Social Media’s Influence On Communication

How has social media changed the way we engage?

Well, in a lot of ways to be honest.  Looking at the evolution of social media over the last decade has been somewhat of a whirlwind.  The dawn of the smart phone era has kick started the largest technological mobilization in human history. We are connected to the internet, in some way, almost 100% of our lives.  According to the link above on of the biggest reasons why our interactions are changing is simply due to the number of people we interact with. We now seem to care about that over-the-top social media posts from that guy you sat next to in 10th grade Biology class. Why? Because we are connected on social media! Seems pretty simple, but the general direction of our ever increasing interconnected lives is not slowing down. One of the main goals of social media is to bring people together. So is the erosion of our communication boundaries really a bad thing? I guess it depends how you use social media and how you shape your identity around your use of social media.  According to the author’s opinion the lack of filters on our communication come at a price. I would have to agree. The level of toxicity on the internet is at an all time high. However, the amount of communication being distributed and received on the internet is at an all time high as well.  Perhaps, humans have always held these extremely toxic views but had no way of expressing that message, much less have a platform to broadcast it world wide.

Similar to my last post about this topic, I took a look at a few required readings for MDST485 course. I found myself connecting the points made in Castell’s Network Society Ch. 5. – Castell describes culture of real virtuality. He argues that the enormous influence and the sheer level of importance technology and the internet have on our lives have pushed elements of our existence into the virtual realm.  There is no doubt that this is true.  The amount of time we spend on the internet is increasing each year, the use of social media platforms are always increasing, and yet we still seem to be incapable of conversing with one another respectfully.  I don’t want to believe that we are at the beginning of what will be the fall of our society but if we do not take time to realize what social media is doing to us, we simply have no chance.

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