s Social Media connecting people or isolating?
Social media’s popularity continues to grow, connecting people with just about everything they watch and buy. I feel like social media is an excellent tool to connect with friends and relatives whom you do not interact with on a regular basis. It is the perfect way to communicate with loved ones who live far away from you. This is such a blessing in the current day, because families and friends are scattered all over the globe. It is true that sometimes, social media can cause people to feel isolated. This is because we tend to compare ourselves to the seemingly perfect lives that people share on social media. What we must realize however is that this does not accurately represent reality or only represents a small part of reality, and so we shouldnt think of ourselves as inferior compared to what we see on social media. I think Facebook would be a great place to stay in touch with family and friends, especially those who live away, but unfortunately, the hacking, fighting, drama and fake profiles make me feel uncomfortable using the feature. I think social media initially started as a simple tool to stay connected with people. However, the advancement of technology, social media has become accessible to everyone and is literally a world of its own. It has its own language, algorithm, space and purpose. It is almost like a living thing. What was once used as a tool to connect has now become a platform to hide. We spend so much time on social media that we have forgotten what it is like to go and talk to people. A lot of teenagers have social anxiety because people are difficult to predict. Just because you know someone online, doesnt mean they are the same in person. One commonly held view holds that spending too much time on social media is detrimental. Many influential peopleranging from Pope Francis, to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to actress and singer Selena Gomezhave warned that overuse of social media can be harmful and isolating. In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Michelle Obama stated, We have to get off the phone and knock on doors and talk to each other face to face . We cant rely on the internet to tell us about the world.
For reasons like these, people of all ages have begun limiting their time on social media and focusing instead on building relationships in real life. In a 2017 article, Teen Vogues Beauty and Health Director Jessica Matlin documented the increase in young people logging off. She writes about a student named Faith, 17, who moved from a Philadelphia suburb to a new school in New York City. Faith said that it was hard to make friends. She felt insecure about this, so she used her phone to share stories to make it seem to her friends back home that she was making lots of friends and having a great time. In reality, I was struggling, she said. The story goes on to tell Faiths story since then:
Now that [Faith has] found her own crew, shes grown more skeptical about social media. She also doesnt feel compelled to get it all on film. At a Coldplay show, she sang instead of Snapped (Id rather enjoy the music), and sitting down to a recent dinner, she and her friends piled their phones in the middle of the table (It made the night so much better)….
Young adults are beginning to take a more mindful approach to social media, says Jacqueline Nesi, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies teens and social media. This may explain the rise in apps like Self-control and Anti-Social. (Both prevent you from falling into a Facebook hole.) And that no-phones-at-dinner policy? Nesi says we are likely to see it popping up on more tables .
Ananda, 17, had the kind of Insta-following that any start-up would kill for. Before long, it became a total chore. What started as a place to share vegan recipes and cute outfits quickly became her brand, something that demanded daily upkeep. Her fans constantly direct-messaged her with praise and invites to meet up.
It was really sweet, she says. At the same time, it was so time- and energy-consumingit wasnt how I want to build friendships. As she started posting less, her following dropped. (That gave me anxiety, she says.) Finally, she just closed her account. I do miss it, but I have time to spend with my real friends.
Social media relationships arent real relationships, says Faith. Its always weird when you see someone who follows you and you follow back, but you dont say hi to each other when you see them in real life.