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The Effects Of Electronic Products And Social Media On Social Isolation

917 words - 4 pages

Incredible advancements in personal electronics and social media over recent decades have led to people today being more connected to one another than ever before, with a wide array of communication mediums available. However, people are more lonely and distant (more socially isolated) in their “unplugged lives”, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology social psychologist Sherry Turkle, PhD. Webster’s dictionary defines isolation as “the state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others; the condition of being isolated”. Social isolation is isolation from society; essentially, the separation of a person or group from society both emotionally and physically speaking.
The popularity of electronic products and social media have contributed to social isolation, especially among children and teenagers. Firstly, the ease of communicating via these products/services has led to many replacing face-to-face interactions with virtual interactions, which are less intimate and are more limited in terms of the experiences that can be shared among those interacting. Secondly, face-to-face interactions have become weaker due to people’s ability to be “elsewhere” (i.e. on Facebook) at any point in time, which has led to many immersing themselves in their products even when in a social context. Both of these factors result in weaker social ties and consequently increasing social isolation and have been especially observed among children and teenagers who have succumb more to these technologies and social media than adults.
Children and teenagers are communicating more and more via electronic products and social media as opposed to meeting face-to-face. Social media does allow people to augment their personal relationships by keeping in touch more easily with those close to them. However, the reality has been that while some do use social media primarily just to augment their personal relationships, many have started to use these services as a substitute for face-to face interactions. Face-to-face interactions contribute to stronger social ties, through more intimate experiences and a wider variety of experiences that can be shared. Walking around city streets today one is likely to see many people, especially children and teenagers, preoccupied with some activity on their electronic device. They spend hours on their electronic products both to do individual activities as well as socialize with others through social media. This added time spent alone on their electronic product, however, has led to a decrease in people’s face-to face interactions. Online we are limited to what we see and hear. Face-to face experiences allow for the other three senses to enter the experience and generally contribute to a more intimate experience and closer social ties. In addition, when communicating through social media, those interacting are limited in what...

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