Social Media: Birth of an Anti-Social Society

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The beginning stages of social media began years ago with online blogging, then spiraled forward from instant messaging to MySpace and soon other online social networks emerged. As new facets of online and virtual interactions were created and utilized, former and more personal forms of communications have seemed to become outdated. As a result of the huge increase in socializing online over the past decade, we have become a society of networkers. Yet, with all the networking going on people have become more and more antisocial. This presents an unprecedented paradox; people are becoming less social because social media is a surrogate for the real thing. Although social media has facilitated a vehicle for better communication among the worldwide community, it has also spawned new communication barriers, in result have diminished face-to-face conversations, personal interactions, and potentially made users of this media more disconnected than ever before. Today, users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are directly affected by these new communication barriers that have developed through forming online social lives and relationships. Social networks have broken the barriers of space and time; enabling us to connect with people from all over the world, at all times in a faster and more convenient way. However, these networks have stripped us of the major indicators that allow us to know whether these relationships which we are building are worth our time. Body language like facial expressions, mannerisms, and tone of voice are all physical indicators which help translate someone’s words. With the lack of these indicators in social media, it is easy to misinterpret someone’s words and create new messages within our own minds. This can generate confusion, tension, and even conflict among parties, in which one side is upset at the other party because of the smallest misunderstanding in the semantics of their words. As a result...
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