Is Social Media a Popularity Game?

  social media    I’ve jumped into the middle of the social media gamete and for the life of me, still haven’t quite grasped the meaning or the big picture.  This is what I’d call an electronically initiated form of schizophrenia, for lack of a better term. In my time on this earth, I’ve seen many forms of communication come into being; rotary dialing phones, car phones and/or cell phones, to name a few, but none have created as much controversy as social media.

Per State of Washington OSPI; “Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur.”

Comparison between my personal view of social media and the aforementioned definition, is not exactly what I would call the same. I do agree that Social media is a form of communication that doesn’t appear to meet the standards of basic communication. Where and when is it that the “repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating occurs?”  When viewing all the various sites of social media, I’ve visualized very superficial one or two-line statements made by followers of followers. My question is how do you really ever get to know the people you are following when the information given doesn’t even skim the surface of the people’s personalities, as well as factually, they are complete strangers with no real information on who they really are. Maybe, like in the real world, it takes a lifetime of following to find the answers?

I truly see why parents aren’t excited about letting their early adolescents take part in this world. There are meager controls in place on most sites but not enough for the young and fair of heart. If it were my children vs social media, I’m afraid I’d be the unpopular parent, just knowing that my children weren’t socially adept enough and/or possessed the skills to handle the constant barrage of what comes into these sites. Look at the number of young children/teens that have taken their own lives secondary to incidents they couldn’t handle from the cruelty that can be associated with social media.

It’s not that cruelty doesn’t exist in the real world not associated with social media, but at least there are adults around who can intervene and help explain and put things into proper perspective. In hindsight, maybe the superficial socializing on these media sites is to keep it light and not open the boogey man’s door. There is so much good that could come from social media that I do hope through the process of  protective laws and evolution,  better tools will be installed that will strengthen the frameworks of communication through social media.

In the meantime, ya’ll, let’s not forget to carry out true basic communication, face to face, with those around us. There are powerful tools to be learned in regards to listening and verbalizing that will only make every individual a more in-depth personality; something I don’t believe we can do entirely with social media. The concept of collecting friends in numbers on electronic gadgets is enticing, but doesn’t offer the true satisfaction of sitting and visiting with family and friends. Have we all become so rushed in our day-to-day living with lack of time, that we’ve brought about this non perfect form of communication or does it really have a place of significance in the big picture?

 

 

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