Addiction to social media ?

 

Through the years, many people kept warning us about new technology and its impact on younger generation. Researchers, politicians, social studies, they all told us that it will change our life in a very pessimist way. But recently even the big companies started to agree on that … should we be scared ?

 

Social media is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works” 

“I can control my decision, which is that I don’t use that shit. I can control my kids’ decisions, which is that they’re not allowed to use that shit,”

When a former Facebook executive shared its critics at a Stanford Business School event last November, we can’t help but agree with him. “No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.” It’s all about sharing whatever-ish online to be acknowledged and hoping to be praised by our peers.  People think they can share all they’re thinking (even if it’s mean, stupid or wrong) online without repercussion because it’s not “real life”, but because it’s said behind a screen doesn’t make it unreal.

Sean parker, founding president of Facebook, stated a few months ago that they knew they were exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The rush of dopamine you get because of a “like” you give/receive only encourage you to share more content : “It’s a social-validation feedback loop”

But truth to be told, Facebook knows it all, seeing all the new directives they’re taking this year : changing what content you will see on your newsfeed, fighting against fake news … But the problem doesn’t stop here, knowing well that “Facebook is for old people”, it’s every social media websites that we need to be careful about.

People are going to make you believe they’re living the perfect life on Instagram and always doing something oh-so fun with others on Snapchat. Is it a way to stay in touch or is it just an ego boost ?

 

One Apple a day … keeps children addicted ?

Last month, two of the largest investors in Apple published an open letter to the firm asking them to “take action addiction among children over growing concerns about the effects of technology and social media on the youth.” Ironic, isn’t it ?

The investors (who collectively control 2 billion of dollars worth of Apple stock), asked the firm to take actions and offer tools to help children avoid addiction by giving parents more control : limit screen time, define the hours when the phone can be used, block all social media services …

They cited several studies on the negative effects on children’s mental and physical health, due to heavy usage of smartphones and social media (problem to focus in class, higher risks of suicide and depression …) .

 

But honestly, what’s new ?

Am I the only one getting bored of the same studies over and over for the past decade ? People glorifies their life online, we all do, teenagers believing it is nothing new. Commercials, magazines, old people telling their life-stories, it’s been happening forever, yes even in the 1970’s. Teenagers have always been guillable and easy to manipulate. They’re not kids, yet not adults…

Addiction is nothing new, but because it’s smartphones and internet, does it make it worse ? Teens have problems being focus in class, but they don’t have a problem being focus watching a 2h Youtube or Netflix video… so maybe technology is not the problem, maybe the educational system is just outdated.

Saying that teens are more depressed and suicidal : that’s because now everybody can be bullied online. It’s not just your “usual highschool freak” : everybody feel protected behind a screen so they can bully whoever, whenever, wherever ! Yeah big news world : teenagers are garbage. They can be mean and act like a bunch of hateful sheeps. And maybe there are other factors making the new generation depressed : the economy, terrorist attack, gun-shooting in schools …

Nonetheless children don’t need to have an iPhone in their hands either. Some control are needed, especially at a young age. Remember children : what you put online, stays online forever.

A propos de Steven GUILBERT

Etudiant en M2 Commerce Electronique à l'Université de droit de Strasbourg. Passionné par les nouvelles technologies et par l'art.

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