Social media or social isolation

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By ERIK MEDINA

Technology is advancing, and with its advancement comes new forms of communications. Letters turned to phone calls and phone calls turned to text. Yes, I know that’s not the precise order it went, but you get what I mean. We’re always improving how things are done. The current trend of communication is social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Snapchat. Millions of people are right there with us, just a few clicks away. With social media being main
stream, there has come the idea that social media actually makes us antisocial. I disagree with this statement. I think social media has given us the opportunity to become even more social. It allows us to communicate with people in different parts of the world who share the same interest, beliefs and views. The statement above, I believe, is directed more to people in their mid-20s and younger. This is probably because this is the age group that uses social media the most. Statistics provided by Pew Research Center Internet and Technology stated that of 18- to 24-yearolds, 80 percent had Facebook, 78 percent had Snapchat, 71 percent had Instagram and 45 percent had Twitter. So, is social media really making us antisocial? “No, I think it makes it easier for people who aren’t usually social to make friends,” said Pima student Cindy Fragozo. “If you think about
it, every major site has some form of communication. There will always be a bad side to things, in this case there is the usual chance of talking to someone who could hurt you. But I think relying too much on comfort of the distance of social media can hinder us in our real life.” If you are making a claim that social media is making us antisocial, you already started your argument in bad terms. Being antisocial isn’t something you just get, it’s actually a personality disorder. What’s a personality disorder? It’s a disorder where people display behavior that impairs their sense of self, emotional experiences and goals. Symptoms are usually noticeable early on in one’s life and can last for years. It doesn’t just happen because you like to update your status frequently. I spoke with Pima psychology instructor Mary Ann Martinez Sanchez about this. She teaches a course that speaks about abnormal
psychology or mental disorders. So, is social media making us antisocial? “It depends on what you are referring to when you use the term antisocial,” she said. “If you are referring to the personality disorder, my answer is no. That is not the cause of a personality disorder. However, if you are referring to the colloquial use of the term, meaning not to interact with people in the ‘real’ as much, then the answer may be yes.” Her response wasn’t a definite assertion that social media equals isolation from the real world. I think that it means that factors, such as technology, come into play. Technology, as I said at the beginning, is advancing and it’s becoming part of our daily lives whether we accept it or not. Possibly social media’s popularity is just an outcome of its rapid growth. Sanchez helped clear up things on that matter as well. “We do find that we spend quite
a bit of time on our devices, and for many of us, it is becoming more and more difficult to put our devices away,” Sanchez said. “The social norms for interaction seem to be changing. We do feel the need to respond to interactions on our devices immediately and may actually do that in lieu of responding to face-to-face interactions. “The nature of the way we communicate and the way we interact has changed and continues to change. I am not sure that we necessarily have fewer friends, but we can certainly maintain contact with them all of the time, even when it is to our own detriment.” So, is social media making us less social? I think not. I just believe that there are those who are naturally not social in person. Social media might just be a way that they feel comfortable expressing themselves. It you look at it this way, social media actually helped them reveal their true selve

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