From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Vine, our world reaps the benefits of staying connected. Although it brings people together in ways former communication technology could not, should social media be deemed a good thing?
It seems like today that unless you have a smartphone of some sort, you can hardly get by without checking your computer constantly for emails from professors, Facebook group posts from that extra-curricular organization you want to put on your resume, or the latest tweet from that satirical Twitter account you just started following.
Ultimately, our society has become hooked, but it doesn’t end there.
Social media have taken a toll on the relationships between us and our environment. I was sitting at home with my boyfriend, mom and sister.
My mom was sitting on the couch looking at her iPad, my sister was on her computer looking at Facebook, and my boyfriend was scrolling through Instagram.
What ever happened to having a casual conversation without having a piece of technology 2 feet away?
I was in sixth grade when I got my first phone. It was a T-Mobile flip-phone that had a phone card with a certain amount of minutes on it. I could only use it to call my parents after basketball practice, or when I needed to get picked up from a friend’s house.
Oh, and the only way of connecting to the internet was if you wanted to buy a ringtone.
There was no texting, and if I wanted to call friends, I had to use my home phone number. It’s weird to think that this was only six years ago.
During this period, when I hung out with my friends, I left my phone in my bag.
When someone was talking, eye contact was made, feedback was given, and people seemed interested.
People weren’t simply nodding and pretending to listen while checking social media under the table. Is it possible to revert back to this common curtsy?
Social media shouldn’t be the middleman between us and our relationships.
If you think about it, social media limits us. It makes us dependent of it so we are constantly checking it in order to say connected.
Granted, it is a useful tool when used in moderation.
However, it shouldn’t be the be all, end all for human interaction.
It shouldn’t consume us.
We need to make sure that our relationships with our friends are on a personal level and can be taken off the screen.
If we care enough about these people we add on Facebook or tweet on Twitter to call them our friends, then we should be able to give them the respect when we commit to hanging out with them.
Checking Instagram while they are telling us about their weekends isn’t maintaining our friendships. If anything it makes them feel like we are uninterested and bored. So look, listen, and put down your phone.
Rachel Hassett is a sophomore journalism major from Marlton, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.