Daily Writing Skill
Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.
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Structure of the Essay:
“Social media is an amazing tool, but it's really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.” - Felicia Day
“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand”. - Amy Jo Martin
With the world turning into a global village and fusion of different cultures and religions, the emotion of 'love' evolved takes care of most human behaviors. The sense of service to the needy and deserving, forgiveness, cooperation, friendship, charity, honesty etc emanate from this emotion of love. We are swayed by information all around us. We want to know, read, understand and then speak our minds about it. That is where social media comes into play. Social media is one of the biggest elements that we live with and cannot ignore it. However, concerns are growing that the practical impact of mobile device use is making humans more interested in their online lives, and less interested in each other. We are losing interaction in real lives with other people who even are very close to us.
Long ago, Aristotle expressed that ‘Man is essentially a social animal by nature’. He cannot live without society, if he does so; he is either beast or God. Man realizes his goals, his existence in the society: he finds various ingredients in society through which he can attain the perfectness of the life. The day, he is born to the day he leaves this planet he is in the society. A completely separated or isolated individual is purely hypothetical. Not only our life becomes boring and unbearable without fellow human beings but also our very survival becomes problematic. Total ostracism from one’s group is probably the crudest punishment – short of only death – that men are ever called upon to endure.
Social media is a catch-all term for a variety of internet applications that allow users to create content and interact with each other. This interaction can take many forms, but some common types include:
Social media is perceived as a Web 2.0 development, which is to say that it is founded on the concept of a user-driven, interactive web. Blogs, message boards and chat rooms provide an experience that could be described as social media, but the term is more strongly identified with sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and so on.
Social networks like Facebook grew in popularity as a way of using the internet to connect and stay updated on the lives of your friends and family. Originally designed to connect people who already knew each other, most people especially the social media native generation of millennials, use it to form connections with people they don’t know. The rise of social media is correlated with the rising levels of narcissism, self(ie)-obsession and online harassment in our society. For social media users, the need for acceptance is met through the number of likes, followers, or messages they can get from people they don’t even know. Self-esteem among social media users depends upon the quality and level of validation and engagement they receive. The time people spend on Facebook has spawned a huge business market to take advantage of online behavioral data. It has become a key objective of any digital marketing agency to target customer’s obsessive use of social media platforms.
Social media is addictive. Society today is full of people seating next to each other, not talking, but just staring at their phones. The youth is spending more time with their social media friends than with their families, friends and loved ones. When they wake up, the first thing they check is their social media accounts. Before they go to sleep, the last thing they check are the updates. At work, there is reduced productivity because people are busy spending working hours perusing through social media pages. With too many distractions, they cannot fully concentrate on their tasks. Take away social media for a day and the effects will start to kick in. Just like drug addicts, they will be withdrawn and stressed. It also leads to uncontrollable obsession. People are obsessed with likes and comments and they will do anything to get them on a daily basis. Some people adopt fake personalities to show the world that they made it.
They do things that they would never dare do in real life just to impress people. They work tirelessly to buy the latest outfits, eat expensive meals and visit exotic places just for a show. Everything falls apart however when their popularity wanes and they may get into serious psychological problems, such as depression. Social media takes away empathy from its users. We see people getting into trouble, but instead of getting help from the people present, they are recorded and the footages are posted on social media. The poster expects likes and comments, while the others have a field day judging, mocking and making fun of the person recorded. There are instances where people announce the challenges they are going through. It may be sickness or lose of a loved one or a broken relationship. We see people posting their condolences or consolation messages to make the poster feel good. The reality of the matter is that they do not feel any form of remorse. They just do it out of natural conviction and forget about the incident as soon as they move to the next post. As for the person suffering, he/she does not feel any better.
