Social Media: Curse or Blessing?

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

~Elbert Hubbard

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Click to enlarge.

Social Media, the crux of society today. I mean, it’s everywhere. You see people tweeting during class, taking selfies at funerals,  and now you can even like Facebook posts from 10,000 feet while flying. What would we do without it?

Here’s the thing though, how much is too much?

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know what you’re thinking. “People talk about technology and social media taking over our lives all the time.” Yes, I’m aware. And hey, if I really wanted to I could even throw in a bunch of psychological research and make authoritative observations on things I know nothing about. But I’m not. As I said before, there are hundreds of posts out on the internet that do that already. This post is just here to make you think about the impact of technology.

Here’s a few things to get you thinking:

  •  YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network
  • 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them
  •  Social Media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 activity on the web

Okay, admit it. You didn’t expect that last one did you.

No, I didn’t think so.

As you can see, even though not everyone has access to the technology to get on to a social media site, it’s obvious that those who do have access invest hundreds of hours and dollars to stay connected. So whether you like it or not, social media is a big part of our lives.

Here’s more to think about:

In college, the new big thing is for schools to give or lend laptops to their students as part of a “Welcome to our school” package. Now, I’ve been using a laptop in school since 5th grade due to my severe disgraphia so this isn’t that big of a deal for me. But for others, high school students who have been stuck writing pages upon pages of tedious notes each day, the laptops are something of a godsend. But playing the devils advocate, here’s a question for you: should educational institutes really be encouraging the use of technology when it will ultimately lead to hundreds of hours wasted on social media?

Because it will end up like that. Weather students or adults, we will all eventually find ourselves on a social media site when we should probably be doing something more productive instead. It’s inevitable. But is it really so bad that colleges should take away the electronic bonus’?

So here are the two sides of the coin:

1. Computers are a good thing for students to have. Access to online resources is important and social media can be used as a teaching tool. It also saves time for students as there is no longer the need to hand write papers.

2. Computers are a bad thing for students to have. Students can just as easily be on a social media website than be doing classwork, in a class with 100 students the teacher will never know. This can cause more students to drop out.

In my English class we are allowed to use our cellphones in class and sometimes we get use our school’s Cromebooks in class. On one hand it’s nice to be able to have access to tools that actually further my learning. But on the other hand sometimes it can be really distracting. I’ve had days where I’ve had to shutdown my computer for a few hours because all I wanted to do was surf the web and waste time.

I hate not being productive, it bugs me.

Anyway, I fear I might be getting off topic. The point of this is to think about how technology impacts you and the world. When’s the last time you can remember not having your phone in earshot? How often to you update Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram?

It’s a fair question, think about it.

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Pictures and stats from here.

Thank you to Niko Vi for his Web in Vogue designs (links here and here).

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