IS SOCIAL MEDIA BAD FOR SOCIETY?
I’ve been people say Social Media is bad for our society, in particular bad for our children. Complaints about kids with faces buried in their smart phones all day, texting and playing games – and complaints that this may result in a generation unable or uncomfortable to communicate effectively in person. This all got me thinking about Social Media and how it has changed us and where it will lead us in the future.
Kids are more plugged in now and maybe not as active. But with that is a rise in literacy – reading and writing. There are good things and bad things that come with any kind of change. In my opinion, people’s communication skills are just evolving, which is not a bad thing and may be for the better. People are connected across the world now more than ever.
Social media allows you to “…keep in touch with people with a regularity of intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” Lisa Reichelt coined this term “Ambient Intimacy”. Communication has become so convenient that we can have it whenever we want.
Knowledge is there whenever you want it and anyone can have access to it – and that seems to drive people to want to know more. Through Google, Wikipedia and blogs, you can learn and share and the opportunities are endless for everyone.
Political movements like Occupy Wall Street use social media to get the word out and to spread nationwide. The abundance of online organizing is staggering. It has empowered the people like never before. From Facebook pages to Twitter hash tags to YouTube, Vimeo and livestream videos, social media is to be thanked for helping facilitate many of the changes that are taking place across the globe.
Some people are still skeptics. Words such as “shrinking attention spans”, “transient relationships”, “dehumanizing community life” and “loss of social skills” are tossed about but are far from accurate. We are now more connected, more open to new relationships that we would not have had before. And we are more knowledgeable now about things globally.
This is just the beginning of a new and exciting time. Change is happening so fast and no one knows where it will all take us. But I believe as we dive into the year 2012, many changes will be for the good of society.
“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
~ Jennifer McCluskey, Production Manager, The S3 Agency