In fact, a person who is physically visited by few friends and loved ones feels much better than a person who gets a million messages on social media with no actual visits. Social networking is making us anti-social, because social networking prevents us from needing or wanting to be social in the real world. It is easier to post online than to make a phone call. People do not take the time or the energy to have real, meaningful social interactions, because they can post online. Social media is creating a generation that lives in a “perfectionist culture” where people’s identities are defined by digitally “retouched” perfect images and beautifully-crafted posts – at the expense of authentic emotions and conversations that provide a genuine experience of human relationships. It’s also become common behavior for couples on vacation to spend more time on taking photos and put them online to watch for likes and comments, instead of being with their partners. This lack of importance given to real-world interaction erodes our ability to have genuine reactions to real events and situations
Life before social media was drastically different than life today. People were overall happier, more creative, and less indulged in the lives of strangers. There was ample time to hang out with friends and family. Instead of checking up on a friend online, people called each other or hung out in their homes without posting about it. Everything was more private. From vacations to new homes to heartbreak, every milestone a person experienced was personal and not out in the open for the consumption of strangers. In the privacy of their own lives, people were generally more content and not subject to seeing unrealistic expectations of how their lives should be. Back then, there was a greater disconnect between celebrities and regular people, as the two did not have a common platform to coexist on. Ordinary people were not susceptible to seeing every aspect of a celebrity’s life, and therefore less likely to compare themselves to strangers they haven’t even met. People were also generally more well-read and productive. Today, extensive use of social media can be a distraction and decrease work productivity. If a person is constantly checking their phone or looking at what their friends are doing online, they spend less time on their affairs. Back then, people were less concerned with what others were up to and more likely to go outside or to pick up a hobby.
Benefits of Social Media
If used in a right way social media can be really beneficial. Social media has reduced the world to a global village. People can interact with people from other parts of the earth by just a click of the button. Social media gives them the avenue and opportunity to make new friends and also allows them to maintain their old friends. With social media, they can trace their former friends by simply typing their names or just indicating the school they attended. Apart from just socializing, the social networks have become frontiers for the corporate world to advertise their goods and services. They may either do it directly or pay celebrities to advertise their products for them. In addition, they can earn a considerable amount of money by running podcasts and blogs. Social media is also an avenue that they can use to showcase their talents. It is also an avenue where people can express their honest opinions. People who are naturally shy may say whatever they wish in public forums, without the fear of serious repercussions. It is also a cheaper means of communication. What is required is just internet bandwidth and a few keystrokes and users can communicate with virtually anyone on earth. Social media has also made it possible for people to work from anywhere; this is referred to as virtual teaming. Though hired in the same organization, these virtual workgroups are operating from different parts of the earth. However, their communication is done online.
How to be social?
Follow Social virtues.
Social Virtues have been listed with terms like Being Loved, Charisma, and Unpretentious, but likely these are merely products or fruits of virtues, rather than the virtues themselves. Others list honesty, friendliness, forgiveness, concern for others, patience, and kindness, which includes virtues like generosity, courtesy, politeness, and cleanliness. Virtue, by definition, is the moral excellence of a person, and a morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as good. That would mean they are honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind, just as examples.
Social Virtues may be so closely related to the moral virtues that they may not even be distinguishable from them. They are generally viewed as the virtues or traits of character that promote social harmony. If virtue is the “character muscle” of the individual, Social Virtues can be described as the sinew of society. Moral and therefore social issues are the product of right reasoning, not the rule making of an autocratic authority. Social virtue suggests the interaction of members of society, such as gratitude is the virtuous reaction to the virtue of generosity.
Follow Civic Virtue
Civic virtue is morality or a standard of righteous behavior in relationship to a citizen's involvement in society. An individual may exhibit civic virtue by voting, volunteering, organizing a book group. Civic virtue helps people understand their ties to the community and their responsibilities within it. In many ways, an educated citizen who possesses civic virtue is a public good. Civic virtue is the moral underpinning of how a citizen relates to society. Without an understanding of civic virtue, citizens are less likely to look beyond their own families, friends, and economic interests. They are less likely to help others in the community, to volunteer their time, to give money to nonprofit organizations, or to participate in a group that benefits society.
Do social work
Volunteering is a social activity (and humans have evolved as highly social creatures), so it makes sense that having an excuse to be around others should bring you happiness. Some researchers think that helping others gives individuals a neuro-chemical sense of reward that boosts their mental wellbeing. Altruistic people are more likely to create strong connections in their community and extended networks, which inevitably impacts their feelings of happiness.
While individualism and independent thought have become highly cherished traits in modern society, as human beings, we are social animals by nature. We are characteristic by our need for social interaction and our ability to co-operate effectively as a species. Thanks to social media, the digitally native social media generation of millennials, are developing a preoccupation with themselves and how they are perceived, without learning the lessons of real life social interaction. Being constantly connected has caused a dependence on others for validation in the most basic way, but is decreasing the ability to have actual meaningful relationships. Social media is turning this into the most addicted to connection generation, but paradoxically, they are losing the ability to form genuine relationships.
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