Home » Opinion » Commentary: Social media fixation founded on …what?

Commentary: Social media fixation founded on …what?

Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, repeat, tweet, Instagram, Facebook, repeat…

When and why did it become normal for our face-to-face social interactions with others to take a back seat to communication via social media?

Why is it that as a college student, staying up on the latest news, entertainment and friends’ whereabouts is more important than getting my history paper done?

We are the products of a generation completely absorbed by technology and we use that technology to stay hyper-informed through social media.

Even when we are focusing, we aren’t really focusing. I often find students in my classes taking notes on the professor’s lecture, while simultaneously watching a YouTube video in the background or glancing back and forth at their phone to check for missed tweets or texts. I am most definitely guilty of this, but I find myself wondering how this become the norm.

We are constantly craving the newest and greatest in terms of technology and information. We want information and we want it now.

Social media has become an integral part of our society and when it is not readily available at our fingertips, we are lost.

Because our smartphones allow us the opportunity to check various news sites, social media apps or any other form of communication at the click of a button or the drag of a fingertip, we have grown to be impatient.

There is no denying social media brings with it the ability to check information faster and more efficiently then ever before. It also allows for the constant flow of information and keeps people in the know. For a generation that loves to know it all, this is what we crave.

It is so important that we take a step back once in a while and realize how this technology age has transformed our generation.

I am quite sure the parents of children growing up in this technology-crazy generation constantly think back to how different their lives were growing up. As I sit at family dinners and I am glancing back and forth to my phone to check for updates on my social media accounts, I constantly hear my parents saying things like, “We didn’t even have cellphones or technology and we did just fine!”

I feel guilty at times when I forget to acknowledge the fact that my parents did in fact grow up without these forms of technology, and they survived. I know I don’t need my phone or my social media, so why am I glued to it?

Yet it also plays a major role in the job field today. When college students are graduating and applying for jobs, the thought that usually crosses a students’ mind is, will they check my Facebook and Twitter to see what I’ve been up to the last four years? Unfortunately for many students, this can be a problem, because you never know what might show up with a simple Google search of your name.

Something we all ought to know when it comes to technology and social media is that nothing can ever be truly erased from the cyber world. Those occasional pictures taken at parties that you wish were never posted, have the power to come back and haunt you when you least expect it.

When we tweet something or Instagram a picture and then think back a few moments later and realize it might not have been the smartest move and choose to delete it, is it really gone? Did we actually erase the content from the Internet or just simply from our phones?

I am writing this commentary as a student who admits to being consumed by social media and technology but also as a student who is concerned for where we are headed. What has social media ever done for us and why are we so willing to devote so much of our time to it? We owe it to ourselves as the trailblazing generation of the social media frenzy to take a step back and think about what that last tweet or Facebook post really means.

One comment

  1. Ms. Grant,
    I teach middle school and this “social media fixation” is prevalent at the middle school level. As you can see by the lack of responses to your article, that there is some truth to what you have written. No one reads more than 149 characters! Most of the students at the school I teach at come from poverty, however, there are many Iphone, Android, Smartphone and other high-priced technological accoutrements. The most disheartening effect of this Facebook, Instgram, Twitter-feed generation, is the lack of an academic regimen; no one wants to read and/or write; no one wants to do any critical thinking; no one writes; and most of all, vocabularies consist of low-level one-syllable words. The social media frenzy has run amok, even at the middle school level. If your column was on the OSU football team, you would have numerous responses. Thank you for shining some light on the issue.

    BTW, when I have family events at my home, I have a bag that everyone drops their electronic gadget in so we can have a non-media conversation.

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