Lately it seems that many people use social media without even thinking about it. From innocent postings of a newborn, just minutes old, to picture of one self revealing a little too much skin. But are you truly aware of your actions? Do you think you would act in this manner 5 or 10+ years ago? Are you aware of what it truly has done to you?
According to Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” one might gather you are not fully aware of the true effects of social media. How many of you do research for a project but find yourself doing about 10 other things at the same time? I know I am guilty of doing such as I am watching Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, & Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle and reading these articles at the same time. This is prime example of what Carr was referencing to “The more they [People] use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing.” Carr continues explaining of how it use to be a task to read long articles and now we have what they call “power browse” which means you grab certain content, titles, and abstracts just simply going for that quick result and “win” of completing the read.
Lets take a moment and think how phones have changed our lives. Can you remember the day when you had to actually pick up the phone and talk to someone?!? Crazy right? But the truth is not many people use their cellular device as a phone anymore, it’s all about texting. When texting came out it totally changed the way society communicated. No longer do we have to use expensive phone cards, we simply send that text to our loved ones and it was sufficient enough for that day.
Lets take it a step further, how about the way we communicate via text. Writings like “Whatever, don’t care” Does this change the way our brain function works? and how we respond? I like to think so and I’ll give a perfect example – watch the Key and Peele Clip of Text Message Confusion (warning there is cursing) I am sure all of us have had that text or even Facebook post that was taken the wrong way which led to something that it shouldn’t have.
So how about the way we interact with others social media platforms. Did you know that when Mark Zuckerberg changed the Facebook platform to have “News Feed” people were irate as it showed other people what they were posting. According to Clive Thompson’s article “Brand New World of Digital Intimacy” The news feed add-on was so revealing of people’s information a group was formed and in less than a two-day span 284,000 people joined the group posing against the news feed. Mark made some changes to the news feed, but never took it away. Thompson expressed how due to the news feed add-on, people are now considering what use to be acquaintances friends as you are able to learn so much about a person from what they post. What are you thoughts about that? Have you encountered doing such a thing? How often are you finding yourself learning information of others based off their statuses? Lets take it a step further – I am sure we all know that employers are beginning to do some research on potential future employees through social media. Have you ever stopped and thought, “Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t post this picture of me _____” How many have that friend who posted a picture and tagged you in it when its an embarrassing photo? Does it even cross your mind that maybe someone looking to employ you will see it?
Did you know Facebook did a study by manipulating what posts were shown? Are you aware of the results – When shown a positive news feed, people tended to be more happier, when people were shown a more unpleasant news feed, people were becoming upset and some even depressed over all the bad news. Have you notice this act within yourself? What about when you read Mike broke up with Molly, does it always upset you? or Do you get enjoyment as maybe Molly deserved it? I bring up these simple points because I want to know if we are aware of these actions and reactions? Does it change who you are? Do you think the Social Media has changed the way you respond in certain situations? How do you think society would be if Social Media was never around? Would there be more or less human interaction? Do you let social media define who YOU are?