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We’re Still Not Ready for Social Media

FEBRUARY 5, 2017

Social media is a fact of life.  It’s almost impossible to avoid it, not that most people have even tried.  But just because it’s out there, because you can become a part of it so easily, does that mean you should?  For all of the benefits it may afford, are we as a society really ready for the true impact of social media?

Looking around society today, it would seem that answer is no.  Well, most people would probably claim that they know exactly what they’re doing and social networking is not only a positive but also a necessity for getting along in the world today.   But let’s not kid ourselves; the reality isn’t all a bed of roses.  For every positive there is usually a negative and social media is no exception.

While social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can help us to connect with people, whether old friends or simply like-minded individuals we may never have met before, it also causes us to disconnect in a big way.  Because for every second that we spend with our noses pressed to our screens, we’re losing sight of what’s going on around us.

And what’s really scary is that this epidemic of zoning out is starting earlier and earlier.  With children growing up used to the notion of interacting online, parents have stopped fighting the tide and have allowed computers and smart phones to become electronic babysitters. Kids no longer have to sneak out of the house at night to break the rules; they just “go online.”

What they’re finding online is a world all about judgments.  They can post a picture and watch the “likes” roll in and feel good about themselves, but what does that approval really do for them except build up a false sense of self esteem.  And the need for that approval can lead to dangerous behaviors because not everyone online has good intentions.  It’s one thing to have a school friend like your picture and quite another to have a pedophile use it for his own sick reasons.

The more these vulnerable kids and adults flock to social media for acceptance, the more they open themselves to groups like ISIS, who prey on that kind of naiveté for their own ends.  Or, they become targets for identity theft, cyber stalking and bullying.  Sadly, it’s all too easy to take what started out as a wonderful way of connecting with others and turn it into something nasty.

Unfortunately, this is all part of the package that we sign-on for every time we participate on a social media site.  Given this fact, one has to wonder if we as a society are prepared to take on that kind of responsibility.  And if we aren’t, then perhaps we need to be more cautious before jumping into heavy traffic on the information superhighway.


For every second that we spend with our noses pressed to our screens, we’re losing sight of what’s going on around us.

Color illustration of married couple on couch in living room, looking at the TV, and the house is a mess, their 3 children are unruly and its chaotic.
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