How is social media affecting us?

THE Relationship Blog

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According to Larry D Rosen, PhD, professor of Psychology at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, adolescents who use social media and are not monitored by their parents tend to be less healthy, narcissistic and have poor school performance than those adolescents who have their computer use monitored and restricted. Unlike adults, kids see the internet as commonplace; they don’t know a world without it. Adults, however, are overwhelmed with the feeling that the world is getting smaller. Whether we admit it or not, the current concerns, aside from the economy and geopolitics, stem from a lack of privacy and closeness. In other words, we are feeling the pinch and we don’t know what to do.

So how is the internet and social media truly affecting us as a society?

1. Loss of privacy:

The concept of privacy is totally out the window. We think with a password or a firewall we can keep people out of our affairs and yet we post on Facebook, ‘Having a Pumpkin Spiced latte at Starbucks. Yum!’ We delude ourselves in thinking the privacy settings of Facebook are illusions of confidentiality. The truth is that a simple Google search will reveal more about you than you would like people to know. A simple Google search will tell your 3rd grade nemesis, where you live and, for $29.00, they can have your phone number. We have been offered a deal; all of our information for all the information in the world. Instead of taking the trade off, we fight the faceless powers that be.

2. Kids are lost in the World Wide Web:

Remember when we were kids and TV was king? In our days, we were passive receptacles of information. Today, our kids take an active role. Unfortunately, with social media, the least of our humanity is shared on the net. It isn’t enough to be able to make friends and create connections, we share the base of humanity through gossip, bullying and perversion. Our kids are at the forefront of this. As adults, we do things like limit their porn access and God forbid they check out anything questionable on the web and yet allow them to join social networks without a thought as to what perpetrators are out there. We often received comments that we were violating our daughter’s privacy because we controlled her Facebook page (password and all). We tell people that, for a child, privacy is a luxury we can’t afford.

3. Communication is only typed.

We applaud the ability to create friendships across the world. I can say I have friends in Pakistan and South Africa due to the internet. However, when we only communicate via the written word, we lose some of the emotional content of our language. We are losing the ability to express ourselves verbally without adding idiotic LOLs and other text speak. Instead of typing it, do it. Laugh out loud. Laugh your butt off. Put away the tech and talk!

We are not anti-net. How could we be? What we are is pro monitoring of children and pro acceptance of the shrinking world. You can’t stop progress but you can make sure you move forward in a healthy manner. Now stop looking at the sleeping kitten meme and get back to work.

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