When we wake from a nights slumber... What is the first thing we do? Is it check the time, then press snooze on your alarm, or maybe even get up and start your day. I guess in a normal world that would be the case. The fact of the matter is you probably grab your mobile device or any electronic open your favorite social media app , then proceed to snap a pic because you "woke up like dis". This analysis is not some long intricate pile of data on the effects of social media and the way we all communicate, but more so I am shedding light on the intangible influencers at play that has reformed how we exchange messages with one another. Since the earliest days of social networking we have steadily been acclimated to transferring information through a medium that was constructed for you to connect with friends and the world better. In fact it has impacted us so much such sites as Facebook has accumulated 1.7 billions active users with that number increasing annually. From a marketing standpoint this is a great way for the world to steadily create connections with individuals that they may never meet. I will attempt to dive deeper into the effects that actually occurred from the vantage point of college students of today's world.
I joined the craze of social networking in its earliest of days. Being an admirer of face to face exchanges, I hesitated to create a profile every time a new social media platform was created. Nevertheless, I fell short of the trendy new form of communication that was made with my demographic as its target. Nowadays, my social media presence would be considered moderate to most people. Recently, I was conversing with several people who valued social media to a very high degree. They believed in pairing their social media following with either their personal or professional value. I was taken back when a particular someone believed that I was mediocre at the crafts that I presented on social media because they weren't "viral". That individual's opinion and views are not a rarity to say the least, most active social network users are consistently trying to accumulate more followers as well as become more exposed to the public eye. Therefore, the creation of a new category of celebrity referred to as "social media famous", you know all the "insta-famous, vine-famous, twitte'-famous but you know know who you follow.
Here is what I have analyzed from a social & psychological perspective. First, I believe each major social media platform has a purpose, even so a reoccurring a function that users may not even be aware of. In this case, Facebook allows you to share media with your friends as well as viewable to anyone with a Facebook account but what makes us all addicted is the fact that we can like or be liked. This feature creates this feeling of instant affirmation that what you shared either personal, professional, or popular was worth sharing, but in some cases a waste. I can go on about the ramification of each feature on social media reforming our thought processes and reactiveness to the current world we live in. I rather allow a colleague of mine's words exert my point because they were so eloquently formed.
Safia Fasah a graduating Psychology student attending Columbia University had this to add to my paradigm of modern communication:
Our brain is always searching for communication, we are social creatures & for thousands of years hunter gatherers, constantly seeking new stimulation. The direct access to the things we want to see , to be able to instantly talk to or see other people allows for us to fulfill some of that desire... The problem is that it's not real, it's digital. It doesn't require the same cognitive capacity, you don't feel that direct human connection....the same social/emotional areas of the brain aren't fully activated...it leads to narcissism in the validated users and slight or severe depression many others.
Safia pointed out something very important that I want you all reading this to understand your psyche is definitely affected in multiple ways. We all live within two worlds one being reality and another being simulation of life. We consistently create profiles that present the best image we can publish that people not only will believe but follow and idolize as well. The value of real exchanges is diminished because everything you do in real life is now validated through social networking, so if things don't align you instantly aren't what or who you claim to be.
The world we live in is now so connected through this medium of social media, Now honestly I am an active user but also I am mindful of the affects if not used in moderation. Today, a tragic occurrence becomes the new viral trend, which is unsettling. For example, the act of publishing your deceased love ones on social media isn't a necessary act. Then most recently with so many cases that have been publicized about police in America, there is a point where you are reaching for the community awareness or contributing to the negative narratives the media publishes . We must all be mindful of the value we place on social media and how it became so valuable, to further exert my premise I conversed my opinions with a brilliant colleague of mine by the name of Taylor Crenshaw who had this to add
Taylor's opinion is by sheer experience I respected and featured opinion for her observation skills and her major of study being Public Relations at my alma mater Clark Atlanta University. Social Networking sites aren't bad entities that make us all narcissistic drones that must update the world in each moment in our lives or the moments we portray to be our lives. They were meant to connect with friends, share ideas with like minded individuals, and even promote your artistry. We must be more into living life because its worth living, not living a life worth "SHARE"ing, because its your life to live. Use social media for its purpose with moderation, because if your living through or for social media you really become