Social media leads to lack of connections

Social media allows individuals to connect with others at the click of a button and the type of a keyboard, but there is a definite decrease in face-to-face interaction and empathy in users in this technological age.

Only 7 percent of communication is based on the verbal word, according to Forbes magazine. Technology’s popularization over the past decade has meant that texting, Facebook and Twitter have practically taken over as the most efficient ways of communicating with each other.

I often catch myself scrolling through Twitter or Facebook and reading the posts of a bad day or emotional story from friends or family. It is easy for me to just comment a “Hope you feel better” and keep scrolling instead of trying to make a deeper connection with that individual.

Social media is a tool for creativity, but it’s also creating a loss of connection. There is a difference in commenting on a post and calling another person. It takes more effort and more time. Can a person convey true emotion and empathy in 240 characters?

The 18-24 year old college age demographic spends 5 to 6 hours daily on Facebook and Twitter, according to techaddition.com. This leaves very little time for interpersonal interaction with others.

Positive, functional interpersonal relationships with others enhances student’s academic motivation, engagement and achievement. Personal connections give people accountability and a confidant.

The emphasis on social media in society today makes it difficult to grow relationships and actually put the cellphone down. It seems that society places importance on the number of likes an individual gets on Instagram or how many retweets a tweet receives. It places an obscene amount of pressure on a user to perform to these “social media standards.”

I find myself planning for the perfect photo opportunity before I even go to an event or a gathering. It is objectives like that which make growing connections so difficult in this social media-driven age.

It is easy to look at another’s social media profile and become consumed with a need for popularity or likeness. This makes social media so dangerous.

It is in this pressure to conform with an unnamed social media standard that can make social media lonely.

It is up to society to make an effort to step past the keyboard and initiate conversation with others outside of the social media realm.

It is the responsibility of an individual to create time to respnd and react to people. Positive, supportive relationships with other people can improve all aspects of life. It strengthens mental health and connections with others. Relationships are an investment. The more an individual puts in, the more he or she can get back.

The world needs technology. It makes our lives easier and more efficient. It provides us with vast opportunities to learn and grow, but society also needs to have an emphasis on satisfying, healthy social relationships with other people so that we do not become emotionless creatures of the computer.

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