Social Media: Does It Make Us Anti-Social or Social Butterflies?

If I had a dollar (because nickels and dimes are for people who don’t understand inflation) for every time my mother said, “Gabe get out of your phone, no one lives in there!” I would be pretty wealthy by now. But she’s right, I spend more time connected to people on my phone through social media than I do in person. I was like this pre-pandemic, so it wasn’t “the great pause” that had me slipping. 

As a little kid, I wanted every day to be a birthday party; a big gathering of all my friends running around and playing. My house was like a drop-in center for all the neighborhood kids growing up. I always had friends over after school, on weekends, and all through summer. My mom used to let us take friends on family holidays because my sister and I are 5 years apart and we didn’t have a lot in common. I was the pesky little brother who annoyed his cooler older sister, so friends were great peacekeepers and probably the only reason my mother is sane. 

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At some point, my social habits dwindled. Whether it was competitive sports, overbooked schedules, or the purchase of my first personal smart device, somewhere along the way I just stopped feeling like I wanted or needed to have people around so often. 

If I had to guess, I probably interact in some way with more than 40 people per day through social media. Whether it’s through group chat or direct message using Snapchat or Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, likes on people’s photos or stories; I communicate virtually with far more friends, co-workers, team mates,  and family on a daily basis than I ever did growing up in person. I do feel like those interactions are very different and I don’t think I am a good judge of whether social media interactions are better or worse than in person interactions  because most elite level athletes like myself have very little time for a social life. 

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The following article, “Is Social Media Making Us Less Social” discusses numerous studies about the effects of social media on our social behaviors as a society. There are interesting findings on the specific types of social media and it details the negative as well as positive impacts they have on our social wellbeing. Have a read and see if any of it resonates with you.

Over and out for now fellow class bloggers! Stay social! 😎

Facebook: Join in the conversation about how social media affects your social life here:

Twitter: Is social media putting you in or taking you out of the social game?

Have you heard the news, or have you been misinformed?

Oh, what a tangled web indeed! You can find pretty much anything on social media these days. From how to format and cite an assignment in APA 7th edition (YAAASS!), to what your neighbor is making for breakfast on live feed, or you can even get the latest from your local news. The point is that there is a wealth of information on the internet and across social media that people are hungry for. Those of us from developed countries with the privilege of open access are its greatest consumers and devour it liberally. We do this often without question, without consideration for truth, or the rampant prevalence of misinformation.

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It is a dark and sad truth that the availability of informative and reliable information that comes to us faster than lightning, can be riddled with blatant lies, deception, and a deliberate intention to mislead us. The purpose of spreading disinformation is usually to cause people harm, for political influence, or for personal and financial gain. The following is an extensive report on the types of fake news exposures we encounter through social media: Click here to have a glance.

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So how do we shield ourselves from the information war of good vs evil? Like it or not, much of it is with us for the foreseeable future despite the efforts of some platforms attempting to stamp it out. That is the price you pay for open, censorship and surveillance-free media. Here is a great guide from homegrown Mount Alison University with tips on how to spot fake news. 

Facebook: Got a fake news story to rant about? Share your fake news findings for the dumpster fire here:

Twitter: Want to learn about the types of fake news and how to avoid it: #stopmiseducation

Relying on the Unreliable

The world of technology was supposedly designed to make our lives easier. Programs, platforms, applications, devices are all created to help us communicate, connect, learn, or share. I am a prime example of someone who is heavily codependent on assistive learning devices and software technology in order to bypass a number of learning disabilities. Anyone who uses them regularly can probably attest that you can often spend more time troubleshooting issues for compatibility than it actually takes to complete the tasks you need assistance with. 

WordPress is a prime example of a compatibility nightmare. Google Talk and Type? Nope! Dragon? Sorry, try again! Word Q? LOL! How about plain old Windows Speech Recognition? Mmmmkay! Copy-paste from a working program? Bingo! 

Tech failures are something everyone experiences at one time or another. Have you ever missed an important email because it was filtered into a junk or spam folder? Maybe you’ve been locked out of an online account for entering the wrong password too many times? Had your credit card scammed trying to buy some nifty gadget advertised on your Facebook feed? 

My social media fail experience for this week was a missed Chat message on WhatsApp from my grandfather who is currently living in Mexico. I don’t seem to get notifications for Chat messages. My notifications are enabled, sounds, badges, and announcements were all turned on, but there was nothing that indicated I had a message. My penance for this App failure was an angry phone call and a lengthy lecture on courtesy and respect for my elders. No Bueno WhatsApp! 

