A social tattoo inked by the founding fathers of Social Media into the minds of the modern world can never be undone. Love it or hate it, our functional ability is invariably dependent on Social Media. With an estimated 2.49 Billion* active users around the globe, its useful function has and will continue to push the boundaries of our societal relationships. There is a threshold with figures where the mind finds it difficult to relate. Take professional sports for example, where the gross salaries of contracts aren’t even in the realm of the average five figure earner. To slightly associate with this astronomical number, imagine this; the mass sum of social media users equals every person in China, United States, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia combined.
The quantity of use is also remarkable considering the average user spends approximately 2 to 9 hrs. a day on some form of social media. * Epidemic? Addiction? By definition may be true, but evidenced by its prevalence as an accepted cultural norm those word associations seem taboo.
Beneficial or harmful? If you have .58 seconds to spare Google “the social impact of social media” and you will get 294 million results to leaf through. As the continuous consequences can never be undone, it seems gratuitous to understand how it became so in the first place? If anything, I believe the opposite is true, if we cannot understand the cause it makes it that much difficult to comprehend the effect.
Our parents often reminisce the ‘old days’ when life was much simpler. The technology that we have today that makes life comfortable for us was not prevalent at the time. Entertainment was not directed by what’s on TV and lifestyle charged by the latest fashion trend. Familial and collective relationships required face to face interaction to develop. Certainly, those days had its problems, and the ease of modern technology has relieved the burden; but it’s convenient byproduct has become a directive. It was only a matter of time until a directive geared toward the easy life has impacted interpersonal relations. It sounds funny that I am blaming the lightbulb as the catalyst behind social media. I am not suggesting we live in the dark ages, as the benefits of technology are numerous. But when every other aspect of our lives become modernized it is inevitable our social bonds would be met with the same fate.
Ten plus passed since social media introduced itself, and it constantly reconfigures our relationships. Is social media benefiting or damaging our culture?
Editor of BJR
Open Dialogue does not seek to be right, rather to understand. There is never a right or wrong answer. Please feel free to leave comments & share your opinions and views.
The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent the views of the Buffalo Jewish Review.