The advent of major changes in socialization, time management, leisure activities, outdoor activities, family priorities, after-school recreation, parties, and occasions for individual undertakings have shifted significantly in recent years. The culprit? Hi-tech, ominous changes in personal and business computing, the internet, mobile/smartphones, and, yes, social media.
There is little doubt that the benefits of such change have been brilliant. Business, marketing, science, communication, retail, social organization, medicine, etc., have all benefitted from this era of considerable technological advance. Fighting disease, research, aerospace, entertainment, design, transportation, and the remaining plethora of advantages from this development becomes speechless by nature, yet overwhelming in terms of advancement and its concomitant speed.
I have little doubt that our great class has thought about this issue, made contributions to the news portion of our postings, and hazard to examine this as a serious matter as we move forward through the social media learning process. Certainly the nature of communication and employment are two matters that concern us regularly given the state of technology and changing times. This, indeed, gives rise to worry and creates an era of “catching up” and worry.
GENERATION GAP and TECHNOLOGY
At one time the intersection of mental well-being and technology hardly seemed disquieting. Shopping, travel, communication, services, travel, vacations, work and daily life seemed predictable and orderly. We are approaching the third decade of the 21st century and the seismic sea of technological change hath wrought havoc on many bystanders in its midst.
“For the Millennial then, technology may mean only digital or biotechnologies. If we were to speak broadly to some individuals from the Silent Generation,Boomers, Millennials, and Generation Y, technology may also mean automobiles,airlines, overhead projectors, flashlights, microwaves, ATMs, and so on. Hence, technology in the 21st century can mean many things. For example, technology could mean software applications, hardware, social media platforms, functional magnetic resonance imaging, mobile technology, and learning and content management systems, just to name a few ”(Tettegah,2016).
WINDOW TO OUR WORLD
Today, social media provides our proverbial window on the world, and hence, that window is a lens through which we look. In terms of how we interact with that window and, therefore, that world, it comes down to the social media tools we choose, or the tools that are chosen for us in order to interact with others. My friends are on Facebook, your friends are on Facebook, we follow one another on Twitter, everyone appears in certain chat rooms, and previous traditional methods of communication are, somewhat, relegated to a back burner.
We now must rely on texted words, and not facial expression, we may not be able to interpret body language, but allow the text to be determined and delayed with no spontaneity, one may not be able to observe blushing or facial contortions to deduce the true mood of another.
This disruption of body language, tonal displacement, and physical interaction could lead to a detachment from human interpersonal interaction. We must then “trust” others and avoid aspects of our instinctual nature. Are we disconnecting, or are we too connected. Therein lays the issue and a call to arms for this matter to be discussed. We must look at our media ecosystem in an attempt to create a healthier dynamic between social media and human frailty and study “networked individualism” and its relationship to mental health (Serrano-Puche, 2017).
SOCIAL MEDIA-TORS (sic) IN SOCIAL MEDIA?
A study to be publisher in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by Hunt, Marx, Lipson, and Young, from the University of Pennsylvania looking at the causal relationship between the times spent on social media and loneliness (CNN 2018).
Social media are here, are now and are bringing its own problems as well as its own advances. Acting as students, users, promoters and beneficiaries of social media, we must safeguard society from any detrimental flotsam and, yes, jetsam that ebbs in from this seascape. As social media-tors, a term I just arrived at, with, no doubt, thousands of others has as well, we can insist on a forum of our peers and those in the industry to mitigate such harm and complications in this matter. Alcohol impaired driving and text driving does not assist the automobile industry. Tainted food does not assist the restaurant industry. Precarious working conditions do not help employees or workers. We must provide the insight and Leadership to convene and address this dilemma and assist in resolving matters contrary to mental wellness and social media.
CNN Broadcast, Smerconish; Michael Smerconish, 2018, https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/downtime/study-social-media-increases-depression/vp-BBQ2IZj
Laura Hensley, Unplugged: Why these people deleted social media and prefer life offline, November 17, 2018, Lifestyle Global News, https://globalnews.ca/news/4669640/deleting-social-media/
Serrano-Puche, Javier , Chapter 9, P.202, Developing Healthy Habits in Media Consumption: A Proposal for Dealing with Information Overload in; Information and Communication Overload in the Digital Age, Copyright © 2017 by IGI Global
Gary Schwartz, How Haiti Changed Mobile Forever, Mobile Marketer, Posted Jan. 19, 2010, https://www.mobilemarketer.com/ex/mobilemarketer/cms/opinion/columns/5135.html
Jenny Q. Ta, What Impact Has Social Media Truly Had On Society, posted August 13, 2014, https://www.business2community.com/social-media/impact-social-media-truly-society-0974685
Sharon Y. Tettegah, Emotions and Technology Communication of Feelings for, with, and through Digital Media, 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved, Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier.
Patrick Meagher is an online student enrolled in the Introduction to Social Media course at Algonquin College in association with Ontario Learn.