Facebook: Want to share your tech woes? Read about mine here: Relying on the Unreliable

Twitter: Call out your tech fails #trashtalktech and find out about mine: Relying on the Unreliable

What is this bloggery and who does it captivate in my world?

I was born in the age of the internet a year after Y2K, so I have never known a world without technology. This assignment has brought up a few interesting shortcomings about my social media experience and the fact that certain things are totally foreign to me…like blogging! 

This is the worst research sample, but hey…it’s what I’ve got!

I wanted to know if I was the only one who felt like blogs were not really a “thing”(because I have a language disorder and anything with words gives me anxiety), or if people I know are in the same boat and kind of feel like maybe blogs aren’t that appealing? So I put it out there to a small group of my close friends on Snapchat and asked how many people follow a blog? Full disclosure: all of these friends are similar to me in that they live in a competitive athlete box (our box looks like a 25 meter infinity pool with 6 lanes and starting blocks), it’s a 7 day/week schedule starting at 5:30 a.m, so it’s safe to say that we don’t get out much because we’re all too tired. It only took 5 days to get 22 people in my age group to respond to the question. Only 2 people said they followed a blogger; one of whom said they don’t ACTUALLY read the blog, they just like the recipes at the end. So I guess that means 1 person out of 22. Many of my friends seem to mention vloggers as a preference over bloggers (19 of my friends seem to follow a vlogger, 2 people said they don’t follow either one). When I ask my Gen. Z swimmer friends why they prefer vloggers over bloggers, some of their answers were: 

  • They are more personal
  • More interactive
  • More immersive experiences
  • Better audio-visual documentation
  • Live broadcasts/live chat
  • Easier to understand
  • More entertaining
  • Better when you are on the go or doing something else at the same time (this was emphazised by most)

My pathetic attempt at being random in my research

I put this same question out to my friends on Facebook. I think it’s important for people to know that I RARELY ever use Facebook unless I am linking my Instagram photos, connecting with family on Messenger, or joining some group because my mothers says it supports someone we know. Within 24 hours, more than 100 people (and still counting) responded with links and comments about the blogs they follow and why. I really didn’t have to put a lot of effort into getting people to tell me what they’re into: Food, music, mental/physical health, travel, fitness, finance, politics, home and garden, family and relationships etc… There are too many to name. What was interesting was that the majority of people who responded were my mother’s and grandfather’s friends (89 Gen. Xers and Baby Boomers combined). There were a few older cousins and some of my older sister’s friends who responded (13 Millennials), and a couple of my high school friends from my graduating class weighed in (just 2 to be exact). I didn’t look at all the links everyone posted, but I did ask if anyone prefered vlogs over blogs. Some people said they liked both, but not one person said they prefer a vlog over a blog. Many people noted the differences and benefits of both. For some, it was the complete opposite in that blogs were simply better. Some of the reasons included:

  • Reading keeps your mind sharp
  • You can screenshot key information and save it for later
  • You don’t have to have a disciplined ear for accents in a written blog
  • It’s harder to skim through a video to get to information you want
  • Sometimes the point of reading a blog is to appreciate good writing
  • Some blog sites are a good place to swap stories
  • Many academics don’t put out vlogs. 

My conclusions based on my very unscientific research

1. My fellow competitive swim peers are not lazy, they just want to multitask.

2. Elite swimmers spend their lives staring at a black line at the bottom of a pool and have very little time to socialize. It’s no wonder they are desperate for a more realistic experience with any human interaction.

3. Elite athletes are probably not good test subjects for social media polls or opinions unless they are being paid in food or sleep hours.

4. My parents’ and grandparents’ friends are really enthusiastic people who go out of their way to make time for me and share their opinions if I ask, ESPECIALLY on Facebook.

5. I have a much wider range of friends on Facebook, but very few age related peers who use Facebook regularly.

6. This market research study suggests 72 % people prefer video marketing to written marketing, but in my world of friends it isn’t necessarily true unless you’re talking about my Gen. Z group.

7. Blogging is not my “thing” and probably never will be unless it is a compulsory task, but I definitely see the benefit of these assignments for the sake of exposure and offering a more complete social media experience. Onward….


Alaimo, D. (2018, May 23). 72% of consumers prefer videos to text marketing. Retail Dive. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from,a%20report%20by%20Coresight%20Research.