Loose Change Nation

Informative Ideas of Today

Social or Anti-Social?

With new developments in technology, the era of social media has finally sunk in with a majority of the population here in America and around the world, but is this a revolution or a means of desocialization? Social media site’s such as Facebook and Twitter claim to unify the public and interconnect us with one another but we need to delve deeper into these ideas of online interconnectivity to really get an understanding of this new online socialization. With a new viewpoint of social media we must ask, how will this new form of socialization negatively effect our younger generations? In these recent years, studies performed by the Pew Research Center and Dr. Larry Rosen both indicate several disturbing findings within this new desire of online socialization, the first being an increased need for instant gratification from social media users. The second, and possibly most disturbing finding, from Dr. Rosen is a link between social media and not only social disorders but also mental disorders. These findings, along with studies showing decreased concentration among youth associated with lower grades, are a major indication that social media is not just the positive interconnected web that we assumed but also a means of regression within the social and mental aspect of our lives. Although there are benefits associated with social media, the negative repercussions of using these sites without proper education could mean a potential downfall of our younger generations.

Big image
The study conducted by Dr. Rosen showed that Facebook was able to predict psychological disorders. Not only could Facebook predict disorders but also invigorate or intensify a person’s emotional state and increase or actually cause a mental disorder. “For narcissism, the number one predictor, the more friends you have the more narcissistic you are.” Within this result there is a direct link between a mental disorder and usage of Facebook, whether it be from the increased amount of friends a user tends to add, or in the simple matter of posting about themselves constantly. On these sites, the average person tends to post about what they are doing, what their wants are, and what is going right or wrong in their life opposed to posting about other people or topics unrelated to themselves. These sites have been designed to give instant gratification to the user by way of “likes” or the ability to instantly approve of someone else’s post with the click of a button. As Dr. Rosen said, “Facebook impression management also tends to make you more narcissistic and just your daily use” brings into question the intentions of users on Facebook and other similar site. There is no indication that people use social media to become more narcissistic but the trend from studies show that social media allows people to unknowingly become self-obsessed within the ability to gain “likes” for instant gratification and feeling a need to continue with this behavior leading to a narcissistic style of socializing. Although the study did show evidence that people who use social media tend to be less depressed, the question needs to be asked if users become dependent of social media to feel less depressed.
Big image

Today our youth is ever changing and growing with this digital era and over ninety percent of the youth has access to these media outlets according the Pew Research Center. With such a high volume of our younger generations using social media comes a need for higher discrepancy and education to avoid negative repercussions. Dr. Rosen admits that in a survey conducted, all aspects of health were worse within children who use social media and technology compared to those who scarcely use social media. The results were astounding and showed that mental, emotional, and even physical health suffers the more the child used these newer technologies and social media sites. Not only did these studies from Dr. Rosen show health deficiencies but also increased distraction. The typical person tends to show an average attention span of three minutes up to fifteen minutes while these newer generations tend to show a higher rate of distraction only being able to concentrate from three minutes to ten minutes. A major reason for these distractions is a device that a majority of the youth has, a smart phone. With the invention of the smart phone came the ability to constantly check these sites, causing further distraction and less attention span among individuals, especially our youth.

With this decreased concentration has also come a link to lower grades. Students who use social media are more distracted daily, and suffer from lower grades than those who do not or scarcely use social media. With this finding comes even more cause for concern among the younger generations. The fact that social media can directly influence the education of our youth is devastatingly alarming and as Dr. Rosen points out, this problem is in not only the parenting but also the time consumption and instant gratification caused by social media sites that influence our younger generations by “likes”. The Pew Research Center also shows an alarming statistic, that teens use social media or relative Internet nearly an hour and a half per day, or roughly six percent of our day. The correlation between social media and lower grade point averages among the youth seem to say one thing, that social media has turned from networking and connectivity to a distraction and longing for attention. This new desire for attention among our younger population is cause for concern with these studies showing increased episodes of narcissism and other social or mental disorders. Between the mental, physical, and emotional health deficiencies and the loss of concentration, the biggest and most important idea within social media is awareness of these extreme issues.

Big image
Just as social media presents many positive benefits, it can also cause more harm than good if the user is unaware or uneducated about the negative aspects on health, emotion, and overall well-being. The studies conducted by Dr. Rosen and the Pew Research Center have shown how social media can influence an individual, especially important in the cases of mental disorder and lower grades. Social media has only recently become an entity within the last two decades but it has spread like wildfire across the globe. Social media now has a set place within our society and whether the good outweighs the bad, or vice-versa, we have to accept that times have changed. Now in this digital era, we should use social media to its most full capabilities but employ the utmost caution. With the ability to “re-wire” one’s brain to thoughts of narcissism from something as simple as posting events or adding “friends”, awareness needs to be taught, especially to these younger generations. The parents of our youth need to first educate themselves and put into practice the teachings that will imply a more logical and ideal form of socialization through these sites. We need to understand as a whole both the benefits and affects that social media could potential create in the future. Social media has the ability to be a positive social experience or a negative desocialization event, but either way, we should be fully educated before diving into to something we do not fully understand.

Works Cited

Fuchs, Christian. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London. 2014. Print.

Wyrwoll, Claudia. Social Media: Fundamentals, Models, and Ranking of User- generated Content. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2014. Print.

"Social Media and the Cost of Caring." <i>Pew Research Centers Internet American Life Project RSS</i>. 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. &lt;http:/ www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/15/social-media-and-stress/&gt;.

Rosen, Larry. "Larry Rosen 'How Social Networking Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids' at Young Minds 2012." YouTube. YouTube, 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.