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Social Media In 2014: Passion Or Obsession?

Children Of A Social Age Online

Social Media has barged its way into modern day society with little subtlety, but it has given a great deal to our culture, as we can now communicate with distant friends easily, connect with new ones, and voice our opinions online in a relatively free manner. It has become a passion for most people, and it is hard to imagine how society would correctly function without the help of social networking platforms. However, there are some detriments both to the culture in which we live in and the individuals using social media, as it can easily become too prominent in day-to-day life.

social media consumption
Source: technmarketing.com

When someone is glued to a screen all day and is only actively existing in relationships that take place in the virtual world, there will be negative consequences both to the psychological and physical aspects of life. This is inevitable and obvious from a logical standpoint, but just as with gambling, alcohol and drugs, it is very difficult for an addict to become aware of the consequences as the thirst for the product overwhelms and takes over.

Social media obsession can lead to an individual neglecting the physical world around them, and this is very dangerous, as it can lead to mental and physical consequences. In this instance, the name social media has the exact opposite impact, making the users anti-social, as they are stuck updating Facebook statuses, sending tweets, and playing Farmville. When consumed in large quantities, this can ensure that the individual loses touch with reality due to another version of reality being created inside computers, and before long we could see a large quantity of society stuck inside a Metaverse due to Facebook’s recent purchase of Oculus VR.

This will further damage physical relationships as real-life emotion will be taken out of the equation. This is unhealthy and can lead to crucial skills going astray, which can damage future employment prospects in the real-world. This may seem a little drastic, but look around you next time you are on public transport and check to see how many people are on their phones; it is no coincidence that the rise in social media popularity has coincided with the cultural obsession with mobile devices.

Aside from inflicting damage to real-life relationships, overconsumption of social media can have a negative influence on the physical body. Spending copious amounts of time updating various social media platforms means that the physical body is at times neglected, and getting into a habit of not exercising can be very hard to break out of. This is where the potential Metaverse becomes a frightening prospect. If Facebook does plan to build such an online meeting place, then it could see people take more pride in their avatar’s appearance as opposed to their own.

social media consumption
Source: futurecomms.com
Social media can be positive of course, and there is an argument that declares social media has improved society as a whole. Marketing has become so much more effective due to the influence social networking platforms, and for business this is great. It also opens up creative opportunities for people in marketing departments, and some of the campaigns off the back of this have become very popular.

Like everything in life, if consumed in copious amounts then social media will hurt you. Due to being children in an age of social media, we face a tough situation and this is now showing as the simple art of face-to-face communication is being sacrificed in favour of digital dialogue.

The debate will rage on as will the technological developments that boost social media’s popularity, but surely as a society we should be able to recognise the dangers of overconsumption online?

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media In 2014: Passion Or Obsession? Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, September 01, 2014 Rating: 5
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