Is Technology Helping Us Advance or Are We Just Thinking That?

The rise of technology has created a way to help advance our world, and ever since the advancement of technology we have been able to use it as a tool for our own benefits. Social media specifically is one of the main reasons as to why technology is so important in our society. We can use Twitter to say what’s on our minds without worrying about a response. We like posting pictures to Instagram to show what we are doing or where we have been or what our interests are. Some of us even create profiles to find a relationship online, looking for that one other person who also loves the same movie and ice cream as us and who only lives fifteen miles away. Social media opens an entirely new door for us, and we are able to keep up with the world around us and to be constantly connected to each other. But lately, that connection that we share with each other is beginning to negatively affect the way we interact with each other when we are not using technology.

Our exposure to technology has become increasingly apparent now with the help of these social media sites. Take Facebook for example, it began as a small social network for college students to join groups based on common interests but as of 2014 statistics showed that daily active users were around 890 million, according to the article “Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Results.” Facebook, along with other websites, “keep us in constant touch with the world,” according to Richard Restak, author of “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era. He constantly reminds us that along with this technological stimulation forced upon us, we must be aware of what it is doing to us physically.

Facebook is used to connect and interact with other people. It’s a great platform to chat with distant relatives, friends who moved far away, or the initial reason-for college students to connect with each other. But recently people who often use Facebook share statuses and pictures that have nothing to do with connecting to other people. Juliet Johnson wrote an article that summarizes that although it may be interesting to post to Facebook pictures of you personal life- like your pets, it is not beneficial to anyone else because Facebook should be used to make a name to a face (Johnson). Everyone seems to have a Facebook now, and they are constantly sharing articles and pictures to each other’s walls. That kind of connection is beneficial because it is connecting ideas with people and it’s a great way to communicate with each other. But with social media comes the need desire for attention at the same time. We tend to upload pictures to make them our profile pictures and some of us get upset when only a few of our friends “like” it. Some of us even wait until the next day because we know that’s when most of our friends will be online so they will like it. Our ego and self esteem is becoming centered on the impacts of social media. Restak states that while some of us love being connected with the world at the palm of our hands, “others feel the sensation of a giant electronic tentacle that will ensnare us at any moment” (Restak 419). But the problem with this fear is that even though people feel this way, chances are that they will still keep their profiles up, and that they will still check to see who posted what. It’s becoming more of an obsession than a tool in our culture today. We’re too focused on the attention we get rather than the connection we are making with each other, and our minds are altering in ways in which they can’t focus on both the attention we are getting and the relationships we are making. If we continue to use social media like this, there could be “a devaluation of the depth and quality of our relationships” (Restak 416).

Works Cited:

“Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Results.” Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Results. PR Newswire, 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

“Social Networks Sometimes Inflate Self-Esteem, Reduce Self-Control.” Social Networks Sometimes Inflate Self-Esteem, Reduce Self-Control. Mom Psych, 13 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Johnson, Juliet M. “Use Social Media Sites For Their Original Purpose And You Will See Excellent Results.” Use Social Media Sites For Their Original Purpose And You Will See Excellent Results. NASP, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Restak, Richard. “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era.” Emerging: Contemporary Reading for Writers. Second Edition. (2013): 411–423. Print.