I watched an interesting news article the other day which was discussing the importance and impact of social media on our young people and how things were changing in society. It looked at how social media made us feel about ourselves and how the need to be ‘liked’ was becoming quite a powerful tool.
When you consider Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc they all have a ‘like’ button even WordPress if you think about. It is quite a powerful trigger, that connects our expectation or desire to get likes from those who have read or seen something you have posted. For young people it was shown that the more likes a person got reflected their popularity. The old ‘thumbs up’ symbol, certainly does carry a lot of weight because for most of us when we see a high number of likes in any of the social media forums it instantly reflects popularity, connection, support and agreement with what ever is being said or shown. I know as an adult this relationship with the ‘like’ button does not just impact young people. It is something you can quickly buy into and get attached to.
Teen Internet Use
- 93% of teens ages 12-17 go online
- 69% of teens have their own computer
- 63% of teen internet users go online every day
- 27% of teens use their phone to get online
- 24% of teens with a game console use it to go online
Teen Social Networking Use
- 73% of teens are on a social network
- The average teen has 201 Facebook friends
- 37% send messages to friends every day
- 8% of American teens use Twitter
What Teens do on Facebook
- 86% of social network-using teens comment on a friend’s wall
- 83% comment on friends’ pictures
- 66% send private messages to friends
- 58% send IM or text messages using the site
- 52% send group messages
Link: 30 Statistics about Teens and Social Networking for the above stats
Popularity is such a driver these days. People can buy followers for ‘Twitter’ and on Facebook if you have a business page you can also pay to crease your coverage. But what does all of this do for us as a people and a society.
Family life has certainly changed because of our smart phones, computer game consoles and social media interactions. For many it has isolated us, fragmented us, made people more remote and seeking approval or affirmation via indirect social interactions with people we do not necessarily know rather than through close personal contact. For some it has filled in genuine human relationships.
Are we becoming more remote with our interactions? Is there less and less of the family sitting around the table chatting scenarios and more occasions of the everyone eating at different times and when they like situations? I know when I go out to restaurants one of the things I hate to see is people focusing on their phones instead of each other. Even when I was on holiday with my sister we noticed a family sat down for dinner in front of us, and their older children (no more than about 6 and 8) had their Ipads whilst dad had his smart phone. Mum fussed over the smallest child to help them eat, while everyone else was in their own little world playing a game, responding to emails/texts and no one spoke to each other. Modern times hay?
The thing is, if you do something long enough and often enough, it becomes a habit and how you function. If we become so attached to our phones and the responses we get via social media, etc how will this impact on us in a further 10 or 20 years time? Will we have new psychological illnesses generated from too much use of our new gadgets and oh so many cyber friends? What’s seen as old-fashioned now, may well be a distant memory or viewed as rare in the future. So at some point in time will the thought of, people sitting down together at home to eat and talk around a table be something that’s seen in museums or part of history?
How do you feel about social media? Where do you draw the line?
Aquene7 = Peace