Over the last decade approximately, social media has exploded to unimaginable levels. Majority of the population has one or more social media accounts with giants, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pintrest. This blog takes another approach to views on social media outlets, not as fun, entertaining and great for staying in touch, however instead destructive to society. It is too early to tell the true effects, as this generation is playing the role of the guinea pig, but there will be negative consequences for sure. Considering that traditional values for communication and face to face interaction are slowly diminishing and personally I miss the feeling of going to my friends house and ringing a door bell as oppose to seeing message notifications on my account of choice. Social medias boom has been the culprit of a major decrease in safety regarding privacy, a huge distraction leading to lower levels of productivity for many students and workers, and has created a false sense of connection through relationships strictly developed online.
For those who might not realize the immense force that social media plays in society today here are some statistics pulled from various articles and the links to the articles themselves.
- 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook
- Over 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook…via Instagram…a day.
- Since twitter began there have been 163 billion tweets
- If times, 210,000 years worth of music has been played on Facebook
- 625,000 people join Google plus, everyday
- Over 1 billion users are on Facebook, over 500 million are on twitter, over 200 million on Tumblr (Starting to see the picture?)
Here is the link to a great visual overview display of social media statistics, done by the Huffington Post.
No More Privacy
A recent statistic from a posts in the Huffington, stated that 25% of users on Facebook do not pay attention to their security settings. This is a major draw back of the social media expansion as many people have not realized the devastating consequences of posting inappropriate pictures for their friends to view. It has gone as far as people not receiving jobs due to their profiles on Facebook. The first person not receiving the job they applied for set precedent for many companies to strike a deal with Facebook to gain access to profiles. Users are starting to feel the effect of not having control over there privacy. An article with smallbusiness.com agrees, that not setting privacy settings for your profile can be detrimental to your success. It is a scary thought to know that, once something is posted on the internet, it is going to somehow remain online forever. The question is, even while setting your privacy settings to the highest degree of privacy, it can still be bypassed, by hackers or those working for Facebook.
Do I Even Know You?
It’s ironic that I write about creating a false sense of connection with others through online interaction as I am both a victim and a culprit. Back in high school I would talk to people on msn messenger all day, specifically girls, somehow my shyness did not play a factor when it was not a face to face interaction. However people started to notice that, I could chat them up for hours online, but when it came to school I would totally ignore them. This came across as me being rude and trying to be cool, as oppose to people actually understanding that i’m a shy person. So I can personally vouch for this bullet point, in saying that, alot of relationships are built, but only maintained online, the foundation of face to face contact and actually hanging out in person cannot be overtaken with some online conversation and funny emoticons. A sense of connection and confidence is even established when you have a large “friend” list, or your pictures receive a high amount of likes, most typically being from people you barely know. At the end of the day is can be very damaging to someone who falsely believes they are ready for the real world, and when they get out there, they realize they cannot hold a conversation. It is destructive to self esteem and peoples ability to truly grow their relationships. Many lives have been lost because many people cannot gauge whether someone is dangerous or not based on strictly online interaction.
Decrease In Productivity
Although Social media poses immense room for success, it has a side which is polar opposite that feeds on those who struggle with maintaining focus. Another personal victim speaking, Facebook has taken away at least a year of my life. For every time i’m on it I have no idea what I am doing, just scrolling aimlessly.
Doing this has prevented me some studying for exams, preparing for wedding speeches, or even kept me away from wanting to go out. As if sometimes I just desire to shelter myself, stay online, but hide from everyone else. The problem is I have felt like without even realizing I will open my web browser and have already managed to type in the website for a social media outlet and my username/password in the blink of an eye. It is almost like a drug, times when you don’t want to go on, you break and relapse. 60% of people have said that they can’t remember the last time their phone was not beside them, essentially meaning the distraction never ever goes away. Considering there are 189 million Facebook users, which are mobile only. Social media time should be limited to help stabilize productivity to prevent over indulgence, unfortunately that is just not a business model for success.
All in all, although social media outlets manage to create opportunities, but the ones they destroy receive much less attention. It is something that requires further thinking for the future, because technology is only growing and the dependency will only increase more and more. Are the definition of social medias purposes being blurred by high over usage by majority of the youth. Will there come a point where we pass the point of no return. Or do traditional values still have a chance of not becoming 100% obsolete. Seems convenient and easy now, saving us time and effort. Something tells me things are going to get a lot more difficult later.