WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT RUINING SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Written by: Lindsey Margolis

Social media is, quite literally, an array of communicable platforms allowing for people to reach out to other existing human beings and learn, interact, and create content. Yet, people still deem social media as an unacceptable form of informational releases and it makes absolutely no sense! And so, I have taken quotes from an article called, Why Social Media Isn’t Social, and decided to display my own perspective via the author’s judgements.

“Social media is used as a crutch on which we lean instead of learning how to interact and communicate with others effectively.”

Just because it’s a different way of communication does not mean that it is wrong and, if I am correct, which I am, the fact that this article was written behind the screen involving no communication in the process of creation, one could say that writers use social media as a crutch. But we do not say that; for writing is a great way to get thoughts across to a wide variety of people. It’s even posted on the internet!

Sure, sometimes there is a section for others to comment their opinion. But social media platforms have something called “audience engagement” which, is merely where you get to engage with an audience, literally. Whether these people are watching your videos, reading your articles, or looking at your photograph, social media allows for immediate, personal responses which result in individual relatable connections.

“I believe that social media does two unfortunate things: It allows individuals to put on masks and hold up shields.”

Halloween allows you to put on masks and hold up shields, but you don’t seem to be bothered by that.

Social media is only a shield if you use it as one, much like an icicle is only a weapon if you stab someone. They even have a term for it: cyber bullying. And you will never be able to stop people from harassing someone from behind a computer unless you shut down the entire internet which, would cause anarchy and utter chaos, probably. Mean people happen. In fact, it has taught people how to use their words, just like parents say to children during tantrums in the grocery store at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon.

As Gary Vaynerchuk had stated over and over again, social media is the new form of reality TV. Don’t tell me that you did not kick back and watch Newlyweds with Jessica Simpson or The Real World on MTV. Because you did. Nobody watches TV anymore; they hop on Netflix or literally any social media platform and, not just for entertainment, but for informational content as well. And instead of trying to make your best friend watch that documentary on sharks that she hates because the ocean creeps her out and she thinks fish are an awkward part of society, you can actually interact and connect with people around the entire world that have the same interest as you.

This article states that it is too easy to ignore someone behind a screen or phone and, it kind of fails to acknowledge that this happens in real life as well. People get ignored in abusive relationships, or even when a friend is simply angry and, yes, it hurts just as much. But the statement implies that social media is the cause of this kind of pain as if people haven’t heard a harsh comment from someone else’s mouth..up close and personal. Bullying is an unavoidable thing, no matter what the situation may be and it is all in how it is handled, no matter where it happens.

“Focusing on cultivating our online persona is a crutch and the expense is our real-life persona.”

It’s not, though. Criticizing an online persona that may not match who you are in real life has helped people express who they would like to be. Sure, be yourself. And it’s not as much acting as it is reaching out to others who may need that type of influence or role model in their life. For example, there are many Snapchat influencers who portray themselves as a peace-loving, hippie type goddess when in reality they curse more than a trucker getting cut off by a suburban teenager driving a Lexus for some reason but, not only are you those who happen to curse, but you are elliminating the notion that the peace-loving hippie you see on screen still wants world peace. But an image that coincides with a belief is what people may need to see to help them get through their day. These personas calm nerves and allow for role models to exist. You are ruining an experience that can change millions of peoples lives by shutting down the perspective of extreme optimism in this particular situation. Not just optimism; but truth.

In the end, social media has extended way beyond its original use of family photos and former high school loves; for it has become the basis for business promotion, marketing, communication, storytelling, and human connection which, in turn, leads to that one thing that people happen to peg social media for lacking: and that is, human interaction. Everything is how one chooses to use it, but it seems as if social media platforms being accused of educating and entertaining the general public instead of appreciating how much it changes the lives of millions everyday.

Things change, and we should celebrate that. Not curse it.

**All quotes taken from “Why Social Media Isn’t Social” written by Thomas White, published by The Huffington Post.

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