social-media

Courtesy of Singyin Lee

By: Staff Writer Adrian Yllatopa

20140227_141034Since I woke up this morning I probably have made some kind of social media connection with a handful of people with one tweet, one person with an exchange of text messages, and one other person with a SnapChat. This was all done from the comfort of my seat without even having to go outside and see speak to anybody face to face. Is this a blessing or just the beginning of the end to human interaction? But what about some face to face socializing? I probably spoke to one person this morning about how late the bus was. So thus far, I’ve socialized much more through the internet than in person.

Nowadays, just about anyone can turn on their phone or computer and start up a conversation with just about anyone from anywhere. That looks to be much easier on the nerves to teens and young adults everywhere. The luxury of staying put in your house while texting your friends what they’re doing this weekend definitely sounds a lot more convenient. A survey done by the Teen Advisory Board for My Future-My Choice concluded that two hundred high school students said that Facebook is one of the top two ways relationships begin for people their age. 77% of the students chose texting as one of the ways relationships begin, while 82% said texting was one of the top two ways they also end. Although not of the norm, beginning and/or ending relationships through a message saves that shy kid the “butterflies” of going up to his crush.

Social media outlets has changed the way we use the word “friend”. Could being friends with someone across the world mean the same as being friends with someone since childhood? According to Dictionary.com, “friend” means 20140227_141517“a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”. Whichever your situation may be, whether it be a friend who lives down the street or on the other side of the continent, you have a friend. Social media has changed the ability to make, ctrl+alt+delete, and mend friendships.

The way we find out about new events and people are through social media networks. That concert that you want to go to? You probably heard about it first through a message from a friend. It then becomes a hub for like-minded individuals to discover new people, possibly being on the cusp of a new friendship or relationship.

Although, we know that the world isn’t a perfect place. With each good thing that comes along, it has its flaws.

One could argue that the convenience of technology is the downfall of basic human interaction and productivity. It creates a huge distraction to anyone with internet access. Doing research for your paper that probably could’ve been done in an hour a decade ago is extended to hours upon hours of procrastination while you read an endless list of status updates on Facebook. I admit that I’ve looked at my phone countless times while writing this.

Over-sharing and loss of privacy has been one of the main focal points of even having any of the recognized social media outlets. Instead of venting about “generic teen problem #5” to a trustworthy friend, some take it to the next level and let everyone of their friends list know about it.

Courtesy of http://muslimmatters.org

Friendships are also handled very differently. It becomes very fragile between two or more people. Having a conversation in person, a response is generally expected. Through a message, the sender could easily be ignored for any reason. Offline friendships contain some aspects that strictly-online friendships don’t. Some such as commitment, understanding, and interdependence.

Through time the human being has seen human social interaction methods come and go. Who is to say that social media will not be extinct within our lifetimes? Some people differ in methods of socializing than others. It’s already made quite the impact in our lives, but to consider it a good or bad thing, is up to you.