Social Media and Human Development

Topics: Sociology, Addiction, Attention span Pages: 5 (1537 words) Published: October 13, 2014
Technology has become a significant part of our society. The world is connected from the time they wake up to the time they put their devices down. A substantial aspect of technology is social media and social networking. To get an understanding; social media is any “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking”. Considering the time spent on technology and social media, the focus was to observe if social media had any effects on humans. As the study went on, there were discoveries of several effects. Although the article will go through some of the effects, the main focus will be on productivity and distractions. Before technology was implemented, people had to communicate by human interactions. They did not have any other source to communicate. As time went along, new systems of communications evolved. Letters were being delivered with written messages to others within towns. In the process of technology development, more forms of technology were being established. Soon letters became phone calls and phone calls became electronic mail. Technology has developed to the point where we do not need human interaction to get our message across. In today’s society, we use phones or computers to talk to people not only friends and family, but also people around the world. One of the main ways we achieve this is through social media. Throughout the progress of technology, we recognize the decrease in human interactions. Sociologists are now seeing an increasing amount of effects due to the amount of technology use. Social media in particular. The first question that was asked during the course of the study was; how often are we on social media? In America, the amount time spent on social media varied with age. Ages 18-34 were on social media for 3.8 hours. Ages 35-49 were on for 3 hours and 50-64 were on social media for 2.4 hours. When conducting a survey for the class, the average time spent was 2.7 hours. After finding these results, it brought up more questions; what are the effects of being on this long? As the research continued, many effects of being on social media came up. Some included loss of memory, decreased amount of attention span, and finally decrease in productivity. Although they are not the only effects of social media, they are the most common. As stated before the focus of this study was to see if technology and social media decreased productivity. To help advance the research further, works from sociologists were examined. When technology was first set forth in office businesses, employers started to distribute phones to employees hoping that they would become more productive. A study that was performed in Greece by Arvanitis and Loukis in 2008, showed that when technology was used there was an increase of productivity, but the full potential of the worker was not met. This meant that the employees got the work done faster but the quality of the work was not at highest standards. To test if students agreed to this research a survey was asked to be completed. When asked if social media was affecting their school work, 66% said yes whereas 33% said no. To test if they were productive, the survey questioned if they went on social media before completing homework. 73% of students said yes and 27% said no. Astoundingly, the same results were given when asked if they kept social media open while doing homework. Comparing when social media was open while doing homework and if the student feels like their work is impacted; 66% found that their work was affected by having social media open while doing school work. Distraction is another big impact of social media. When the class was asked if they felt distracted by social media, 87% said yes. In our society today we are simply used to receiving information at rapid speeds. Before technology, the average attention spans were approximately 12 minutes, whereas today we have an attention span of 5...
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