Social media or antisocial media?
I would argue to call Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. ANTIsocial media.
Although we may seem to be more “connected,” the opposite is true. Sure, we are more connected to our phone screens (a.k.a. black holes) than ever, but we are becoming less connected with our peers each day.
In fact, in a popular article on The Atlantic by psychologist Jean Twenge, it is has found that we have experienced drastic lifestyle changes since the inception of the iPhone in 2007, which essentially put (anti)social media in our pockets for on-demand use.
The percentage of teens who EVER go out on dates has fallen about 15% (I guess this explains my situation!).
- The number of times teenagers hang out with their friends per week had been relatively steady for about 30 years. Since 2007, these numbers are down about 16%.
- The percentage of 12th graders who drive has fallen 5% since 2007.
- The percentage of high school students who ever have sex has fallen about 5% since 2007.
- Before 2007, the percentage of high schoolers who felt lonely or left out has been steadily decreasing for nearly 20 years. Since 2007, these percentages have sharply increased (about 10%).
- The percentage of high schoolers who don’t get enough sleep had been falling for about six years until 2007. Since 2007, these numbers have increased by 5%.
Social media “connects” us with the high school classmate we haven’t seen or talked to in 5 years while simultaneously disconnecting us from the human being right next to us.
People my age (20) report that they have trouble making friends. I disagree, ability to make friends is not the problem.
Instead, it is the inability to stay off “social” media in the presence of others that makes it hard to make friends.
I’m lucky, as I didn’t have an Instagram or Snapchat until the very end of my junior year of high school when a couple of friends that sat near me in chemistry essentially made me do it. I was also relatively “late” to Facebook (8th grade), and I did not have a Twitter until about one year ago. Still, I’m addicted to every single one, and it sucks, but it’s not nearly as bad as it is for the kids growing up now, like my 13-year-old sister who has been on Instagram for almost three years. I’m concerned.