Social Media Prevalence

1387 Words 6 Pages
Social Media Prevalence Today

Ever since the dawn of the Internet, nonverbal communication issues have decreased. Adolescents, especially, have taken advantage of this wireless technology in order to communicate with friends across the nation in seconds—by utilizing one of the most recent, prominent, and convenient forms of social interaction: social media. Since its introduction in 1997, social media has not only grown in popularity but also in its capabilities and convenience (“The History of Social Media”). Nineteen years later, it is supported by laptop computers, phones, iPods, and even some refrigerators, allowing teenagers of the current generation to have potentially unlimited access. Social media has become convenient and widespread
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Therefore, generational conflict about what it means to be social exists. According to social media scholar Danah Boyd, prior generations believe that social-ability involves hanging out in groups at public events, in-home visits, or after-school activities, and they view social media as a distraction (Boyd). Like Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, these adults blame the internet for destroying basic communication skills. They are also quick to ridicule social media for teens sitting next to each other on their phones during sporting events instead of conversing (Carr). UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute’s study finds that the number of hours teens socialize with one another in-person has fallen by more than 50%, from 16 hours or more a week in 1987, to roughly 43 minutes a day in 2015 (Dewey). To critics, this is evident of a lack of sophisticated conversation in the modern generation and is indicative of addiction; to others, such statistics support the theory that teens are simply addicted to one another and are unmistakably …show more content…
Social media scholar Danah Boyd argues that teens are able to find emotional support online amongst their peers, allowing teens to interact with those in similar situations (Boyd). Additionally, a teen perspective from Pew’s polls in August 2015 indicates that 70% of teens feel better connected to their friends’ feelings through social media (Lenhart “Teens, Technology and Friendships”). Sherry Turkle, a professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, however, warns about human interaction with technology in one of her recent TEDx talks, mentioning the idea of, “pretend empathy” (Turkle). She blames networking for creating “social robots” (Turkle) with the “illusion of companionship” (Turkle) and supports this conclusion with studies on a modern robot that awed an audience when it was able to mimic an attentive listener for a venting individual. Turkle, along with many others, believes empathy is being substantially reduced by social media at an alarming rate. Rosen, author of iDisorder, also claims that teens who cannot properly communicate, or who over use social media, lack the ability to relate to peers (Rosen). Szumski supports this claim with her evaluation of Twitter; since many teens are forced to convey their thoughts in less than 140 characters, they are limited in what they can

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