New Media’s Impact on our Social Lives
New Media has improved many aspects of our lives, especially our social lives. Social networking sites like Facebook allows people to instantly communicate all over the world, as well as share pictures and videos of their lives. Internet communities have sprang up all over the internet where people can socialize with people with similar interests. People with social disorders or physical disabilities can use new media to build or enrich their social lives.
Of course there have been negative impacts of New Media on our social lives. The anonymity of the internet makes it easy for people to don internet disguises in order to manipulate people for their own personal gain. As a result internet predators have appeared such as bullies, stalkers, and criminals. And there is the privacy issue. New Media has made it so easy to mass distribute content that anyone can do it. If you post an embarrassing or incriminating file on the internet, you may never know who is looking at it. And in some cases others will mass distribute your content themselves which could result in social embarrassment or harassment. The internet masses can serve as a magnifying glass putting unnecessary attention and scrutiny on a person’s social life.
But the worse thing of all is the fact that many people use New Media to waste time. While not necessarily a problem at first glance, but upon closer examination the potential implications speak volumes. Just look at how much children spend their time on New Media. Studies show that children are spending a vast amount of their exposed to media. And they are multi-tasking which means they are exposed to multiple forms of media at once. This is especially true in South Korea, where the government claims many of its citizens suffer from Internet addiction. What’s the problem you ask? How can we possibly expect future generations to become productive to society when they spend so much time entertaining themselves? Old habits die hard, and these children will grow up into adults with the same habits of spending a vast amount of time using the internet and New Media.
Neil Postman wrote a book called “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. I believe that is a distinct possibility. New Media may become our version of the gladiatorial games in the Roman Empire. Something to distract us while hiding all the problems that exist in the world. Our society could become too obsessed with trivial matters and forget about the important things in real life. The unfortunate thing is that it seems like it is an inevitable product of technology. We create technology to make life easier for ourselves so we don't have to spend countless hours doing backbreaking labor on a daily basis. What else would we do with all that spare time we now have? The most appealing activity is entertainment. With New Media, you can be entertained whenever and wherever with all these internet enabled devices. Almost everything is just a click away. It can't be helped if people forget about the real world.
In conclusion, remember that the real world does indeed exist, and its more awesome than you realize. Never forget the dangers of doing anything excessively, especially the internet and New Media.
Milton M. (Director). (2010, February 20). Homo Interneticus? [Television series episode] Crossley-Holland D. (Executive Producer). The Virtual Revolution. [Television series]
Reinberg S. (2010, January 20). U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/635134.html
Kessler, Jason. , & Snow, Mary. (2009, April 21). Med student held without bail in possible Craigslist killing. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/21/mass.killing.craigslist/index.html
Prairie, D. (2007, November 16). Mom: MySpace Hoax Led to Daughter's Suicide. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312018,00.html
Saidi N. (2008, March 28). iReport: 'Naughty Auties' battle autism with virtual interaction. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/28/sl.autism.irpt/index.html#cnnSTCText
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