During the last decade of the 20th century and the first of the 21st century, there were dozens of changes that transformed the society. Some sociologists believe that the social interactions dropped significantly, mainly due to the Internet and the social media, which made people more individuated and socially isolated.
During these 20 years, the collective traditions, such as going out with friends to camp, to party, or to simply socialize changed significantly. Or, to be more precise, they were replaced with the technological boom.
Technology And Social Networks
At the beginning of the 21st century, people drastically changed their socializing habits. Namely, from being with friends, they switched to staying at home alone to watch the TV show Friends.
Right after the beginning of this popular TV show, we had the arrival of the new technological devices, like portable audio devices (Walkmans, Discmans, mp3 players). These new devices managed to limit the conversations with other people by isolating the world while exercising or walking the streets.
After these portable audio devices, we had the arrival of computers and laptops, and the Internet, which managed to “capture” the individual.
But, with the arrival of smartphones, such as BlackBerry, iPhone, and Samsung Galaxy, there is still more to come. With every past day, we can see how the physical social world slowly disappears. Today, cybernetic social networks are the core of human social networks.
Today, the Internet is ubiquitous. With the appearance of the smartphones, tablets and all other mobile devices, at any time and in any place, we can connect to the Internet and the cybernetic social networks.
On the other hand, besides limiting, the Internet has given us the possibility of expanding the communications. Today, we can expand it to levels that previously were neither possible nor imaginable. You can communicate with friends from all across the world, on daily basis, but never share a cup of coffee with them.
The cybernetic social networks have absorbed the whole society, which worries many psychologists and experts, wondering what effect this permanent connectivity can have on the social world of younger generations.
7 Ways How Social Media Has Changed The World In Recent Years
Today, we have a large number of social media, with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest being just a few of them. Here we summarize how the social media has managed to change the world and human communication so far.
1. Isolated But Connected
While social media may isolate us from the physical world, they give us the opportunity to be connected with more people than ever possible. Today, you can connect with a large number of people, from different parts of the world, more rapidly than ever! We can connect with people who share the same interest with us, who live in similar environments, who have the same occupation, who like the same level of excitement and adventures, who love to eat the same foods as we do, etc.
2. Overestimate Intimacy
There’s a difference between true and digital intimacy. Many people find this confusing, and very often, they can end up overestimating the online intimacy in the real world. Also, there’s the risk of alienating, becoming distant with the people who surround us in real life at the expense of sharing intense affections with the people we connect to in the online world. Thus, we ought to be careful and not confuse virtuality with reality.
3. Adopting Other People’s Behavior
Social media make us more susceptible to adopting other people’s behavior, through the contagion effect. This means that we can literally start accepting the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of the people within our network. This can have both, positive and negative effects. Hence, we need to be careful.
4. Comparing To Others
Social media can often make us compare to others. Sometimes, other people’s successes can make us feel small. And, there are times when other people’s failures can make us feel big. We are all human beings and therefore it’s normal to feel such things sometimes. But, this does not mean that we should. There are more than 7 billion people in the world, which means that there will always be someone that’s greater or smaller than you. What you should do is try not to measure things with others, but to yourself. Always try to perform better than the last time, and be satisfied with your results.
5. Better Response To Disasters
There are people who always post. They write about everything that happens to them, what they do, what they eat, etc. Hence, the news spread around fast. You can always learn when a disaster happens and whether you’re near to it. Which is a good thing, since you’ll be able to avoid it.
6. Higher Understanding Of World’s Biggest Risks
Social awareness is on a really high level. Activists always post about the challenges our environment faces, which gives us the opportunity to understand the risks. Today, the awareness of global warming, pollution in the oceans, human rights, gender equity, war violence, world hunger, and poverty are at the highest level they have ever been!
7. Important Marketing Tool
Social networks allow us to access more resources and ideas than ever before! Also, they are a very affordable and accessible tool that allows us to reach a broad audience of people. With social media, the world becomes your marketplace!