Social Media Anti-Social?
Social media is anti social? How is it harming us? What can we do?
Social media has dramatically changed the way we interact with the world. This is great in the sense that we can connect with our long lost childhood friends and overseas relatives. However, some psychologists worry that our personal interactions are becoming too impersonal.
Lemoyne College professor of psychology Krystine Batcho believes that:
“The greater fear of what’s perhaps taking place is that kids are not learning how to behave in face-to-face conversation,”
Psychologist Michael S. Broder has similar concerns, stating:
“…kids who have a problem relating socially have found a way to avoid learning those skills…”
Another concern is that over-use of social media can create a false sense of connection. This is because when people begin focusing too much of their energy on their on-line life it can become difficult to distinguish between our digital friendships and our real life relationships.
Social media sites encourage us to share our personal life. But is there a danger of oversharing? Our filters of personal privacy have shifted and this can come back to bite us. What would a snooping potential employer think about a picture of you out drinking with your friends, for example?
Perhaps one of the most worrying developments is cyber-bullying. Those who cyber bully someone can be distanced from the distress they cause, or worse, they create false identity to terrorize their victims with minimal repercussions. National Children’s Home study in Britain found that one in four children have been bullied on the Internet. Consequently, this can leave teenagers with deep mental scars, and has even lead to suicide.