How Social Media Has Changed Us

Activate your Facebook to Deactivate your social life

Many people complain that our society isn’t what it used to be, face to face contact is becoming a mythical ideology and real life conversations are becoming stagnant. Online platforms, such as Facebook, can be to blame for this. Children in developed and developing societies seem to be at the brunt of this issue, instead of getting the essential exercise and social development they need, many have become overly immersed in social media applications. A major 59% of children are using social networking sites by the time they are 10 year old according to a study via the Daily Mail. With this in mind, TeacherBoards Community have written a discussion concerning the advantages and disadvantages of social media and digital technology and how the phenomenon has affected our society.

For many, gone are the days when children used to play in the great outdoors together, getting covered in mud head to toe and not want to be back indoors for the whole day. Imagination was the key here, youngsters have brilliant minds and can get easily lost in the land of make believe, when they don’t get distracted by reality and technology that is. However, a high number of children seem to be fascinated with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and other online applications that don’t require you to get dressed or get active. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Young people are becoming less active and not getting the exercise they require to stay healthy. Built up energy that is a consequence of this can bring on mood swings, bad behaviour and irritability. Social development is another issue that needs to be addressed before it’s too late. As technology advances, more and more conversations are through digital mediums such as email, social media, and via mobile phones. This can arguably lead to people becoming isolated, its easier to give somebody a quick phone call than to go visit them in person, and it’s the effortlessness of technology that can absorb us even further.

Many schools and small businesses are arguably trying to counteract this issue by taking a step in the opposite direction. It has become a trend to use environmentally conscious elements in building interiors to help raise awareness for eco-friendly alternatives such as this recycled Sundeala Pinboard that you may find in many schools and offices across the UK. Other aspects similar to the eco pinboard idea, such as clean energy, a cut down on food waste and teaching young people to appreciate the great outdoors are alternate steps you can take to ensure a brighter, non LED, future.

Is Social Media Harmful to Society?

Although these platforms can be used as an escape, over-use can block you off from the outside world. We’ve begun to create an advanced society that can only be seen through our smart phones and computers. You can be sat with a group of your closest friends and the primary form of communication could still be through your internet devices. The younger generation seem to be growing up in two worlds, who’s to say that this cyber reality platform won’t become the most significant? Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of places, people and puppies, showing you that to be important within the digital age you must follow certain rules. Filter your favourite photos because the unedited version doesn’t commit to the mise en scène in the rest of the app. Further down the rabbit hole we go and we begin to see younger users editing their photos to have brighter eyes and bigger smiles. This has become a common trend on social media, it seems no profile picture can go untouched. Many people’s online personas begin to become their dominant form. It comes as no surprise that this trend has stemmed from the media industry. Constant streams of edited celebrities are splattered over social media, it’s the new woman’s magazine when it comes to self hatred and a major lack of confidence. This is one way on how social media has changed us, we’ve become disconnected to society and more absorbed with a cyber culture where we almost begin to live a second life.

One of the predominant issues here is that children are following in the footsteps of what they see adults do. One of the common arguments against social media is that children and teenagers are becoming lazy. All they want to do is sit silently on their mobile phones or other devices and immerse themselves in what seems to be meaningless content. We call them the ‘Google Generation’ as they were born in the age of the internet up rise. However, this is what people seem to forget, they were born into it and this circumstance is difficult to waver. Social media has become part of the family. Your phones are taken everywhere and free internet access is becoming a necessity for many. To young ones, it may seem like you aren’t able to enjoy a meal without letting everyone else you are enjoying that meal. Family photos need have around three or four takes because you didn’t look good enough in the first two. The mentally seems strange on paper but the majority of us are guilty of this.

Bright-Sides and Bright Futures

Despite all this, social media can also be praised for it’s benefits. The platforms were originally created for bringing people together, you can contact your family and friends around the world in a matter of seconds. Video calling and FaceTime has helped many children build a relationship with family members they may not have had the opportunity to meet in person. The phenomena of digital photographs means you can document whole life spans through a Facebook timeline, you can revisit your past and share it with your close friends in just a few clicks.

social media and children post
Source: Pixabay

Although there are many instances where social media can be harmful to the younger generation, it is something that will advance with or without them. We have become a technological age and many of us have become reliant on this. Forbidding children from accessing technology will eventually isolate them from the developed society. Education has already begun to follow the procedure of modernising schools and classrooms, it can help education become more accessible and advanced. The majority of work places are reliant on technology, if you exclude children from the digital era, circumstances show that they will fall behind in adult life.

Considering all of the above, it becomes apparent that there needs to be a balance between nature and technology. The younger generation can learn and help the digital era evolve into something beautiful. Bearing this in mind, there are age restrictions on social media sites for a reason. You must be 13 years old+ to gain access to websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As a parent/carer, if you choose to allow your children to use these platforms, it is in your hands to explain the dangers and disadvantages of using them. Let us know what you think about this issue in the comments below. Do you think we should prohibit social media altogether?

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