Social Media – Where is the balance?

In the world of social media, we seem to be living two extremes   Social Media Addiction     and   Anti social media disorder     While both of these videos are very funny, I have wondered many times (if) Social Networking Sites social media is good or bad for us as I go through the extremes of being on line far too much or I get to the point of not wanting to be on line at all. On ProCon.org I found this question – Are social networking sites good for our society? and I will show you how two people thought

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about it all- PRO (yes) Brendesha M. Tynes, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stated the following

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in her Nov. 2007 article titled “Internet Safety Gone Wild?,” published in the Journal of Adolescent Research: “Online social networking can facilitate identity exploration, provide social cognitive skills such as perspective taking, and fulfill the need for social support, intimacy, and autonomy. Whether constructing their profiles in MySpace, creating a video and posting it on YouTube, or talking in chat rooms, teens are constantly creating, recreating, and honing their identities — a primary goal of adolescent development. This requires constant reflection on who they are, on who they want to become, and on their values, strengths, and weaknesses. As teens prepare to enter the adult social world, online social environments provide training wheels, allowing young people to practice interaction with others in the safety of their homes.”   CON (no) Tom Hodgkinson, writer for the Guardian, stated the following in his Jan. 14, 2008 article titled “With Friends Like These…,” published in the Guardian: “I despise Facebook. This enormously successful American business describes itself as ‘a social utility that connects you with the people around you’. But hang on. Why on God’s earth would I need a computer to connect with the people around me? Why should my relationships be mediated through the imagination of a bunch of supergeeks in California? What was wrong with the pub? And does Facebook really connect people? Doesn’t it rather disconnect us, since instead of doing something enjoyable such as talking and eating and dancing and drinking with my friends, I am merely sending them little ungrammatical notes and amusing photos in cyberspace, while chained to my desk?… Clearly, Facebook is another uber-capitalist experiment: can you make money out of friendship? Can you create communities free of national boundaries — and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Facebook is profoundly uncreative. It makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in relationships that were happening anyway.”     Somewhere I feel that we lost our balance when it comes to social media and we need to get ourselves back… but how can we do this when we are pushed to be more active? Take for example Klout, while some people will question the validity of such a service, I can honestly say that for me, when I lose a point or even part of a point in the Klout score, I get a feeling of “guilt”, because as we all know the better the score the better we start feeling about ourselves and what we do. Is this what life is all about and is this what success really means? Sorry folks, but if that is what success, life and society is all about, it is time for me to get the hell out of dodge!  

Balance

  Balance…. what a fantastic word, what a glorious word and something that I feel we are losing sight of while we rush around, like rats in a maze, scoring points to engage, to influence, to be more popular and we need to stop for a moment, look around us and see what we are missing and we are missing a lot! This post is not meant to be a downer , but just a little reminder, that life is for living and that means “scoring points” by being in the real world as much as being on this virtual world, by “ engaging” with those around you as much as you need to do “hangouts” and that being popular is a state of mind – honest!      

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5 Responses to “Social Media – Where is the balance?”

  1. Blog Bloke says:

    Dang, you should have posted this on BLOGBloke.

    Where’s the balance? I’ve asked the same question many times.

    Double ditto on your conclusions!

    (Excepting that Klout thing of course. As for me I couldn’t care less. So hit me).

    • Diane says:

      Good morning BlogBloke …When I saw that video on “Social Media disorder”…my first thought was…dang I relate and then laughed, which of course got me thinking about the people who can’t seem to unhook from the net and that is where the question ” Where is the balance?” came into play. The reason I used Klout as the example was quite simple and refers to a way of thinking..the more active you are the more rewards you are given and we love getting rewards. We seem to be living in the world of extremes and while I am understanding it to a point, I am not agreeing with it pure and simple.

      Oh… I posted this here… just because it creates a balance in what I do in life….lol

  2. Scott says:

    Up – down – round and round… Balance is automatic & we are only a small influence.

    As for social media? I would call it anti social because of the lack of personal contact… BUT.. As people using it crave more personal contact, it will move to provide and grow to its new balance…. Just as you do when you are online all the time – then not so much… you are creating your own “Social Media” balance…

    The Internet is a very new media in the total scheme of things and we are still experimenting with it. If governments and laws snuff out the ability to connect and communicate globally, it will die. If nothing is done to protect “normal people” from all the malicious scripts & scams coming from all over the world, no one will want to log on and it will die…
    If the world thinks the internet is worth keeping around, balance will come and I am sure “Social Media” will have changed its name.

    • Diane says:

      I tend to agree with you about being “anti-social” although I feel a better wording is “anti-personal” I have had this thought running around in circles in my head for quite a long time now about how we are now interacting more and more in a virtual world and less and less in person.

      I remember a show (gasp T.V) some years ago and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it…but the story line was a group of people go to a planet where the cities were barren. The adults had died out and all that were left were the kids. Now the kids did not have to go out and see anyone, they lived their lives through the virtual world and they were quite destructive,because nothing was “real”. Of course this was just a show, but it explored the very issue I am seeing today..kids and adults hang out on G+ or other video chats, they play interactive games and they live and sleep according to time zones and I have to be honest it is a bit scary to remember a show and to see at least some of it all coming true.

      How did that show end? The kids were unplugged from the machines and they learn to play ball in real..they laughed and for the first time in their lives they interacted with each other, they started to understand cause and effect.

      Obviously this has stayed with me all these years :-)

      I love the potential of the net, I really do, but I am also very worried about where we are heading..there is no balance. Yes the governments can try to snuff out the ability to connect, but I feel it is too late, because the governments themselves NEED the net as much as the everyday person, they can try to control it and they might to some degree, but I feel that will be a losing battle also.

      One last point Scott… Will the term “social media” change its name at some point…maybe…I can see it being called “life”

      Thanks for coming in and giving a fantastic point of view…this is where I love blogs..the ability to communicate…hmmmm did I just say that?

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