// Posted by Emily on 02/03/2014 (12:23 AM)
Do social media benefits outweigh the risks? It is interesting to think about both its positive and negative effects. Yes, social media is an effective, simple way for people to connect, but it can also lead us into various dangers… Read more
Do social media benefits outweigh the risks? It is interesting to think about both its positive and negative effects. Yes, social media is an effective, simple way for people to connect, but it can also lead us into various dangers and deprivations. There have been numerous studies that have found that social media (Facebook, Twitter) create closer social ties and more of them. In contrast, it has also been proven that Americans have fewer intimate relationships toady than 20 years ago. So which one is it? I think Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together sums up my opinion, in which she basically focuses on not about her concern with political uses of the internet, but about its psychological side effects. It is shocking that teenagers send and receive between 6 and 8 thousand text messages a month. She says “Social networks are more like mutual isolation networks that detach people from meaningful interactions with one another and make us less human.” Basically, social networks are destroying real communication, dumbing down society, and leading to a society of people that have no idea how to actually function in the real world. While the technologies we have created are fascinating, we have let computers/phones/etc diminish us and let them control every facet of our lives. In an article I read, Simone Back from the UK announced her suicide through a facebook status. Not one of her over 1,000 friends reached out to her in response to her post, but rather the status turned into a debate about whether or not Back had the freedom to kill herself. This saddens me that 1) no one contacted her despite her many friends and connections and 2) she would even resort to leaking that kind of information on a public social media site. This goes to show how although social media has the ability to create and strengthen social ties, it does not always serve that purpose. This leads me to another point that the information people are willing to share on facebook, twitter, etc. is incredible. People make announcements that are extremely personal and should one-hundred percent be kept off of the internet. For example, I have seen people announce abortions and drug addictions….. need I say more?
This is an interesting article about Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together:
I also thought it really put the popularity into perspective after looking at some statistics on this site: http://socialmediatoday.com/jonathan-bernstein/1894441/social-media-stats-facts-2013