By: Orobosa Omede
How many people do you know in this day and age who do not have a social media account? Everyday a new social media site is created. There are over 2 million social media outlets that currently exist. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, it seems like in today’s society, social networking has become a custom, and a distinctive part of regular everyday life.
The social networking audience continues to grow. According to Emarketer.com In 2013, over 1.73 billion people world wide had access to some form of social network site and media outlet. Statistics show that by 2017 the audience will increase drastically to 2.55 billion.
Social network sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, allow you to communicate with just about anyone you please to connect with, this includes friends, family, and coworkers. Through these sites you are able to share thoughts and ideas as well as connect in a social environment online. You can as well conduct research on people of your choice.
Through social media people are able to communicate with one another all around the world, build relationships without actually seeing the person face to face. However, this form of communication may seem convenient, yet it is the leading reason for desensitized relationships.
20-year-old John Jay sophomore, Aisha Sheriff, said, “there’s not a day where I’m not on my phone. I use Facebook to communicate with my family outside of the country. I find it very convenient.”
Social media has expanded over the years. It’s become more accessible through phones and tablets. People have access to the online world in the palm of their hands.
Through the use of social networks intimacy is essentially lost. People lose face-to-face interactions because their communications are mainly online. Being online isolates you from society by creating false realities in a virtual world.
Sheena Chatoo, John Jay sophomore, said, “sometimes I’ll go online for five minutes to check something and I will end up being on Facebook and Instagram for hours. It’s addictive.”
How safe is it really to meet people online?
More and more people each year are signing up for online dating accounts. People are not always who they say there are, and online is the perfect place where people can fall victim to these instances. People are more likely to be catfished (being deceived about a relationship or a person’s identity online.) It’s become harder for information online to be accurate and trustworthy.
Online friendships give a false sense of communication. The development of long lasting meaningful relationships is diminishing due to social media. There’s a lack of emotional connections being made. The creation of social networks allows people to practically live on the network.
The need to have face-to-face communication is declining. It’s become vastly easier to have relationships with one another
Chatoo said, “I’ve got upset a few times at friend over text, because I misinterpreted what they are sending me.”
Though social media is great for a world of things, communicating with a vast amount of people, exchanging information, connecting ideas and businesses, the concerning aspect is that what ever you put online never goes away.
Social media and networks target a young demographic. Who “live in the moment” and they are more likely to have these problems.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Priscilla Ambrose of Yonkers, New York, said, “Social media sometimes desensitizes emotions making situations appear different from reality. There are certain walls and barriers that these networks provide when it comes to communication and if it is not fully addressed, it will be a problem for our future generation.”
Dr. Ambrose says, “social media serves many purposes, that include giving us a outlet to express ourselves positively, although it could also be used in the opposite way, the technology advances have stimulated us, as we found a different and unique way to communicate with each other, it doesn’t necessarily have to be traditional.”
According to The Telegraph, the sales of in-home electronics, and mobile devices have grown rapidly since 2000. The spending on these products have increased by 2.5 million in the last 5 years. The online newspaper revealed new research that suggest since 2007 people have gained an increasing amount of enjoyment from these in-home activities and mobile creations such that these provides socializing via the internet, and using games consoles. Social media and networking has increased people’s views of what they find entertaining by 52% last year.
Sharing information seems beneficial, but when its information sheds light on some ones mistake or a person’s embarrassment then it becomes problematic and difficult to escape once it’s let out. This can become stigmatizing for some because instead of the embarrassment lasting a few moments in person, online it’s always there were people could share it with friends.
Orlando E. Velez, a John Jay student, said, “Everyone’s experience with social networks are different; you have people who can’t live without it and then you have people who don’t care that much about it. In some way what you do online is a reflection of who you are as a person.”
Velez said, “You have to be very careful what you put online; not everything you post is private. The things you put up follows you, and you never know who will see it in the future, if that’s what’s important to you.”
The ability to create and share all sources of information is beneficial to many if the sources are credible, but with social media it’s quite easy for information to be inaccurate. Such inaccuracy spreads to millions of people all over the world that accessing these sites, leaving them misinformed.
Sheriff said, “Each time period has their thing, and I guess ours is being social. Social networks does change the way we communicate, it enhances and improves it.”