Re: “Social media is ruining our lives”

I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook about my generation. #ThisGeneration? #TheMEGeneration? The “what happened to going outside”, the “I remember when children played in the playground”, the “my generation is better”… I’ve seen them all.

People have been complaining about social media taking over our lives, but, ok, take a moment to look at it this way.

Background check: I’m a visual learner and I write for a hobby. I’m more comfortable with giving and receiving written words, rather than spoken ones. Basically, I like writing and reading, rather than speaking and listening. I’d rather chat people up on Facebook than talk to them. I’d rather use the chat box in Skype than Skype call them. I’d rather make an essay about a topic than make a YouTube video.

It’s been proven that majority of our parents’ generation are auditory learners – they prefer to listen to a story being told than read it, to speak out the steps to someone than write them down, to call than text, to confront face to face than through a letter. Meanwhile, majority of my generation are visual learners.

Our generation gets to think about what we’re going to say next when using Viber or Messenger. We get to communicate with people miles away from us with Skype. We get to reach out to thousands of strangers with our Instagram pictures or 9GAG posts.

You see symbolic and powerful drawings about this topic, and it’s usually seen in the perspective of reality, where someone’s eyes are glued to the screen. Well, imagine the possibilities of what he’s doing – reading world news, chatting with a childhood friend, checking how his high school friends are, browsing through in-depth discussion threads, etc.

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We’re not becoming ‘anti-social’. The mode of communication changed from verbal to written, but it is STILL communication. Just not with the people across our table. Of course, the problem with this is that the people across our table are family relatives, or romantic partners. We start to come off as insensitive for giving others our attention, when the other person’s giving all their attention to us.

People still think that laptops and tablets are like newspapers or books, though, when it’s not. Newspapers and books are one-sided communication devices. They tell the story, and you just read it. Of course, you will come off as insensitive if you’d rather focus on such things. But phones are different. It’s an interactive device. When Friend A is in front of you and talking, while you’re texting with Friend B, the mode of communication is different, but basically, you’re communicating with two people at once. Finish talking with either one first.

TL;DR

Yes, we have some problems with regards to increasing technological advancements. We shouldn’t ignore the person across our table with our phone.

But no, social media is not

  • taking over our lives
  • slowly creating a dysfunctional society where everyone is antisocial
  • creating a whole generation of ‘brats’
  • my generation’s whole life
  • the root of the problem here.

My generation and my parents’ generation are comfortable with two different modes of communication – visual and auditory, respectively. We prefer having a screen in front of us. They prefer the face.

People will always complain about change. But this particular change is good. Hopefully, people will change their minds, see this side of the whole topic, and realize that, with the way things are going? It’s going to be good. Hopefully, people will stop scoffing, “Kids and their tablets these days”.

But most of all,hopefully, people will stop looking down on my generation for all the things we’re doing.

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