Social Media: Man’s New Best Friend?

By: Sarah Dussome

November 27, 2016

 

We’ve all seen them: they’re clustered around cafeteria tables, shuffling through the halls, and slouching over their homework, their eyes glued on the tiny screen clutched in their hand. Chances are we’ve all been “that” person at one time or another, as it’s often tough to look away from our ever-changing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. In my experience, social media is a bit of a double-edged sword; it’s both a wonderful means of connecting with the world and endless rabbit holes of distractions from face-to-face conversations with friends to studying for tomorrow’s big test. It can be a great way to share your vacation photos but also allow users to resort to instant messaging in order to avoid potential consequences of an especially difficult conversation. One friend relayed to me that, while social media has helped her maintain long-distance friendships, it can be annoying when the friend you’re speaking to in-person can’t look away from their Facebook page. Another admitted that the extent of their social media use often depends on how important they perceive their current situation (ex. a lull at work, being in a public place where you don’t know anyone) to be.

According to Brandwatch.com (2016), the average Internet user has approximately 5.54 social media accounts with the number of social media users having risen by 176 million in the last year alone. In a global community that is gradually becoming more and more digitalized, social media use is becoming more common in people’s personal and professional lives, affecting our behaviour whether we realize it or not. Experts have determined a variety of social media pros and cons over the last few years; the pros range from increased levels of intercultural communication and fostering understanding of important issues while the cons consist of decreasing attention spans and unhealthy sleep patterns (Psychology Today, 2012).

Although everyone’s experiences with social media are unique, I think it’s safe to say that we all have both positive and negative stories relating to social media. However, with an increased awareness regarding its effects on our personal, social, and academic lives, we can still appreciate it while using it in moderation, keeping one foot planted in the real world at all times.

 

Sources:

https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-media-psychology-effect/201203/brain-behavior-and-media

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Social Media: Man’s New Best Friend?

  1. I agree with you! Everybody’s social media use is defiantly unique. I personally love social media because it allows me to interact with long distance friends and family across the world. That being said I hate it when people interact with me on social media to relay difficult information. In the end I think social media is good for communication, but only if we use it in moderation.

    Great Post!

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  2. It’s really impossible to say if social media is “good” or “bad”, isn’t it? It all depends on how you use it. I realized when I graduated high school that I was on social media too much. That was when I got rid of my Twitter account. My Instagram usage has since dwindled as well, and I’m left mainly just using Facebook. It’s a great way to connect with people, like my old roommates that live on different parts of the planet, but it can be a great time waster if not used properly. I find that the messaging parts of social media are helpful, while the feeds are mind-sucking.

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  3. Social media is so interesting to me. I know I use it a bit too much! I use it if I’m bored, if I want to see what my friends are up too, but most often I use it to escape from doing homework. I’ll be writing a paper and decide to check my Instagram feed for “a minute” (which never actually takes just one minute). I agree that social media is useful for staying connected with long-distance friends, but we must make sure we disconnect from time-to-time to foster real connections with the people around us.

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