It’s always been interesting to see how social media platforms build-up and then die out, paving the way for newer, more integrated forms of “socializing” on the web.
From the earliest days of Usenet groups and discussion boards, which hardly anyone would really recognize nowadays as a “social media” outlet, to the recently publicly-traded Facebook, everyone is getting in on the fun. Or so it would seem.
Many Facebookers don’t even realize that such technological integration has created a new fervor in the “getting off the grid” movement and there have even been anti-Facebook Facebook groups that preach the perceived detrimental effects of such pseudo-socializing.
Some studies have even gone so far as claiming social media can cause a vast array of psychological/social disorders- similar to studies about pornography usage. (http://www.ibtimes.com/facebook-may-cause-psychological-disorders-study-says-827739)
One thing is for sure- it’s affected our society in almost every way imaginable. Political, religious, and lifestyle ideologies all find their pulpit in social networking. At no other time in history have people been able to see for themselves the amazing diversity of opinion and lifestyles all at once, from the comfort and distance of their homes.
And, at no other time in history, it would seem, have people been so willing to hang all their dirty laundry out for everyone to see.
It’s resulted in school expulsions or suspensions for athletes, terminations for business executives, punishments for NFL players, and broken friendships galore.
I’ve personally lost several simpleminded “friends” on Facebook who just could not handle the fact that some people have differences in opinion. It would seem social media brings out the best and the worst in everyone: simpletons can be easily sniffed out and ‘flamed’; family and friends are able to say things to one another through text that they would never have said face to face; intellectually leaning individuals can find wonderful debate and thought exercise opportunities; and people can be subjected to more hatred for their lifestyle than they ever could have imagined.
What about the internet?
The web now seems to be filled with useless information; opinion completely devoid of critical thought, petabytes of bandwidth usage for images and “I’m on the toilet” tweets, and porn. No one wants to hear about how cute your cat is. Everyone is blogging about the same thing you are. My eyes are invaded by bright advertisements telling me to buy this, click that, I won a free iPod, my libido is not what it used to be, and I can get a better body in 5 simple steps.
That get off the grid schtick is starting to sound really good right now…
— Quick Update
Right after posting this, I got bombarded by SEO plugin experts (robo-trolls) trying to get me to buy in to their latest marketing plan. The effect of social media on my view now? I hate marketers because of social media. That is all.