Changingthe World through Social Media
Peoplehave been using the internet to communicate with each other since1980. Social media sites, however, did not gain popularity until thelast decade(Collin, Rahilly, Richardson, & Third, 2011, p. 8).In essence, one can perceive social networking websites ascollaborative media sharing and creation centers that produce contenton a relatively wide scale although, this media type can also beenlarged to incorporate the minor content networks that areuser-generated. The majority of the persons that use this media typeare youngsters thus, they are usually viewed as the essentialcontent ‘producers.` Recent years have observed an increase in theuse of such technology. In fact, most people now use the social mediafor educative and expressive purposes. However, people have not yetrealized the potential that this type of media has on the way thatsociety works. Social sites can be used to revolutionize theconventional way of doing things. For example, parents can interactwith their children while at work the social fabric can be fixed,which means that the community will, once again, become cohesive andpeople, across diverse geographical areas, can interact at the sametime. The social media can be used to change the world.
Collin,Rahilly, Richardson, & Third (2011, p. 8) believe that theinternet has, for an extended period, been used to connect peoplewith each other however, the popularity of social networking sitesproliferated in the last decade, in particular among the youngpeople. The point of these authors is that these types of networkingsites existed even before the majority of the citizens startedwarming up to them. As Collin,Rahilly, Richardson, & Third, (2011, p. 8) put it, “socialnetworking sites are perceivable as web-based services that enableindividuals to develop semi-public or public profiles that havebounded systems, engage the other users that these people connectwith, and view and navigate their lists of association and those ofothers that have been made within the system." Yes, I believethat the assertions forwarded by these individuals are correct.Nevertheless, social media websites can be used to achieve much morethan connect people they can also be used to mend the broken fabricof society by giving individuals and families the opportunity tospend time together (virtually). Skeptics may object by saying thatthis premise is not true because people spend too much time chattingwith strangers, as opposed to their close friends and relatives. Whocares? I find such allegations absurd because people can still gainan interest in knowing strangers without the help of technology.Therefore, since the internet can help people to develop public orprivate profiles, friends and families can meet online and spend timetogether, even when they are in diverse geographical locations. Theadvent of technologies such as Skype can help people talk in groups.But, do not misquote me such technologies can also disintegraterelationships quickly if inappropriately used. I take Collin’s,Rahilly’s, Richardson’s, & Third’s, (2011, p. 8) positionthat the internet is used for social networking purposes. Thesewriters coordinate the information from the past and the present andorganize it to reveal the evolution of social media sites. In fact,separate studiesindicate that 64% of 8 to 18-year-olds use computers for socialnetworking purposes, gaming, and watching videos. In the same vein,research reveals that parents use media to fulfill their parenthoodresponsibilities, for example, a parent may hand his phone to hischild during dinner to stop the child from throwing a tantrum(Villegas,2013, p. 5 – 6).The social media, therefore, can be used to change the world bymending the broken social fabric.
Hauriou& Gray (2011, p. 162) say that thesocial structure can be contextualized within two opposing facets: 1)organizations or institutions are limited to function or professionand 2) organizations and institutions do not limit people’sassociations. Simply put, these authors connote that the firstframework entails the systems that define a particular job orfunction. As Hauriou& Gray (2011, p. 162) say, “Thismilieu appears in the form of the division of labor. The family isconsidered an exclusive place for familial obligations while theprofessional links are defined by agricultural, industrial, and otherwork related functions. The second contextualization involvesorganizations or institutions that are uncomplicated in other words,a person can join two associations or belong to two families.”Okay, I think that this view of the social fabric is correct, but itis somewhat incomplete. My assertion is premised on the fact that thechanges in the ways of life have made the concept social fabric morecomplicated. Skeptics may contend that Hauriou& Gray’s (2011) viewof the social structure is complete because it integrates therelationship between work and family. So what? I do not think thatthese individuals can justify why the families that juggle betweenwork and family life still break up. Therefore, the social fabric isa connection between work and family life, but these connections canbe varied. This statement, however, is not complete withoutincorporating issues such as the need to share similar interests withcolleagues and the members of the family unit. But do notmisinterpret my arguments society defines the social fabric in termsof work and family, which is an acceptable connotation. I acceptHauriou& Gray’s (2011, p. 162) position that the social fabric can beviewed in a double sided fashion. The most motivating thing aboutthese authors is the fact that they define the social structurebroadly. Data suggests that, in America, approximately 77% of homesown a computer while 71% have an active internet connection(Villegas, 2013, p. 2). The computer is one of the devices that canbe used for both work and home purposes, in addition to bringing achange in the way of doing things in the world through the socialmedia.
Heinrich(2014, p. 121) takes on a different path he contends that the fruitsof parents’ work may not be necessarily beneficial to the childrenbecause work may impede the development of a bond between the youngchildren and their parents. The author, in essence, asserts that whenparents work for extended periods, they may not afford the essentialparental needs to their children. As he writes, “the stress thatparents take home from their workstations detracts them fromexercising the desired parenting skills, and, consequently,undermines the mood of the home, eventually inviting stress into thechild’s life.” Yes, this assertion is true. Something can be doneto change this status quo through platforms such as Skype, thesocial networking sites can bring the parent and the child togethereven when the parent is at work and the child at school. Skeptics mayobject to this viewpoint by contending that using social media inschool may hamper the concentration of the child in class. So what? Afew minutes of parent-child conversation may not affect the child’sconcentration in class it may even motivate the child since he willfeel loved and cared for after talking to his parent. As a result,using the social networking sites to build a bond between the childand his parent is a prudent way of using the technology. By keepingtouch with the child, albeit virtually, a parent helps the child todevelop more holistically. Do not get me wrong if the technology isused inappropriately, its effect may boomerang on the user(s),leading to a negative consequence. I acknowledge Heinrich’s (2014,p. 121) assertion that parents who work for long hours deny theirchildren the opportunity to grow in a proper manner. His writing ismotivating since it puts the dire consequences of child neglect intoperspective. In fact, data gathered in a survey, on whether motherswith newborns should work full time, revealed that only 12% of therespondents agreed with this notion. Thus, since parents cannot quitemployment to spend time with their children, the use of socialnetworking sites during work and school breaks can offer both parentsand children the opportunity to create sustainable bonds suchconnections are necessary for the proper development of youngchildren.
