The Social Media, not so Social?


The average person spends four years of his life looking down at his phone. This media we call social is anything but social; when we open our computers we close the doors to the real world.

Why talk when we can chat?

It is hard to imagine that just a decade ago, social media was no more than a budding trend. Today, social media is a huge part of all our lives and most of us see the need to update, like and comment every day. Back in 2005, Facebook was still in it´s early stage of development and when I first signed up I have to admit I neither saw the point or the need to share my personal life with the somewhat 50 friends I had at the time. Fast forward to 2015; a time where social media has become a key part of the modern lifestyle, a time where individuals have 900 friends on Facebook but may only have a few in real life. We are caught in a time where most social happenings are not that social anymore because everyone are immersed in what us happening in the digital world. We are starting to ignore those who actually love us and rather facing our focus towards an audience we do not really know.

Shocking statistics about Social Media from Convince and Convert


All this technology is creating false relationships; online communities, companionship and the sense of inclusion is just a silly illusion. When you step away from this device of delusion, you awaken to see a world of confusion. A world where we slave to the total of likes and the number of Instagram followers has created a world of self image, self interest and self promotion. It is not strange in a world filled with iMacs, iPads and iPhones, there are so many “I´s” and so many selfies we forget about “us” and “we.” At the same time are smartphones as individually tailored as could be; they allow us to use our favorite apps, our favorite wallpaper and our favorite ringtones, making us drunk on our own sense of self.  Todays society is suffering from a dearth of connectedness and is rather filled up by the cult of me.

Research has shown social media distracts us from our need to engage in pro-social behavior. Researcher from the University of Marlyland´s Robert H. Smith School of Business proved that using a cell phone for a while makes people less likely to participate in prosocial behavior. The study showed that after using a cell phone the participants were less likely to volunteer and were less persistent in solving word problems.

The use of cell phones is linked with more selfish behavior and while social media claims to connect us, the connection is only getting worse. It is a fundamental need for humans to connect with others, but once that need is met by using social media and a smart phone it reduces our inclination to feel empathy or to engage in activities to help others in need.

11286748_10153330230999493_1232602779_oSocial media has erased the barriers of space and time, enabling us to interact 24/7 with people all around the globe. Like many revolutionary concepts, a new set of barriers and threats have raised and the question is now weather we focus on communication quantity instead of quality, and superficiality rather than authenticity. For social media to be a truly effective communication platform, all participants must share the responsibility to be accurate, genuine and not allow it to replace real interactions and quality time together.

For the human specie the only absolute method of connection is through authentic communication. Only seven percent of communication is based on the written or verbal word, making 93 percent of our communication based on body language. It is only when we can look into someones eyes and hear their tone of voice we can know for sure what the person is communicating.

Smartphones are not only making it easy to be antisocial in social settings and making us more selfish, but new technology has also been developed to avoid people. The app Cloak has the tagline “Incognito Mode for Real Life,” and claims to be everything opposite of a  traditional location based application by making it easer to keep running into people you do not want to meet. The antisocial network tracks data from your Instagram and Foursquare accounts, allowing you to bypass the places your friends are or recently were. Cloak helps you avoid the inevitable in real life interaction by plotting out the locations of people in your network on a map using geo-location data from their past social media activity.


With this in mind I am concerned about the future and where we are heading. Will I one day be tucking my children in at night with a {{{{hug}}}} instead of using my arms? And will I be an old lady without wrinkles because I just been LOL´ing without my face actually laughing through my life? When technology is chosen over personal interactions, we are losing traditional relationships and we are participating in antisocial behavior. This creates an unprecedented paradox; with access to all the powerful social technologies, we are more connected and possible more disconnected than ever before.


About Author

Julie Stensrud

Julie was born and raised in Norway. She always had a passion for traveling and a distant dream of moving to California. During high school a great interest for business started to grow in her. Therefore, after finishing high school she packed her most needed belongings and pursued her dream; she moved to Santa Barbara to study business. Julie is above average restless, and use much of her energy at the gym or when hanging out with friends. Julie only has one more quarter left, before she earns her B.A in Business Management and Leadership at Antioch University.

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