Does social media create life or kill it?  Does social media isolate people from reality, or does it connect them in ways that we could have never imagined less than a decade ago?  I am very torn on this subject.  I see both sides on a daily basis.  I honestly believe that it depends on the individual.

After reading an article from the Guardian I lean more towards the side that believes Social Networking is not destroying social skills or isolating anyone from reality.  People have always been able to isolate themselves from reality if they wanted to do so.  The birth of social media has made it easier for people to do this, but there are always other ways to become a hermit locked in some fantasy world that does not exist.  I have some friends that I haven’t seen since World of War Craft was released in America.  I guess some people could argue that W.O.W is a form of social media, but I do not believe that it is.  It is a game just like Dungeons and Dragons.  I believe that social media is used to connect people together for positive reasons.  Some of my best friends live in different countries and if it were not for Facebook or Twitter I would not be able to talk to them because I wouldn’t be able to afford the outrageous price of a phone call.  I love Skype, Twitter and Facebook for this reason.  They are programs that are free and can connect me to family, friends, news, videos and world events.

A lot of people do not know what social media is.  Wikipedia has a great definition for what social media is.

I think it is amazing that less than four years ago I didn’t even have a cellphone that was capable to texting.  I actually just got a phone that could text last year and since then I have upgraded to  a smart phone.  I don’t know how I lived before this phone.  I can check my Twitter, Facebook and anything else on the Internet in a heartbeat.  I know that my mom and dad have no idea why I decided to buy this phone, but I feel like there is a whole generation that has no idea what social media is and how to use it.  I believe that it is this group of people that thinks social media is disconnecting their children and other people from reality.  Social media is reality, they just need to get with the times.

I believe that you always need to adapt and change.  Things are always going to keep advancing and it is up to you to know how and why.  Less than a century ago there were no cars.  The people who didn’t want to trade in their horse and carriage for a car probably fell behind the times too.  Not only that, but it took them longer to get places and learn about what was going on everywhere.  I believe this is how social media is and will be.  People need to learn what social media is and what it has the possibility to do before they just say that they hate it.

I’ve recently been working with my parents and their company to try and expand their “social media adventure”.  My parents own a construction company and they believe that business cards are the only way to go.  Recently I have been showing them how to use Twitter and also how Twitter and other social media tools could expand their company.  They don’t believe a word I say because they still don’t know what social media is and have no interest in it.  They think that social media is evil, thanks to my brother who is constantly glued to some type of screen.  They are going to fall behind the times if the do not learn how to change and adapt to current technology.

So overall, I believe that social media is connecting people together.  I can Tweet to my friend in Columbia about the situation in Egypt while watching a video that Anderson Cooper uploaded onto his blog.  Social media is making the world smaller and more accessible.  It isn’t making people become socially inept.  You actually have to be social in order to use social media correctly.  I do believe that there is proper etiquette to use while participating in social media and that is what my next blog post will be about.  I believe that social media is a tool that has more benefits than adverse consequences.  I believe that people need to learn about social media to a greater depth in order to fully understand what it is and how it can positively change the world.

I believe that social media is creating life and connecting people like people have never been connected.  Think about this: back in the 90’s people would have their CD player in hand and earphones snug tightly into their ears while sitting on the bus. They wouldn’t talk to anyone and would stay quietly in their seat.  Today we have our smart phones in our hands and the whole world at our finger tips.  In both situations I would not be talking to anyone.  Social media is not changing everything.  In both situations I would be by myself and trying to avoid human communication because I don’t like talking to most strangers.  However, nowadays I can surf the Internet while riding the bus instead of just listening to one CD.  The world is changing. It’s all up to you if you want to move with it.  I say hop on that surfboard and hit those Internet waves!