Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have changed the way we search, communicate with friends and family and how we react and share disasters, tragedies, milestones and interests. The good side of this is, in my opinion, is that we can talk to people around the world that we would never have met if not for social media. We also get news in real time since Tweeters post “events” complete with pics as they happen, heck even CNN has iReporters. Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook have also been part of social unrest and flash mobs, and #hashtags like #Ferguson #Michael Brown and #YesAllWomen – don’t forget movements like anonymous, who added more anonymity to the mix; threats, revelations and public protest complete with anonymous masks, showed that people were tired of all the BS and wouldn’t stand for it any longer.
But, there is also the “anti-social side”, what do I mean by this? Well, have you walked into a restaurant lately? Heck; you don’t even have to go inside, just watching people in their cars and walking with their smartphones in hand, looking down as if the world only existed in this little box. We sit at the dinner table and instead of talking, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, etc. Chatting about the weather and what is going on in the world, you know all the stuff we used to do face to face! We now have arguments on Twitter with complete strangers, in fact, there have been studies tying stress to social media “Negative Tweets Associated With Stress, Higher Risk Of Disease”
Other articles point to an indirect relationship and technology itself. “The relationship between stress and social media use is indirect. It is the social uses of digital technologies, and the way they increase awareness of distressing events in others’ lives, that explains how the use of social media can result in users feeling more stress.”
So, as we step into the next phase of social, the internet of things or #IoT as it is also known, we continue to tie our lives and security via the internet and specifically social media. We pump massive amounts of our time and data into these platforms and as time marches on, we see the implications of this, breaches, misinformation and scams, but also love connections, jobs attained by doing something cool that goes viral (who would have thought going viral would get you a job?) – Nations show they care when something happens or someone needs help (Trapped in a blizzard on the side of a mountain in New Mexico. Waiting on the police to convoy us to a church. https://twitter.com/sugarrae/status/547488171970535424)
In conclusion, as we stare mindlessly into our smartphones and computers, continue to engage and be involved with others online but look up every once in a while and remember, your loved ones are right there and they need attention too! Be social but don’t forget to smell the roses along the way!