Social media can be a wonderful tool. I’ve found many great recipes, reconnected with friends and family members, and even found this writing challenge via social media. However, for all of its greatness, social media can also be problematic. Here are five problems I see with social media:
- People have a hard time distinguishing fact from reality – Posters can create whatever mood or persona they’d like from behind a computer or cell phone screen. Likewise, those who read post, can also have difficulty sorting through what’s fact versus fiction. This results in a lot of misinformation being transferred, resulting in useless posts, countless arguments, and sometimes severed relationship.
- People no longer understand social norms outside of social media – I am a 40-year-old woman. The majority of my friends are in my age range. In the world of social media, everyone conceivably can be your friend. The result is a generation of children and young adults who do not know how to engage in age-appropriate conversations and behaviors in the presence of their elders.
- No one engages in true research anymore – if it was on social media, then it must be true, right? Thanks to social media, people do not take time to read newspapers or magazines, or engage in in-depth research. If it was on social media, then it must be true. As a result, we have said R.I.P. prematurely to countless celebrities, as well as changed our Facebook settings without merit.
- Social media has made us less social – we’re connected with hundreds of people online, but connected far less with the people we can easily encounter on a regular basis with minimal effort. Examine any dinner table in America and what will you see? Yes, you’ll see families and couples having dinner, but how many are doing so without some type of electronic device in their hand? And for those that do manage to engage in meaningful activities sans a device in hand, a check in via social media likely occurred before or after the activities commencement.
- There’s nothing sacred anymore – people tell or show EVERYTHING! Just because you can say it, doesn’t mean that you should. Just because you can take a photo of it and instantly share it, doesn’t mean you have to. Some words should be left unspoken, and for the sake of our eyes and stomach, some photos should not be shared either!
These are just a few of the problems I see with social media. There are others. Despite the problems, I think the good out weighs the bad. I will continue to use social media in ways beneficial to me.