|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Technology Society Social media Interpersonal communication|
Social media has various effects on social interaction, relationships and self-esteem, bullying, dating and concentration, attention and learning.
Social media changes the manner in which people interact with each other by providing a more convenient platform but with fewer quality solutions. Sherry Turkle views social media platforms such as Facebook as avenues that make it possible for the people to communicate in a quicker and simpler manner, making it easier to meet new individuals in the process. This makes it easy for social interaction to take place via online platforms. However, in the process of doing so, the concerned parties tend to develop less interpersonal skills, a lack of proper conflict resolution process and very little privacy. This diminishes the constitution of social interaction for modern generations.
Platforms such as Facebook allow for instant communication with families and friends and provides an automatic up to date information via "statuses" which enables us to find new individuals to meet and interact. Such instant communication enhances social interaction by bringing people closer in a faster way and within little to no time. The news feed is refreshed by a click of a button causing the platform to provide an up to date information on what is happening with family, friends and any other content liked by the user such as weather, television shows, celebrities, and sports. This makes finding new friends and discussion topics quick in a manner that facilitates easier social interaction.
Relationships and Self-esteem
Social media is becoming an essential part of our daily lives. The various existing social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram support the new interpersonal interaction methods. Moreover, the power of social media systems can be viewed from the impact that it has on relationships. Whether it is friendship, dating or work relationships, social media shapes and is shaped by how the individuals view their relationships, who they relate with and how the relations are established, maintained and put to an end. According to Goldhar (2018), interviews conducted on people ranging between 28 and 73 years showed that 60% of people using social media said it had a negative impact on their self-esteem while 50% reported social media to have a negative impact on their relationships.
People tend to spend more time on social media platforms, as opposed to their friends and loved ones, resulting in detrimental effects on the relationships. Those relationships that develop on social media tend to be casual and result in emotional breakdowns in case trusts, someone, blindly. Relationships established via social media incorporate communication via managed and manufactured systems that cause one to decide on how he/she wants to be perceived. This results in the creation of a false sense of intimacy that results in insecurities, social anxiety, and low self-esteem when people prefer your internet "self" to your flawed and unfiltered "real-time" self.
Effects of Technology on Concentration, Attention, and Learning
Technology has increased our concentration at work by incorporating various aspects of our senses. These include the use of glasses with special lenses to increase our focus and application of music technologies to improve our productivity and increase our concentration on a particular task. The glasses use lenses that alert the wearer when their concentration reduces while the headphones alert the wearer when their concentration drops and cancels out any distracting noises in the environment to enhance their concentration. Moreover, some technologies go beyond the senses and straight to the brain such as the transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (Sandwood, 2017). However, technology has negatively affected our attention spans resulting in negative effects on learning. Cellular phones and social media platforms, resulting from the internet boom provide constant distractions that negatively affect our attention span (Mandiga, 2018). These distractions may be informed of social media notifications and ads that provide a never-ending source of distraction making it cumbersome for one to learn effectively.
Impact of Facebook and YouTube on Bullying
Facebook and YouTube contribute significantly to bullying in a manner referred to as cyberbullying. According to Gayle (2013), Facebook is the worst social networking site where bullying is prevalent online than any other place. 87 percent of teenage victims of cyberbullying said they were targets on Facebook. YouTube, on the other hand, contributes significantly to bullying by sharing violent, threatening and sexual content that involves children and staff. It is clear from the similarity between the social media platforms that their anonymity makes bullying much easier to execute.
Effects of the Internet on Dating
The internet contributes to dating via online dating and can be detrimental or beneficial to the vice. The positive contribution includes providing the individuals with access to more potential partners than they could possibly find in their daily lives; providing various categories of personality matching and testing that would guide the individuals towards dating partners that are more compatible and offering various ways to get to know a potential date before a physical meeting via computer-mediated communication processes (Nicholson, 2014).
However, the negative impacts of the internet on dating include availability of a large pool of choices of partners which becomes confusing and overwhelming; difficulties in the matching process resulting in inaccuracies in selection and communication via technology devices such as computers may not lack some information that may only be provided via face-to-face interaction (Nicholson, 2014). This may make it cumbersome to evaluate a potential match via an online platform.
One can, however, use the internet to their advantage by keeping their choices manageable to warrant a face-to-face interaction, using the online tests to narrow down the options and identify the potential daters and using the online communication to establish an initial communication and not a foundation for the whole relationship (Nicholson, 2014).
Adjustment of the Seniors on Technology and the Internet
The seniors have historically been late to adapt to the world of technology compared to the young generations (Smith, 2014). However, their entry to digital life continues to deepen. While the internet continues to play a vital role in connecting various citizens of all ages to information and news, government services, opportunities for social support and health resources, the divisions are more prevalent for organizations and individual caregivers who serve the older population. Studies indicate that six in ten seniors in recent times go online with under half being broadband adopters (Smith, 2014).
However, according to Niehaves & Plattfaut (2014), the elderly lag behind in their adoption and benefits obtained from IT and the internet in general. However, the usage of the internet provides the elderly with a significant potential to remain independent longer. Examples include studies conducted on electronic health and ambient assisted living (NIehaves & Plattfaut, 2014). The results indicate that despite these benefits, the age-related digital divide still remains meaning that despite the potential advantages, the elderly are less likely to access and exploit the potential of internet usage.
Goldhar, T. (2018). The Negative Impacts that Social Media Have On Our Self-Esteem. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/rta902/the-negative-impacts-that-social-media-have-on-our-self-esteem-56347f7a00ae
Mandiga, K. (2018). The simple truth about technology and human attention spans. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/flock-chat/the-simple-truth-about-technology-and-human-attention-spans-311154c20fd
Nicholson, J. (2014). Pros and Cons of Online Dating. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201404/pros-and-cons-online-dating
Niehaves, B., & Plattfaut, R. (2014). Internet adoption by the elderly: employing IS technology acceptance theories for understanding the age-related digital divide. European Journal Of Information Systems, 23(6), 708-726. doi:10.1057/ejis.2013.19
Sandwood, J. (2017). Technology using our senses to improve concentration at work. Technology.org. Retrieved from https://www.technology.org/2017/11/06/technology-using-our-senses-to-improve-concentration-at-work/
Smith, A. (2014). Older Adults and Technology Use. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/
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