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Have you ever sat down and thought about how our minds, bodies, and smartphones are all connected?Have we as humans ultimately changed our various ways of living without actually paying mind to it? Have you ever sat back really and thought of the way we think or the way we behave?
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In terms of poor bodies and mentalities, they have changed socially and mentally. We have absorbed the internet so heavily that it has become our way of living. We as a society are heavily controlled, gullible, and naive which has caused an all time high in instigating anxiety, and addiction. There is no control or editorial function to our way of living but social media has caused a huge downfall. Despite the fact that there are multiple upsides to social media–like being able to learn more about the world at the tips of our fingers, learn about people’s cultures, and staying globally connected to people– the impression that I conclude is that the downsides outweigh all that in terms of cyberbullying, mental health, skimming, and social skills.
Generally speaking, social networking is a great tool to have in present-day. But there is a vast difference when that connection fulfills our relationships and causes people’s lives to now suffer with communication skills. Our lives have been transferred into these portable devices. In person, you feel the connection, the energy, the tone they are using in the moment. You aren’t guarded and have to overthink the reply nor the answer. Yes, I believe that our reliance on smartphones is changing the way we think and behave. Most people feel better about themselves when posting on social media. They rely on likes and comments. And yet, upon overlooking this, it seems to me that we’re in a position of defeat. Of course, if we look back, the way it is now is unlike anything I have seen before.
The impact of this change is the amount of people that use social media in their daily lives. A vast majority of their time is wasted on these little phones screens that people used to be okay without having them in their everyday life. “They found that people using sites exhibited a form of skimming activity” hopping from one source to another” (Carr). The Internet is becoming a huge part of our lives because it helps you explore a new insight on things and keeps humans connected. We as people gain more knowledge in a matter of seconds which is why we now have an issue with skimming across texts. We don’t take the actual time to sit down and learn what we need to. Instead we skim right through it and use it to when it is beneficial to us in the moment which has affected us in the long run. For the most part, people have relied on their media sites to rise their ego. Take the likes away and people’s perspective will change automatically.
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Particularly, we started snapchat to create a platform where it wasn’t about likes and people were free to be themselves in their true form. For example, we got a whole concept where people are their realest versions of themselves but its called a fake instagram due to the fact that they aren’t masking themselves. They’re showing their real selves. For instance, now you have hashtags being created. You have all the media outlets and social media releasing information about all the negatives and atrocious problems going around the world which causes chaos and provides a different perspective. You have people on Twitter stating their commentary and saying “I’m praying for you” as if it’s going to help or be beneficial to those who are in that situation and suffering. Instead of actually going out there and doing something, we would prefer to be in our room and be on our smartphones which has caused us to be very lonely.
Cadwalladr is right when she emphasizes and states “Most of us consider the internet to be like the air that we breathe and the water that we drink.” The evidence shows that we do rely on the internet as much as we rely on water and food. When was the last time that you went a whole 24 hours without using the internet? Do you feel the anxiety when you are disconnected from the world? We could argue that the internet is not a necessity but in today’s world, where people would rather look it up in a matter of seconds at the finger of their tips and get multiple sources and different information from all types of websites, are you going to sit here and tell me that we would rather open up a book and waste triple the amount of time trying to search for the answer when we could get it real quick? For example, she states “the arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teengers’ lives, from the nature of social interactions to their mental health” (Twenge).
Another key point, excessive online networking has hurt our ability to socialize in face-to-face environments. Hiding behind our screens and stating stuff that we wouldn’t dare to say to people in person. Hiding behind a screen knowing that they are not there to confront us or react to your words in the situation. In “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation”, Twenge claims “In the next decade, we may see more adults who know just the right emoji for a situation, but not the right facial expression. She lists several statistics and how unbeneficial they are due to the fact that they have been cutting into students sleep schedule and has been keeping them all night.
Students look at their phone in their everyday life and have to experience life within a phone instead of going out and interacting with one another in person. Sharing real life experiences and making memories with another. While it is true that these benefit people in the long run and could potentially be a positive impact on humans, it doesn’t automatically erase all the bad things that come along with it. Throughout the article, Twenge contradicts herself in multiple sentences. On one hand, she argues how the new generation is so controlled and lists a vast majority of studies and surveys that show a spike in mental health and depression. However, Twenge also states that many teens have grown accustomed to being in their bedrooms late at night instead of going out at night, making horrible decisions, and partying all night.
On the contrary, she admittedly claims that due to them not going out, it has caused a decrease in the likelihood that they aren’t driving home drunk or that teen birth has hit an all time low. As a result, it has had a positive impact on society because teens have been having fewer sex. Most kids aren’t so eager to grow up and learn knowledge about life. Whereas in the past, kids were extremely eager to learn how to drive a car and have their own freedom. It is no longer a priority in kids eyes.
Therefore, many of the youth have troubles learning how to drive or being able to move on without their parents helping them out because they have grown accustomed to that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it keeps people connected or in touch with each other. Pictures are just pictures. It may tell a thousand words but it could tell another thousand words that are being left unsaid.
Feelings, emotions that aren’t able to be dictated through the photo that makes it all look wonderful and gloomy. No, it is not ethical for companies to get your data and sell our own personal data but in a sense, you are putting this stuff out into the world for anyone to see. If you upload it, it is there for attention and for the whole world to see. No, social media should be regulated by the government. If the government was able to regulate social media.
In conclusion, although there are many upsides to social media–like being able to learn more about the world and people’s cultures and just staying globally connected altogether, I feel that the downsides outweigh that. It is so much easier to say nasty things and bully people through a screen, and we lose our basic skills of just being able to speak to a person face-to-face.
It is no longer about getting to know someone, but instead, it is about getting their Snapchat and Instagram first. And you can argue that nowadays, that is how people get to know each other, but in reality you only see what they post, and that is what they want you to see, not who they actually are. Social media has reshaped the way we think and live when in reality, our lives shouldn’t amount to our likes or retweets. We live in a technological bubble that has kept us in long enough to have real human contact.So I ask you, is it truly worth it to spend as much time as we do on social media?
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