How social is social media?

By Cathriona Smith @CathrionaS

Social media to me has been a way to stay connected with my family and friends overseas. A fast and easy way to share pictures, let them know what I’m doing, and stay involved in their lives without much effort. This term I have learned so much about the importance of being connected not only on an individual level but also for companies/brands. Being connected and being familiar with technology is incredibly important in order to keep up to date with customer’s wants and needs but where do we draw the line? Where is the line between being informed, involved and technologically savvy and being addicted to social media to the point where it is no longer social? Social is defined as seeking and/or enjoying the company of others but how can something that involves spending hours alone with a computer be considered social? Social media is quickly becoming an addiction that we as a society cannot live without and spend the majority of our time and our money on.

Some cannot imagine a day without the internet, the thoughts of not being constantly connected drives some people into a frenzy. Nowadays most people are always on, always connected, listening, monitoring, talking, blogging, networking, communicating, creating. In a world where everybody is a creator, where you can become whomever you choose, connect with and become “friends” with your idols without much effort and virtually “do” things that are not possible in real life how do we prevent social media and our virtual lives from running or overrunning our real lives?

I challenge you all to take some of the time you spend engaged in social media and use it to do something you’ve never done or want to do more of – take a walk, volunteer, read a new book, build a jigsaw with your child or younger sibling, teach yourself to play an instrument – see if it makes a difference in your life.


7 thoughts on “How social is social media?

  1. This is a very interesting topic, essentially posing the question of whether it is more social to comment on someone’s status or actually go out and do something status worthy. The great thing about technology is that these days you can do both! You can go on a hike with your closest friends and still check your smart phone devise and see what other people are up to that day. You can be jetset, flying to somewhere exotic and still be in connection with today’s current events. Social media allows us to not have to compromise.

  2. I am also quite addicted to the Internet, but one of the best parts of my Memorial Day weekend spent camping at the Gorge was that I had my cell phone turned off for three days. It was very nice and I realized that I didn’t miss much while away. In the future I’m going to make more of an effort to spend less time on the computer.

  3. As I have taken more and more classes that discuss social media, I have found that it is becoming less common for social purposes and more common for professional uses. Because companies are beginning to jump on this social bandwagon, we must monitor and limit our personal outbursts on these sites. But I do agree with Jay, when I went on vacation in Mexico I turned my phone off and it was a nice break. We are constantly thinking about technology, when all we need to do is think about serenity.

  4. Julia Sullivan

    There is definitely a noticeable change in how we interact with the rest of the world over the past couple years. It is hard to ignore the Internet when it is the globe’s social hub. For a lot of people, especially Journalism majors, platforms like Twitter and Linkedin allow us to connect with and learn from industry professionals. However, there are definitely instances when people spend too much time glued to their computers, tablets, or smart phones. It’s important not to forget or underestimate the power of face to face communication.

  5. Crystal Greenberg

    This is so true, and I think it goes for all forms of technology. When texting became big all I wanted to do it text people and i’d rather text then call or physically face to face talk to them when in the same room sometimes. Now, I have gotten to the point where i’d rather just call the person and texting people and waiting on responses drives me crazy and i’d rather just make the phone call. Now, i have a phone where i can call, text, check Facebook, e mails, etc and i’m more connected than ever before, but possibly even more disconnected at the same time. What happened to the good days where you had to talk to people and make personal face to face connections and ask to use a phone or set up a time to meet with someone and it wasn’t a week away because we were all so busy. What happened to the simple life where we had physical friends and always had someone to be with and when you were with them, you were actually with them instead of on their respective mobile devices “connecting them with people socially.” How will we evolve from here? Where will technology and social media take us?

  6. Chelsi Odegaard

    This brings up questions similar to a previous post about Second Life.. when is being on the internet too much? When do you consider someone addicted to the internet? I even find myself during the school week getting on Facebook way more than necessary. These social media sites do allow us such a great way to connect with old friends and share what’s going on in your life. It has changed how we interacted with others and I think it is very important to remember what is was like before we were constantly connected.

  7. I agree, the internet is certainly addicting and a good ol’ website surfing binge never fails to leave me annoyed for having wasted so much time essentially doing nothing. A book I’ve had for years titled “The Art of Conversation: A guided tour of a neglected pleasure,” has given me a little perspective on the whole social aspect of social media. Actual conversation is meaningful and, not surprisingly, very important to human relationships. The use of social media for businesses makes sense to me but there are boundaries. What doesn’t make sense are the individuals who spend hours a day talking to friends who live within a 5 mile radius via facebook chat. The element of human connection made through real social contact is fading but I don’t think social media tools are the only culprit.

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