Is social media making you less social?

We party less but does that mean we’re less social? And, if so, is it because of social media?

How many times have you heard that people use social media as a substitute for “real” relationships, and that people are increasingly socially isolated because online relationships are shallow and the time used to cultivate them takes away from developing in-person relationships.

Well, isn’t that just a punch-to-the-gut of my existence.

Time to break it down, don’t you think?

Social media is making us less social.

in 2015, the time spent on mobile apps was greater than the time spend watching TV

And, according to Mediakix, we spend more time on social media than eating, grooming, and socializing.

Check out this infographic: How Much Time is Spent on Social Media (MediaKix)

according to Pew Research, since 1985 we (social media users and non-users) have fewer “discussion networks” and they are less diverse

A discussion network is the group of people you talk to about stuff.

According to Pew Research, communities continue to grow more economically and politically homogeneous.

bridging social capital–when dissimilar people pull together–happens at churches and volunteer events, which are in-person activities that pull diverse groups together

Bridging social capital helps to build communities and work through stereotypes

Social media is making us more social.

users are just as community-involved as non-users

Again, according to Pew Research, internet users are no more or less likely than non-users to know some of their neighbors and they are as likely as non-users to talk to their neighbors in-person at least once per month.

social media use means bigger discussion networks with the potential for more diversity

  • The size of core discussion networks is 12% larger among cell phone users
  • The diversity of core networks is 25% greater for mobile phone users and 15% larger for internet users.
  • Frequent internet users, and those who maintain a blog are much more likely to confide in someone who is of another race.

social-media users are more likely to know people from many diverse backgrounds.

  • Racist and derogatory messages are posted on Twitter at a rate of about 10,000 tweets per day, or roughly seven tweets every minute, according to a report from British think tank Demos.
  • Millions of people are using social media.
  • The ability to share comments just keeps getting easier (To some extent—the extent may be debated—social media reflects issues in our society.

Morgan Maxwell, Virginia Commonwealth University studied the effect of social media on perceptions of racism, stress appraisal, and anger expression among young African American adults.

Maxwell writes, “if it were not for the sharing of viral videos on Facebook, or the retweeting of hashtags as #OscarsSoWhite, or the protests of the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) social media movement, some Americans may still believe racism to be a figment of minorities’ imaginations.”

Social media has turned up the volume on these issues.

social media is keeping us in better touch with friends.

Keith N. Hampton, professor of Communication and Public Policy at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, argues that technology is enriching our relationships and social lives.

For example, social ties that we once would have abandoned as we left high school, changed jobs and moved from one neighborhood to another now persist online.

Read more here:

Is Technology Making People Less Sociable? (WSJ)
Rage and Social Media (Virginia Commonwealth University)


Back to the News Made Simple article here.

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