A Social Society Jane Elinson WRD 104 Gardiner 3 June 2015 Author Francois Gossieaux believes that “ social media allows us to behave in ways that we are hardwired for in the first place- as humans.” Conversely, a quote by American poet T.S. Eliot that states “distracted from distraction by distraction” can be referred to when speaking on the subject of social media negatively. With the birth of the internet came social networking sites. Drawing them in at a young age, young adults have become seemingly hooked on the media that can now be easily accessed from their mobile phones anytime and anywhere; some have gone so far as to call them “digital natives” (Boyd). With over 200 million active users on Instagram and Twitter and well over 1 billion on Facebook, checking up on these apps on their smartphones every hour is the new norm. So, what effects has this surge in social media use had on society? There have been significant cultural and sociological impacts, including the effects social media has had on the communication, behaviors, psychological well-being, and interpersonal relationships of young adults, both negative and positive. Some will argue that social media has allowed those who would otherwise never express themselves in social situations a chance to share their thoughts with much less anxiety. Social media also has the capability to connect people of all generations and cultures around the globe. Others argue that social interactions lack those genuine characteristics they once had, and that young adults are losing communication skills by choosing to hide behind a screen rather than have an actual conversation with friends or family. So what’s the truth?
The criticisms of social media are partially derived from the generational gap between the middle-aged, who have just been introduced to the technological world, and the younger generation that can seemingly type paragraphs in their sleep. The current wave of young adults had a childhood which lacked technology and allowed the opportunity to grow up without cellphones and computers. Once childhood turned into adolescence and then adulthood, a major boom in technology caused lives to be immersed in electronics. As some of the first to use social media, young adults have thrived and enjoyed the use of these gadgets that digitally connect them to one another. This gap was observed in an article that stated the differing “ lifestyles contributed to a large misunderstanding of technology and social media, concepts which the Baby Boomers are still struggling to grasp and accept in the same way that the current generation does” (Maggiani). The children born in the 21 st century who have been thrown into the technological world since infancy may have consequently developed a different approach towards face-to-face communication and media as a whole, as opposed to those who grew up without its overbearing presence.
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