Are Social Media Connections Disconnecting Us?

Derrick Marino, Reporter

On February 4, 2004, a website was released that would soon evolve to be one of the biggest social media platforms to have ever existed — Facebook. As of March 2015, Facebook has reported around 1.44 billion monthly active users, which, in perspective, is about 20% of the world’s total population. However, does this high percentage of people on a website that supposedly brings us together actually makes us closer to one another? It’s all a matter of perspective and how you think about it and use it. So can Facebook and other social media websites and programs be considered social media, or unsocial media?

You can think about it in different ways. The way that most people think about it is if we aren’t actually talking or interacting in person then why even bother? We are always stuck behind screens, locked inside our houses on our computers, and even when we go outside, we are still always on our phones. There is no escape. Is this actually true though? I’ve seen plenty of examples of how social media websites can consume a person to the point that she or he can not even get them away from their screens, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of “social” when it comes to “media.”

There are plenty of examples however of how social media websites can actually boost our interactions in public and help us when we can’t actually meet another in person. You can share pictures and videos of things that happen when you’re friends aren’t around, which can spark conversation when finally meeting up in person. There is also the fact that while we can meet people in person because they live a reasonable distance from us, social media makes for a good tool to keep up with family or life-long friends who live across the country.

Like all things, social media has its pros and its cons. It can either be an effective tool for bringing us together, or the complete opposite, silently tearing us apart. It’s all about how you use it, and whether or not you let it consume you. You have to find the balance of how much social media to use, and how much human interaction to have. If you can find that balance, it can be a huge boost in the way you live your life.