Nowadays, with the development of technology, more and more people are willing to spend their spare time in interacting with each other via social media. The prevalence of social media indeed enriches the diversity of people’s social life and influences people’s daily life and life status. For example, people now could take a selfie at any time at any place and share with friends and family instantly by posting it on the web or social media application. Individual mood and activity are no longer mysterious for others.
In some sense, this kind of social media event is indeed a forwarding move for our life. However, to make the society or people’s own life moving forward, I think social media has brought us unbalanced negative effects over its positive influence. Such negative effects not only affects people’s personal mental or psychological health but also the status of society. First of all, the overuse of social media tends to deprive people of their ability of face-to-face communication. Even though the social media and we seem to make it more comfortable and more convenient for us to get connected to others, this kind of connection degenerates people’s reaction speed. As we know, it is necessary for us to respond to the other’s questions and requires in real time when we have face-to-face communication. Since we should respect the others, no matter how unwilling we are, it is not possible to ignore them.
In this circumstance, our real-time reactive potency will get improved, as we have to quickly seek a polite and considerate answer that could not only show our unwillingness but also not hurt their feelings. In sharp contrast with direct communication, the online, social media based communication obviate the need for immediate interaction. We can always ignore a text message the moment we receive it since we could pretend that our mobile phone is powered off or we are attending an important meeting. In this way, it is possible for us to delay our reply after full consideration, or we could ignore it, blaming the irritating software bug that caused the message receiving problem. Such complainant may not be a severe problem when communicate and make decisions in daily life, however, when faced with tasks that require our fast response ability, such as meetings and seminars, the demerits of overusing social media will undoubtedly emerge. Without doubts, face-to-face communication, which is likely to be negatively affected by social media, is an indispensable activity for all of us.
What is more, the social media communication degenerates our sense of responsibility. It is easier for us to lie when we are answering questions without seeing the other’s face since he/her can not catch our facial expression. Our online social identity is not fixed and restrained to your biological integrity. A new online social account equals to a new ‘life,’ which means that we could always have the chance to restart, however severe our former mistakes were. A survey of 2000 women by OnePoll found that 1/3 of the women surveyed admitted that they had lied on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Nearly 1/4 of the women admitted that they had lied or exaggerated some main aspects of their life on social networking sites one to three times a month, and nearly 1/10 of the women said they had lied more than once a week on social networks. Nearly 30% of the women have pretended that they were busy doing something while actually, they were at home. Nearly 1/4 of the women exaggerate the amount of alcohol they drink, and 1/5 of the women do not describe their holiday activities or work. Nearly 1/5 of women even lie about their emotional state.
The most common reason for writing a ‘lie’ on a social website is to worry that life looks dull. It is jealous when you see the excellent content of others, and wants to attract the attention of your friends and acquaintances. Therefore, even though social media gives us more chance of communication, at the same time, however, reduces the intensiveness of our moral condemnation and awareness of responsibility.Besides, when submerging in the colorful social media, we are getting harder to concentrate. Internet and social media are so complicated that people always get lost in it. We still suffer from value shocks brought by different believes and lifestyles.
Especially when we hesitate of decision making or are unsatisfying about our situation, we are more likely to sway our weak minds. The current era is called the ‘Information Fragmentation Era,’ which means that through the Internet and social media the amount of information received is huger and that the content tends to be more scattered. We receive a lot of information every day, however, despite the increasing amount of daily conversation, it seems that, in retrospect, there is not much memory left. It is a so-called ‘lightweight social gesture’ that people talk about social networking sites and blogs. After accepting fragmented information, people tend to respond and act randomly, which is entirely different from the behavior taken by a person who considers and focuses on a particular problem solely. I am not saying that making a change is no good, but social media is not a suitable place for receiving advice. The reasons are obvious, as mentioned in the previous paragraph that people are always lying or exaggerating about their real situation.
Therefore, it is wiser to talk to a friend, sitting side by side and having a drink. The Internet and social media have the nature of alienating people. Studies have shown that people’s social satisfaction will develop as inverted U-type with the increase of Internet usage time. During the first 1-2 years of social life, social happiness was on the rise, and the sense of pleasure and then the connection from social media continued to decline. The critical reason is that social media makes people fail to see the real character of their friends. Because people always tend to show their ideal selves on the Internet, which is different with the actual image. The closer the friends are, the more they are aware of the difference between the social network image and the real image of each other. In fact, people have different faces when facing various friends, especially young people, who are easily driven by people around them. But social media has made it public and expanded. Australian social networking research shows that people who use Facebook are more narcissistic and have more loneliness in social interaction than those who do not use Facebook. Communication on the Facebook is a broadcast communication. Whether it is a point of praise or a comment, since such compliment is in an open environment, it can be treated no more than a greeting. This weak connection is trying to ease the sense of loneliness.The social media has taken and is going to occupy too many time which otherwise could have been utilized to achieve something meaningful.
Together with the development and social media, people are getting more and more addicted to it. According to the information map released by Socially Aware, the time spent by American netizens on social networks has occupied 18% of the total online time. Personally, I spent most of my time online on micro-blog. Since 2006, the time spent on social networking has doubled, from 2.7 hours to 6.9 hours per month. On each social network, the average time per user visits Facebook is the longest each month, 6.75 hours, followed by Tumblr and Pinterest 1.5 hours a month, twitter 21 minutes per month, LinkedIn 17 minutes per month, the least on google+, only 3 minutes a month. Such database is the average data. In fact, the difference between users is still huge. Some of them are addicted to social networking and may spend their social networks all day. 65% of American tablet users look at the web while watching TV.
Among them, 60% of the female users and 44% of the male users will visit the social network while attending the program. Not only that, more and more people have joined the social network, Facebook has more than 1 billion monthly active users, and the share of a social network account in the United States has risen from 24% in 2008 to 56% in 2012, and the proportion of social networks using a social system of 5% to 22% now.One study has shown that people who overuse social media applications cannot obtain sufficient happiness. On the contrary, those people tend to be affected by other people’s negative feeling and feel the same negative feeling about themselves as well. As a consequence, if such emotional contamination keeps spreading out, there is little chance for our society to move forward and people to live happy and healthy lives. Due to the concealment of the real identity of communication in the network communication, many people dare to express their views and attitudes that are inconvenient in their daily life. Negative emotions are one of them.
The group transmission in the network is more extensive and faster, the resulting group infection is stronger, and some negative feelings and information are identified, which will speed more quickly than the reality, and enhance, let more people see, so the expression of this negative emotion is smoother, more efficiently aroused. For example, in micro-blog reviews, the number of commentaries from heat and praise, and the number of comments that are preferred will be prioritized to the front page of the micro-blog review.