Social Media: Part 1
It is now 2020. Happy New Year to you all!
In the last 25 years there has been remarkable advancement in telecommunications over the internet. Emailing and internet chat rooms have now joined with instant picture messaging and vlogs. You Tubers and celebrities and politicians have been able to harness the power of the internet to project their images, strengthen their message and enhance thier popularity. Through the internet some people can influence the world.
Where does this leave the individual? In 2020 many young people under the age of 25 years use social media to arrange dates and events, and many will constantly monitor their phones for news that matters to them. How many social media contacts does the average teenager of 15 -17 years if age have on Instagram or SnapChat? What proportion of young people use social media as their only means of communication, social interaction and connection with the outside world.
The development of our emotional life is set in the context of our relationships. However if young people's relationships are being transacted on line via a nice phone, where does it leave our emotional development and our ability to meet people and look them in the eye in order to have an intimate conversation, to express a view to argue and to really stand up for oneself.
It is enjoyable to receive messages from friends by phone. Some individuals experience bullying online and other suffer terrible exploitation that scars them for years. Others will chase the number of likes they need to feel OK.
In the last few years there have been a number of premature deaths of young people in which social media has been a partial influence. The main companies providing social media could have paid more tax and should have been more proactive in supporting victims of crime and vulnerable young people who are looking to belong somewhere on line.
There have been associations between the presence of depressive symptoms in adolescence and prolonged internet gaming. The issue of internet addiction and internet gaming addiction remains controversial. Addiction leads to profound suffering . Many young people on line enjoy their gaming or social media time. Addictive behaviours are mediated through the internet, in the way relationships and emotional experiences are transacted through the internet.
When young people are very engaged on line in gaming and social media, is there enough of themselves that remains to be present in their life at school, in their families and in society? A totalitarian state would prefer for individuals to be lost in cyberspace, then to be campaigning on the streets for change.
Social media is really powerful as it can start a revolution and and movement of people to certain goals, which we hope would be good for our planet.
Social media can really connect us to the whole world and to each other. However we can be connected with each other and still feel unhappy.
Social media is a great ally and tool for us in the modern world and we should value it and use it responsibly.
Social media should be profoundly beneficial to our civilisation.