We have created new forms of communication since the beginning of human existence. In today’s social media-driven society, we could make logical connections in the progression from cave drawings to Instagram photos.
But unlike our ancestors, modern communication does not hold the same need to relay important information.
Social media has changed what we hold dear and how we interact. Receiving “likes” on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter seems to take priority over actual human interaction and the social-political issues facing the world.
There is no doubt that social media can do good, and even we journalists use it to reach a larger population of readers. Many groups and organizations maintain websites to inform, organize and create a community. It is evident that social media has played a part in change.
But is the interaction real, or is Facebook breeding apathy and skewed social skills?
Social media works upon both our biological and emotional instincts. With the push of a button, we are able to gain acceptance and become members of a pack. But relationships outside of the Internet take far more work than a “like.”
Younger generations are losing out on valuable learning experiences. The development of trust, body language cues and intimacy cannot be gained by looking at a screen.
Dominance and aggression are also bred online. Cyberbullying and threats have been prevalent reasons for recent suicides in adolescents. Repercussions that would exist in realty are seemingly exempt in the digital world.
I see the positive aspects of social media aiding progressive thinking, but worry that it skews the process of effectively creating lasting change.
The Internet makes it easy to share information about issues that matter, but we still need people to reach out to their legislators, policy makers and community.
Social media is an inevitable aspect of our future and has indeed developed interaction. It is simply not face to face.
My concern is that the lines between the digital world and human world will blur for young people.
If people apply social skills learned from Facebook to their physical peers, we could see more superficially based connections, real life “trolling” and a lax approach to activism.
Verwys tries to utilize social media for good and is confident it has benefits. However, human interaction is needed more now than ever.