Since the dawn of man, the spoken word has always been threatened by imperialism. Right before our ancestors evolved and got acquainted with the language, they used symbols to communicate, and then sophisticated minds came to communicate using words from various parts of the globe. As time passed, the written word was added, followed by print media, and before realization, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat became the order of the day. Today, we live in the era of the Internet, where people are more related than ever. Though social media has proven to be effective in various areas, it has also created a socially awkward society with crippled relationships, perception, and emotions. The aim of this paper is to discuss how technology and social media have crippled the social life today, especially amongst teenagers and young adults.
Opposing View Points
It is an undeniable truth that the internet and social media have greatly brought the world together. The Internet and social media are the greatest agents of globalization today as people can connect with other from various corners of the world (Ramasubbu, 2015). Through this, we have seen friendships formed, relationships started, and ideas shared without restriction. It has highly favored the introverts who lacked the ability to interact in a natural setting.
Through the internet and social media, the ideas and attitudes that people hold can be altered. The Internet and social media play a prominent role in the sharing of information concerning different ideas that affect the society today such as feminism, the LGBTQ community, racial prejudices among others. We learn about these issues and how to accommodate them with the society today. Therefore, the internet and social media are agents of change.
The Internet and social media created a platform for sharing. For example, people can share with others about their traveling and leisure activities, and this is through status updates or even photos and videos. By doing this, we can stay updated about the whereabouts of friends and loved ones. Through the timeline tool, we can now capture moments as they happen and share with the world of what is going on in different places. Lastly is the fact that, the internet and social media are great entertainment tools and considered the best form of recreation by many people today. In our free time, we can get on Facebook and catch up with current events, or get on YouTube and entertaining videos.
Limitations of the Opposing Views
Like the name of the paper states, people are becoming less socially connected through the internet and social media connection. The internet connection has erased the need to have physical meet-ups as people view traveling and meeting up as time and money consuming. Therefore, people no longer visit to spend time with friends or families but instead keep updated with their social media updates.
Yes, social media is an agent of change but it is important to understand that not all change is good and by making such ideas available at fingertips, youths and teenagers are persuaded to try them out. It is because of this that there is a rise in criminal groups and criminal activities because one child will see some kids street racing and they as well try it out.
How many times have we heard of the idea that someone might be drowning in the water today and the best help that youths today will offer is taking photos and videos of the incident? Severally and it is true that people today are so much consumed into sharing events than actually being part of these events.
The best way of learning life is living it, but this is a piece of advice that does not apply so much today. Yes, the internet and social media are entertaining, but it is not the active form of entertainment. People no longer get out of their houses or off their seats to interact with their friends in enjoying physical activities, especially since most of the events that used to bring people together like football are streamed online.
Understanding the Issue
The Internet and social media were bound to happen either way, and we have to accept its reputation in the world today. The problem though comes in when people mismanage it and becomes so much dependent on it that they lose their sense of reality. Though internet and social media broaden social connections, the misuse of the two today is because the risks are overlooked, and people are not taught on how to make good use of them. For example, it is important to understand that as technology advances levels of online crimes increase as well and about 75 percent of teenagers in the United States have created profiles online, making about three-quarters of this group vulnerable to identity theft (O’keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, p 804).
Researchers proposed a phenomenon known as Facebook depression and this, as they define it, is a mental illness that develops as people spend excessive amounts of time on social media platforms (Lambert, p 32). People today spend almost all of their time on social media because they seek acceptance and to stay connected with their friends. Nevertheless, this is an intrinsic need for humans, but social media has heightened its essence through the idea of people sharing moments. It is said that one should not believe everything that others post because some will end up making them jealous or feeling less alive and this is what spurs the rising ratings of Facebook depression.
Most people today are suffering social isolation because of constant use of internet and social media. Having the world brought to you at your fingertips takes the whole world away from your vicinity. Anything right now can be accessed through modern media, and ‘thanks’ to Google Tour people no longer need to travel to see the earth. Instead of going out, people spend their time indoors and online causing them to lack useful traits of social interaction. It is evident to see people at family dinners with everyone on the phone, or people out clubbing while on their phone, or even worse going for an adventure and instead of enjoying the scenery, they live on their phones. This promotes the lack of communication and children find comfort in sharing their issues with strangers online instead of seeking help from parents who have their best interest heart (Misra et al., p 283).
The weakness of my position in the argument is that today we cannot live without the internet because it is a driving force behind the development of humanity and that not every teenager and young adult are misusing the internet and social media. There are individuals who in the real sense use it carefully and creatively and thus condemning the existence of the internet, and social media is denying them their privileges and opportunities to learn and work.
In summary, regardless of the positive benefits of the internet and social media such as sharing of information, we cannot overlook the negative impacts. Just like drugs, people are growing dependent on the internet and social media, and this is crippling the social interaction and relationships among people. Overreliance on the internet and social media also as stated leads to mental slavery and illness, whereby one feels incomplete when they cannot access the social media platforms, and this needs regulation because it is an addiction just like drugs. It is, therefore, important to understand that the internet and social media has helped in enhancing globalization, but as people strive to access people they share with same personalities and interest, they are neglecting the family and friends that they already have and this is why we are becoming less connected with reality through the internet and social media connection.
Lambert, A. “Intimacy and social capital on Facebook: Beyond the psychological perspective.” New Media & Society, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 25–54., doi:10.1177/1461444815588902.
Misra, S., et al. “The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices.” Environment and Behavior, vol. 48, no. 2, Jan. 2014, pp. 275–298., doi:10.1177/0013916514539755.
O’keeffe, G. S., and K. Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” Pediatrics, vol. 127, no. 4, 2011, pp. 800–804., doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0054.
Ramasubbu, Suren. “Influence of Social Media on Teenagers.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 May 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/influence-of-social-media-on-teenagers_b_7427740.html. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.