Although many individuals would say that technology benefits us in a great way, it also affects social interactions and the ability of individuals to connect and resolve conflict. Since David Foster Wallace’s ‘Consider the Lobster’, technology has affected interpersonal communication and growing skills that individuals would’ve otherwise acquired and shared earlier in life with friends and family. In Konnikova’s ‘The Limits of Friendship’, she advises that social media is “changing the nature of human interactions” (Konnikova 237). Modern technology has the potential to encourage the interaction of individuals with different cultures, backgrounds, generations, and ethnicities but in reality, it tends to cause social division instead.
Technology is continuously changing and it is becoming a major part of everyday life with positive and negative impacts on society and social interactions. Today, more and more individuals are relying on technology on a day to day basis. Individuals from children to adulthood are constantly on social media communicating with friends and family members across the globe that normally they wouldn’t communicate with. As Konnikova states “What Facebook does and why it’s been so successful in so many ways is it allows you to keep track of people who would otherwise effectively disappear” (Konnikova 237). But unfortunately, this does not keep the human interaction experience alive or growing. “But one of the things that keep face-to-face friendships strong is the nature of shared experience: you laugh together; you dance together, you gape at the hot-dog eaters on Coney Island together” (Konnikova 237). The interaction that we receive from a face-to-face contact is different than a chat online or a liking from a post. Individuals need to learn to interact with others in order to grow and establish certain skills needed to advance in our society and this cannot be done through social media. Making meaningful interactions and relationships is about being involved and sharing our lives with others. Individuals would lack the ability to develop and have emotional connections with others that are important as individuals grow. For instance, a social event like the “Maine Lobster Festival”, individuals have the opportunity to meet others and gain social skills and social interactions that one wouldn’t experience in the social media world because you are able to talk, laugh and interact with others.
The use of social media can have a negative effect on individual’s psychological and mental state. It causes teens to be distracted; it can create cyber bullying, self-esteem issues, and also impair the development of brain activity and social activities. Social media can be very addictive especially in our younger generations. This prevents our younger generations from gaining interpersonal relationships that are needed as they grow into adulthood. It also prevents them from gaining responsibilities because they are spending their time constantly on the internet instead of helping with shores, doing their homework, or taking care of their health causing a rise on health issues due to decrease inactivity that children would gain when they play outside. Unfortunately, social media has been used for bullying and this in turn has caused many young users to develop anxiety and depression leaving many scars in the lives of those who are affected. Social media can pose threats to an individual’s information. Many times hackers are able to get information from these sites and in return, steal valuable information that can cause damages to an individual.
Social media does have its positive benefits as it can help individuals stay connected with individuals that are far away. It was intended to reconnect individuals with high school friends and family members. Family members share information and events via Facebook or Instagram to connect those who are far away. This enables individuals to stay connected in some way in order to still feel they are part of each others lives. This in turn helps to build stronger long distance relationships. Individuals are also able to connect with others with the same interest and different cultural background allowing them to grow and learn. Businesses also have the ability to grow and it allows them to market across the world and capture a larger audience to get more sales and improve and boost their businesses. Many positive outcomes have come from social media but social media can never replace the interaction one gets when they socialize and interact with one another. Individuals tend to pay more attention to their social media friends that at times, they stop paying attention to those nearby causing social division. As Konnikova states, “But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones” (Konnikova 237).