IS SOCIAL MEDIA MAKING US DUMB?

To live in today’s society and not have a social media account is like not owning a radio in the 30’s. It simply is an unnecessary necessity. Most folks get their views on the world and current events from some sort of social media platform whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or some other platform. This means that traditional avenues of obtaining information have been digitized and is seemingly more accessible then ever before. Since we are allegedly in the “information age,” are we really more in the know now than ever before? With so much information literally at our fingertips, is it coming to a point where we are actually becoming less intelligent?

I feel like we are becoming less social and more skeptical of one another than ever before. The anonymity of the internet combined with the fact that you can create a whole new persona allows for an aura of distrust around social media. How are you supposed to carry on a conversation when we have trained ourselves to convey whole complex thoughts in 140 characters or less? The limited number of characters doesn’t allow whole thoughts to be fleshed out in one Tweet. Since you are forced to communicate in quick-metered bursts on Twitter we will undoubtedly have a generation of folks who communicate off line in the same ways they do on social media. We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with messages of inadequacy and not living up to some imagined ideal. The core of human existence is connection to other humans. Everyone wants to be loved and at the very least liked. If you peruse through any social media platform you can see little icons that are labeled “like” or a heart next to a post.

The self-esteem of those who engage in prolonged social media is in my estimation lower than it would be had social media not existed. The self-esteem of people who go on social media, see other people who they perceive to be embodying everything they desire for their own lives, and then follow their every move, now lives for likes and clicks on their own posts. The race to be popular and have a fan base of sorts is the aspirations of many people who frequent social media. Our social intelligence is slowly being corroded by the constant flow of images, concepts, and social constructions that we log on and figuratively and sometimes literally buy into.

Everyone wants to be liked and have likes on their page and at the end of the day what does that do for the person who originally posted a status update on social media. Often times the answer is nothing, but a woman who is scantily clad taking racy photos, can net anywhere in excess of tens of millions of dollars. This is the world we live in where social media has become the hub for your news, sports, and entertainment and where folks will do anything for “likes” and “clicks” from strangers in a digitally simulated society. Weird huh?

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