There have been numerous significant developments in the world of technology over the past several decades, such as the Online Banking, WiFi, Smartphones, and even Stem-Cell Technology. However, I believe none have had more of a global impact than the development of Social Media. This singular piece of technology has grown so rapidly that it has become a cornerstone of modern society without which, as unfortunate as it is to say, I think humanity would be lost. The ways in which these platforms have impacted the modern world is nearly incalculable.
Social media had already began taking the world by storm when it was limited to computer access. However, with the ability to wirelessly access the internet from a mobile smartphone, the proverbial flood gates of potential were opened, and a world of possibilities exploded. The different major social media platforms, along with the smartphone, have continued to grow and evolve over the years and inevitably redefine the world of communication and information as we know it. It has all but taken over the way people communicate throughout their daily lives. The text message has become the premier form of communication. With the use of apps, social media has become the average person’s preferred method of expressing their lives and life events and a means to monitor and connect with others as well. Facebook and Instagram have arguably cornered the market on social applications and expressions, to the point that it has become seen as socially inept if someone does not have a profile on at least one of these platforms. Social media “literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” said Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, at an event in Philadelphia around the same time. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains” (Price, 2020). If even the creators and founders of these social media platforms are acknowledging the addictive nature and potentially negative cognitive impacts they have on the human mind, what could the future of social media hold for us?
People are beginning to live their entire lives through social media and as they continue to make our existence ever more convenient, it is easy to see why humans relay on them so much in their daily lives. I personally believe that these platforms are creating and fostering an unhealthy reliance within each new generation of users. With that being said it begs the question, how does spending so much of our waking lives invested in these platforms effect our ability to communicate interpersonally, to read and understand social ques and situations, to be able to live as humans?
KeepCoding. “How Important Is Your Smartphone in Your Life?” Medium, Medium, 10 May 2017, https://medium.com/@KeepCoding_/how-important-is-your-smartphone-in-your-life-28ec82fff721.
Price, C. (2020, April 15). The Secret Ways Social Media is Built to be Addictive. BBC Science Focus. Retrieved February 26, 2023, from https://www.sciencefocus.com/future-technology/trapped-the-secret-ways-social-media-is-built-to-be-addictive-and-what-you-can-do-to-fight-back/.