March 11, 2013
The Affects of Social Media in Our Culture
We see it everywhere we go, most of the people we know are involved with it, and it is only getting bigger, what I am referring to is social media. Facebook is the largest social media site and the most used. In the book Social Media Usage and Impact, Hana S. Noor Al-Deen states, “ With over 500 million active users, Facebook provides a virtual reality in cyberspace where users can enact identities for their friends, acquaintances, and a larger passing public.” It is a great way to meet new people, catch up with an old friend, and promote your business. But with the growing population and use of these types of social media sites comes problems. Social media is weakening our face-to-face communication skills and is not policed at all, but many do believe that it is a great way to interact. As a child of the social media era I have been exposed to everything good and bad that happens on these sites. I have seen everything from cyber bullying, pornographic material, and illegal drug use and sales. Creating fake profiles is just as easy as it is to make your own. Hacking of people’s personal accounts is not a rare act on the web. These problems need to be addressed and taken care of.
College students are some one of the largest populations on social media. We have easy access and like to stay connected to new and old friends. According to the book Social Media Usage and Impact, Al-Deen explains “A number of challenges exist in college students’ use of social media. The first challenge is possible abuse of social media. The attention span of this generation of students is decreasing and when they are engaged in something, they are often multitasking”(118) This affects the ability to study, focus, and most of all be successful in earning a degree from a university. In my lecture class experience whenever I look around the auditorium, nearly every student has his or her computer out. Around eighty percent of the websites that they have open are Facebook or Twitter. This is hurting our ability to retain information. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is also becoming much more popular since the early 1990’s. ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects attentiveness, over-activity and impulsivity. In the online journal ADHD and The Rise of Stimulant Use Among Children, Mayes, Bagwell, and Erkulwater state, “The massive increase in the number of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD and using stimulants stemmed primarily from a conﬂuence of trends (clinical, economic, educational, Political), an alignment of incentives (among clinicians, educators, policymakers, health insurers, the pharmaceutical industry), and the sizable growth in scientiﬁc knowledge about ADHD and stimulants, all of which converged in the ﬁrst half of the 1990s”(151). With the rise of ADHD and all of these distractions more children will be put on medication that thirty years ago they wouldn’t have been on. This may not be a bad choice for some, but the overuse and abuse of these drugs is very common. While on these social media sites we are engaged with cyberspace and not the real world.
In our time connecting to a peer on the Internet almost happens more than that of face-to-face communication. This is terrible for us right now and could even get worse with the generations to come. The time spent on smartphones is ridiculous. People now say things such as, “ I feel naked or not myself without my phone”. For many, having your phone out while having a conversation with someone is normal and nothing to even think twice about. But in reality you look at these people and realize how incorrect this is. They are not engaging in a meaningful conversation if they have this device in front of them. The conversation probably means nothing to them and they are not retaining any information from it. From first hand experience I have been texted by someone in the...