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Social Media Does not Make People Less Social

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Social media is consisted of platforms such as facebook, twitter, and Instagram, basically anything where people could share a piece of their minds or their lives. It can also be considered as a place for creativity, freedom of expression, and for some it could be considered as a place for escape. Social media does not make us unsocial because it is always up to us as individuals how to handle what we see online.

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Allison Graham focused her talk about how social media makes us unsocial. She first started off by showing a clip of people and how they use their platforms, they were sharing their thoughts and personal lives through the use of social media. It was an obvious indication that social media were making people aloof without them noticing and they were using it recklessly. Moreover, a result of a poll in 2001 says that an average American has ten really close friends and in present time they only have at least two friends (Graham, 2014). Graham also shared her observations in real life about people using their phones even if they should be preoccupied by the person they are with this includes family members and couples.

With preoccupation being said texting and driving is more likely to be the cause of death of teenagers more than drunk driving. Adults are always busy with work, they forget to communicate with their children so in return children focus more on their phones because they have something that could keep them preoccupied as well and social media provides them the attention that they think they need. Social media became a place where you can get self-esteem through likes.

We touch our phone one hundred fifty times a day and people all over the world upload 1.8 billion photos daily on facebook (Graham, 2014). We are constantly divided by technology and the more it divides us, the more we demand from it. One of the effects of social media is we lose the potential of expressing ourselves because we are so used to using using abbreviation like OMG and LOL (Graham, 2014). Freedom of expression is limited to such terms and actually using our minds to build a constructive reply is diminished.

With contrast to the talk of Allison Graham, Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway talked about the positive effects of social media and how it makes us sociable. Dr. Alloway also shared one of her experiences during a vacation with her family she posted a photo with a broken leg and received positive feedback and warm messages from strangers. She then had an hypothesis that social media encourages empathy.

Dr. Alloway conducted researches and studies regarding the behavior of people who use social media and it started from a photo that she posted. The results of her research included that social media who use social media personally are more emphatetic and the use of social media could help improve working memory, processing information and helps people prioritize what is important and ignore what is not.

According to one of Dr. Alloway’s studies checking our friends update actually helps better our cognitive skills. The use of social media also helped us develop our focusing skills and she called it the “floodlight brain” which allows people to process information quickly, and it strengthens their long term memory.

It is evident that several people are affected by social media in a negative manner, in a way that they are becoming aloof and reckless on how they use it. Before using a platform people must always think before they click because once a status update, or a picture is out there it will stay there forever. According to Graham Americans have significantly fewer close friends in today’s world but let us not forget into consideration that as the world changes, people change as well. Social media is not the only reason why people have lesser friends, some may just prefer it that way or the majority realized that not everyone you talk to is considered your friend social media definitely opens people’s eyes to see who their true friends are.

Graham also talked about families and couples using their phones even if they are physically together. This is an indication that family does not have a good communication and there is an underlying communication problem within the family that needs to be resolved. Parents should not just sit on a table with their children and let them use their phones all through. And with regard to couples using their phones on a date, this could potentially mean that their date is getting awkward or the other person does not value the person they are physically with more than the person on the other end of the screen which is a display of disrespect or an indication that they should not be together in the first place.

It was also mentioned in Graham’s talk that social media is limiting our freedom of expression but I would not want to limit our freedom of expression with just abbreviations. There is more to freedom of expression than just abbreviations. Social media could is an outlet for creativity and freedom of expression people in platforms such as twitter, users of this platform never fail to voice out their opinions regarding social issues. Social media serves as an avenue for people to be more educated and conscious about what is happening with their surrounding. Therefore, does not limit their freedom of expression.

There are studies by Dr. Alloway that proves that social media can be beneficial to us humans, with proper usage. Social media can digest information more effectively by segregating what’s important and what is not. It also taught us how to multitask, people back in the day had a spotlight brain wherein they can only focus on one thing at a time and now people could do more than just one thing.

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Social media does not make us unsocial, we make our own selves less social. Parents chose to gave their children phones to substitute their lack of presence in their children’s lives. Couples text in front of each other to avoid awkward interactions between them or they are just simply fed up with each other. Teenagers who get into car accidents chose to reply to an irrelevant message rather than think of their own safety. We cannot always blame the negative things happening in our lives with social media because we chose to be in this position from the very beginning. Being unsocial is a choice that should be blamed to no one but ourselves.


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  3. Sivek, S. C. (2010). Social media under social control: Regulating social media and the future of socialization. Electronic news, 4(3), 146-164. (
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