The Epidemic of Social Media Picture this: Mother preparing dinner in the kitchen. Father responding to work emails and going back and forth between social media applications to communicate with his company’s clients. Son playing a video game online with his online friends (some who are total strangers to him in real life). Daughter checking out her followers life events on simultaneous social media apps. When dinner is ready, mother picks up her smartphone to text the “Family Group” that dinner is served. The family gathers around the table to eat, but each one of them has their smartphone in hand. Father checks his email between bites because he’s waiting for an important deal to close in another hemisphere of the world. Daughter taking snapshots of her dinner to post for her followers to see. Son barely chewing his food between every bite in order not to miss out on his video game’s pals next move! Dinner is over and each one of them subsides back into their virtual realities.
“A lack of communication breeds assumptions of what the other is thinking or feeling; and assumptions are, more often than not, incorrect.” – Misty Lynn Walker
Although social media has connected and benefited people in major fields of communication, it has affected them greatly and negatively in real life connections. It has actually disconnected people because it created a world of virtual reality in which people communicate. For example, you would know a person’s life events by looking through one of their social media applications; therefore, you don’t feel the need to call them and see how they are cause you already know how they are doing! Social media has actually disconnected people emotionally and physically. Now, emoticons have replaced real emotions. For instance, the fastest, easiest, and hassle free means of telling someone you miss them is by texting them rather than calling because they might be busy doing God knows what! Communication in the real world is diminishing because, nowadays, communication takes place in a virtual world created by social media.
Everyday there is a new application of social media that brings people all around the world closer yet disconnects them in reality. You may enter a room and find the people in that room sitting together but they are all so far away in their own virtual worlds. People have actually forgotten how to have a real world conversation! Words and expressions have been replaced with abbreviations, which some of them are so cryptic that you would think it’s a code that you have to decipher! Family ties have been severed as a result of social media. Relationships have been redefined due to social media. It is as if humanity rules are being rewritten by social media.
“Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life, without it…it dies.” – Tony Gaskins
Has humanity been replaced or controlled by machines and applications of our creation? How many of us can go an hour without checking their smartphone or laptops? Are we becoming hermits in the real world? Have we metamorphosed from humans in the real world to avatars in our virtual reality? Our intelligence is creating a global world that may result in the demise of human bonds in the real world. People now bond faster and stronger in their virtual realities. Their avatars are more expressive than their real world characters. Everything revolves around social media. If you aren’t on social media then you are considered illiterate in this era of technology. It has become an addiction to some people to the extent that they are constantly glued to their smartphones. It has become an essential organ of their body! Unfortunately, this obsession has manifested in and deranged many real life connections, so where and when do we draw the line?