Kirk(2013, p. 3) adds to the debate by saying that long distancerelationships have changed due to the advancement of technology. Herpoint is people do not need to wait for days or even months to meetor talk to their loved ones. As she states, "the progression andadvancement of technology have resulted in the development ofnumerous communication channels through the Internet, leading to thedevelopment of unexpected and dynamic long-distance and romanticrelations." Yes, this premise is correct. The older generationhas not yet embraced this technology with as much zeal as the youngerage group. Skeptics may contend that, to a larger extent, therelationships developed via online platforms do not materialize intostrong relationships. So what? Not everyone that I meet becomes mybest friend I believe that the point of online communication is tomeet new people, and, who knows, such acquaintances may, later,become good friends. Therefore, social media sites ease the flow ofcommunication I do not have to wait for an entire month to see mybest friend because I can see him on Skype whenever I feel like it.Social networking, however, is not very popular among the older agegroup this means that there would be a message barrier if peoplewere to adopt it as the new way of communicating. But do not misquoteme, online communication is the future, and, will change the world inall aspects. I support Kirk’s (2013, p. 3) point that advancementin technology has revolutionized the manner in which people relateand meet. Kirk motivates me because she places virtual relations incontext, and, reveals how such associations can work. Studies showthat 50% of social media users use Skype frequently, 30% believe thatFacebook is the second most popular chat, and 80% consider Twitter asthe most popular social media platform.
Rajeev(2015, p. 14) contends that the use of social media among the youthsaccrues to them benefits such as increased social confidence, socialskills and support, and a heightened media literacy. His point isthat even the withdrawn individuals can participate in the onlinediscussions since they are not physically present in these groupsthis boosts their self-confidence substantially. Rajeev says,"Multiple internet use directly affects people`s ability toperform tasks, increases academic performance, and enhances socialskills." Yes, I believe that this premise holds water. However,I think that the potential of social networking sites has not beenmaximized. Skeptics may object to my idea because they believe thatusing social media sites is a personal choice. Who cares? I acceptthat change is always inevitable, and, the persons that cannot adaptto the shifting tides are always left behind. Consequently, thesocial media has various positive effects on the youths since theyget to interact with their counterparts in the different parts of theglobe. Nonetheless, despite the progress that has been realized bysocial media so far, I still believe that a lot more that can bedone. But do not get me wrong the social networking sites haveachieved substantial success over the past decades. I take Rajeev`spoint he brings to bear the benefits of social sites on the youngergeneration. Rajeev`s motivation comes from his desire to understandhow the social media affects the lives of the young adults. Datasuggests that about 83% of the youths use the internet on a dailybasis while 18% use it less frequently. Accordingly, the use of theweb to interact with people has results that are similar to physicalinteraction this means that it can change the manner in which theworld interrelates.
Ina recap of the above discussion, thesocial media can be used to modify the world by mending the brokensocial fabric. The connection between the social and work or schoollife has led to the breakdown of social relations. People spend alltheir energy and time in school or work. This behavior is rightbecause these individuals do these things with the intention ofbettering their lives. Nonetheless, I believe that the socialnetworking websites can resolve this problem by helping people tointeract with each other during office or class breaks. Thisinteraction will bring back a sense of cohesiveness in society, and,by extension, return stability to the social structure. Althoughpeople will not meet physically, virtual communication is relativelyclose to an actual conversation. Thus, families, friends or evencouples can meet online during office or school breaks and sharetheir experiences just like they would in a physical setting.
Bremner,J. & Wachs, T. (2011). TheWiley-Blackwell Handbook of Infant Development, Applied and PolicyIssues (2nded., p. 168). Somerset: Wiley.
Collin,P., Rahilly, K., Richardson, I., & Third, A. (2011). The Benefitsof Social Networking Services, 8. Retrieved fromhttp://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/476337/The-Benefits-of-Social-Networking-Services.pdf
Hauriou,M. & Gray, C. (2011). Traditionin social science (p.162). Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Heinrich,C. (2014). Parents’(Employment(and(Children’s( Wellbeing(, 121.Retrieved fromhttp://www.futureofchildren.org/publications/docs/24_01_06.pdf
Kirk,A. (2013). The Effect of Newer Communication Technologies onRelationship Maintenance and Satisfaction in Long-Distance DatingRelationships. PepperdineJournal Of Communication Research, 1(3),3. Retrieved fromhttp://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=pjcr
Rajeev,M. (2015). Effects of Social Media on Social Relationships: ADescriptive Study on the Impact of Mobile Phones among YouthPopulation. InternationalResearch Journal Of Social Sciences,4(2),11. Retrieved fromhttp://www.isca.in/IJSS/Archive/v4/i2/4.ISCA-IRJSS-2014-259.pdf
Villegas,A. (2013). The Influence of Technology on Family Dynamics, 5 – 6.Retrieved fromhttp://docs.rwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=nyscaproceedings