand, many educators use social media to present learning materials. Social media advances academic success, learning, collaboration and critical thinking. Moreover, social media in learning institutions foster communication skills as they also connect students with the world (Page & Page 2007).
Most organizations and businesses use social media to post news, discuss issues and even share links. Moreover, social media marketing allows companies to reach their targeted customers. The social media offer individuals, as well as companies, an opportunity to present and promote their products. Such applications as blog, post, and tag are good resources for people to create, spread and use information on products, services, and brands. Therefore, social media are an important phenomenon in marketing. Marketers recognize the significance of social media in marketing intelligence, research, promotions, customer and product management, and public relations. The Internet, as well as the social media, has an effect on every modern company’s marketing performance (Daniel 2014). For this reason, people should understand the relative importance of various platforms, such as blogs and online communities.
Social media results in people exercising their social skills. Individuals may express their ideas freely on fan or group pages. Competence in using the Internet with all its sites changes both adults and teenagers. People have to keep up with the ever-changing technology to adapt to new applications. What is more, the social media help the young generation to learn and become accustomed to new technology. Most importantly, with the help of the Internet, people can research on various topics, such as sexual health, that is challenging to discuss with other people (Ramzan 2013). Through research, the Internet enhances educational development as one can learn new ideas. Additionally, some people discuss school work via the Internet, helping each other with tackling tough assignments.
The Internet and social media have some disadvantages in the way people socialize or work. Many people unknowingly share personal information that sometimes leads to victimization. Other individuals can use posted information to harm one’s reputation through the Internet. The primary disadvantage is that people do not know how to network effectively. As a consequence, they may provide personal information to the wrong people and then suffer from such carelessness. Another shortcoming of the social media is the increase in criminal activities. There is no security of personal data as it is easily available to anyone (Daniel 2014). The golden rule of using the Internet and social media is to avoid posting anything online that may negatively influence one’s reputation or business. The best way to use the social media for professional or personal networking is creating an account using nicknames, which enhances privacy. The Internet also makes accessible pornographic content to children and young adults. Moreover, it leads to addiction as many people spend much time online.
In conclusion, social media and the Internet have both advantages and disadvantages. However, people cannot work or socialize effectively without the two media. The Internet and social media are important as they play a significant role in today’s busy world. It is a communication tool used by millions of people worldwide. Marketers, advertisers and educators use social media to communicate. The Internet changes everyday life as entrepreneurs, innovators, educators and others use it to reach a large audience. It has, therefore, created a world where people can freely share products, ideas, and expressions anytime.
The Role of Social Media in the Lives of Children and Young Teens
Recently, there has been an increasing interest concerning the role of social media in the lives of children and young teens. It is due to the reason that social media has acquired the status of an indispensable part of everyone who comes across its captivating environment. Presumably, the notion of social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) has deleterious effects on the facets of children development owing to its addictive nature.
Nowadays, virtual reality is extremely popular and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pertain to the social media that promotes it. According to Wilson, “Children today live in a world where many of their experiences are mediated by screen technologies” (88). One click – and you are the master in communication, you can advance an opinion without being afraid of someone’s reaction, express your thanks, show displeasure, and, eventually, avoid disagreeable moments. Such opportunities attract children’s attention. One can even assume that young teens are obsessed with the idea of using virtual reality to their advantages.
However, the exposure to social media may result in the devastating changes regarding such aspects of children development as physical, psychological, and social. The influence of social media addiction can be seen in the growth of obesity rates all over the world as well as in the children’s posture. Psychological and social levels are closely tied up with each other. According to Paton, “Young people’s brains are failing to develop properly after being overexposed to the cyber world at an early age” (n.p.). Teenagers that are absorbed in themselves and usually not exposed to the real-life interactions may become addicted to such an alternative way of communicating. Apparently, the lack of real communication is the most important aspect when it comes to the speculations about the influence of social media on interactions on the personal scale.
It is a widely recognized fact that all the social Medias have a negative effect on the entire societies. Firstly, the problem is that they are a waste of time. Secondly, they reject thinking and deaden the communication in the real-life situations. It is obvious that any social media cannot replace the effects of real face-to-face communication, its verbal and nonverbal codes. Nicholas Carr puts an emphasis on the numerous distractions and interruptions that the Internet presupposes. He states that the Net is turning people into “scattered and superficial thinkers” (n.p.). As children’s attitude to certain things is not yet formed, social media can perform the function of shaping their minds.
Undoubtedly, there are conflicting views concerning the influence of social media on children and young teens. It is evident that, being giants of social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. impress people from all walks of life due to the reason that they facilitate the process of communication as well as make it more colorful. Interestingly, some researchers put an emphasis on the assumptions that Facebook and Twitter help children in communicating with each other. According to Stout, “Some researchers believe that the impersonal nature of texting and online communication may make it easier for shy kids to connect with others” (n.p.). Such a point of view can be justified if children do not use social media services excessively. However, the matter of addiction is rather ambiguous.
Being a double-edged sword, social media shapes the mind of young children and teenagers. Moreover, the influence of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter may result in different physical changes. Thus, continuous exposure to media affects all the facets of children’s life. Although social media implies certain benefits and access to the information, it exerts devastating effects on the children’s ability to communicate with each other.
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