Social Media, Not so Social

More often than not, we live and work in places far from our loved ones, forcing us to rely on communication through social media. Communication is essential; some may say a necessity, in our efforts of maintaining our relationships with friends and family that we aren’t able to physically interact with on a regular basis. The problem is we often become so wrapped up in our lives on social networks, we ignore people in our presence, we ignore real life socializing opportunities, we glue our eyes to our cellphones or watches.

In his book, Prado notes, “87 out of 100 teenagers think it is more important to answer a text or call than continue face-to-face conversation; nor is doing so thought rude…” (2017). I can attest that this behavior is not only prevalent in teenagers, but adults as well. At a going away dinner for a friend, I noticed how cell phones received more attention than my friend did. Most people had their face in their phones, more interested in conversations on social media, than real life conversations, myself included. It dawned on me how awful this was because I was in Hawaii, a place so many people can only dream of going, but I was on whatsapp or something. At other social gatherings, like parties, party goers are so often snapchatting and going live to show friends and family members what a great time their having, that they forget to actually have a great time.

Social media serves its purpose in providing distant relationships a means of maintenance with communication upkeep. However, it truly makes people less social in their present lives, as we unlearn what it is to communicate in real time. Fairfield draws attention to social media’s effect in stating “as the preference for e-communication increases, what decreases is not only communicative competence, but also the place in human experience for the unconventional, unpredictable, unplanned, imaginative, intangible, indirect, incalculable, and non-preordained” (2017). Basically, the fun and pleasure from human interaction at social events are no longer enjoyed with the increase in use of social media for communication.

It would be undeniably dramatic to suggest that people no longer use social media. A more reasonable suggestion is to put phones on airplane mode in order to enjoy in-person communication in social settings. More times than not, the conversations via social media are not that of an emergency. By putting our phone on airplane mode in social atmospheres, you give the people around you the respectful attention they deserve, and you allow the person on the other end to do the same.



Prado, C. G. (2017). Social Media and Your Brain: Web-Based Communication Is Changing How We Think and Express Ourselves. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Fairfield, P.  (2017). Social Media and Communicative Unlearning: Learning to Forget in Communicating. In Prago, C.G. (Eds.), Social Media and Your Brain: Web-Based Communication Is Changing How We Think and Express Ourselves. (14). Santa Barbara,CA: Praeger.


  1. I found your post about social media not being very social (and in fact, isolating us) very meaningful! I think more often we are seeing younger and younger people being exposed to social media and being absorbed in it. I have a snapchat to check out people’s short videos or photos and enjoy the “real time” aspect to it. However, one day I realized when looking at one of my particularly envied friends (as his vacations and weekends are at amazing locations) that he was taking all these photos and videos while at those amazing places. The irony upon realizing this was that he wasn’t very present in these locations and he must be missing a good portion of them by taking up so much time posting! While I appreciate getting to see what people are up to and seeing more of the world if I’m cooped up or bored, I wouldn’t expect them to post their activities immediately on account that they would be missing their event! I find that I post almost never while at the actual event, even if I remember to take photos or videos (which I also often forget if I’m having a great time). Perhaps this is a generational gap? I know my parents never post anything to social media and only occasionally take breaks for photos to remember the events. Similarly with texting and cell phone use, I put my phone away when I know I am not on an emergency line for someone and my parents do as well.
    The prevalence of teenagers needing to respond to their phones (According to your article, 87/100 teenagers- wow!) could be a generational gap. Younger people seem to have a much harder time separating from their texts and their phones. If so, how are people who have used phones before supposed to shed light on the importance of being present, especially with a world changing so quickly? Perhaps the enemy is not the availability of communication or information, but what we judge as vital or important. If people kept their phones on them for emergency situations or as a tool to add to their present conversation, a phone being a constant companion might not be such a big issue. Perhaps the real psychological study is to find out why every moment feels like an emergency to younger and younger generations?

    Thought provoking post!
    -Kristen Jezek

  2. Armin Vossooghi

    After reading your post, I must say that I agree with what you’ve said about the reasons why social media is popular. We do live in a time that most of us communicate through our phones, PCs, IPads and other devices to stay in touch with our loved ones and friends who we don’t get to see that often since they live far away. Social media is a good way to connect to family and close friends. However, there are so many people, especially younger people who think that having more Facebook friends means being popular. Times definitely has changed since the 90’s when younger people were more active outdoors and spent less time indoors.
    I’ve seen younger people post a lot of personal information about themselves and families on social media for the world to see. That can cause a major safety issue for that teen and their family. Also, people post inappropriate pictures online and once those pictures are out there for everyone to see, it will be hard to erase it and start all over again.
    On the other hand, I must say that social media has its benefits too. Staying in touch with loved ones for example, or being able to communicate with coworkers and even better yet, taking courses online without having to set foot on a college campus. These are examples of the positive aspects of going online and using internet to achieve goals in our daily lives. In conclusion, I believe it’s up to individuals to stay safe while using social media and while surfing the web. I believe parents need to educate their children on how to use social media safely as well and use parental control on their smart phones, IPads and PCs.

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