We live in a world surrounded by internet connectivity. Almost all electronic devices are either connected to the internet or in the process of being connected. Many new forms of media have been developed due to constant access to the internet. Various social media serve different purposes, the most dominant being Facebook.
Facebook is having effects on the way we interact and relate.
Previously, it was more difficult to maintain friendships and one’s social circle was predominantly based on those who we worked with and people we met on a regular basis. But now that has changed. People who may have been close friends and who we may otherwise not see again for a long time, if ever, can maintain their friendship online. This acts as an antidote to social isolation and emigration.
In everyday conversation, “I saw on Facebook” is now replacing “Someone mentioned”. Conversations, pub talk, rumours, things that were not recorded previously are now being recorded and many people have difficulty dealing with the fact that part of their lives are being stored online for others to sift through. It is very difficult to say what long term effect this will have.
On a positive note, Facebook does however promote optimism. I say this due to its policy of having only one option available when someone shares a link or updates their status. There is no “dislike” button. This prevents negativity being spread. Another aspect is the phrase “Not Now” when a new friend request is received. This implies that you may, at some future point, become friends with this person.
In summary, while social media is here to stay and is a large part a good thing, it is a catalyst for change and often this change is slow and under the radar.