By RUSSELL GARVEY, JR.
There are more than 1.49 billion active users of Facebook in the world as of June 30, 2015, according to researchers at CNN.com. This figure works out to be 1 in every 13 people are on the social media giant, Facebook. Started in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has figuratively taken over the world.
But is Social media really social? “With the rise of such websites as Facebook, social networking may be on the verge of replacing traditional personal relationships for the next generation,” stated Sara Zay of USA Today. But is it going to help that next generation socially in the future?
According to Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist for CNN, “I believe social media use is fine. It becomes problematic, however, when teens are looking for balance in their lives and are texting, tweeting etc. to the exclusion of other activities like exercise, seeing their friends in person and getting out of the house.” There are many non-verbal cues and social norms people do not learn and exercise through social media.
Social media has caused problems socially since a message sent positively can be seen as neutral compared to their actual intentions and neutral messages can be taken negatively. This can cause much social confusion. Also, people can be more sexual and aggressive due to the anonymity of communicating and socializing electronically. This is seen with all the dating social sites and the epidemic of cyber-bullying.
Through a survey conducted at CCC, many students use their mobile device for a few hours a day and 90 percent of that time, it’s using social media like Facebook and Twitter. Many of the polled students have over 200 friends on Facebook and 200 followers on Twitter or Instagram and all of the students stated they did not know most of these supposed friends and followers personally.
When questioned about how much time they spent with their real friends physically, it was very little compared to their time on social media. As the survey ended, all of the students became worried about their actual Facebook usage.
A study by Facebook, Inc. found that users spend over 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook. That is roughly 1.33 million years. All this time is being spent but is it truly helping everyone to be more social?