Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Social Media is taking over my life!

I remember being hooked on MySpace as a spotty 16 year old, often spending many a night tweaking my profile and trying to get more profile views. This is nothing however, compared to my behaviour (and indeed most of my friend’s behaviour) towards social networking now. Having a smartphone is probably the worst thing possible, as I am now constantly connected to the virtual world of Facebook and Twitter. It has now sadly become a morning ritual; turn the alarm off, reach for phone, check Facebook. Some feel the need to tweet their every move throughout the day; this I find a little too excessive. Whilst I often check my Facebook and Twitter, I actually hardly ever post anything.
            It can be seen how much of an effect this new found addiction is having on society. You’ve only got to go to a pub or cafĂ© in Selly Oak and in most groups of people, at least one or more will invariably be on their phone. But does this mean we’re losing the ability to make conversation? In short, yes. Whilst Facebook doesn’t feel like a huge part of our lives, it is. Before Christmas I decided to deactivate my account to aid my productivity with end of term essays. This was useful, but I felt as though I was without a limb.
            So can be really be blamed for the fact social media is taking over many of our lives? Or are the websites themselves really to blame? I think it’s down to the individual, though I recommend you give it a miss once in a while, you might like it!


  1. I agree, nowadays and especially as a student Facebook seems something that is unavoidable and in a way necessary. For this module in particular, the communication across the seminar group is completely via Facebook, therefore even if we are just quickly checking up on group work, the temptation to nose at our friends statuses (despite a lack of interest in the rubbish that most people post) seems all too much. I think we are all very aware of the fact that social networking takes up such a large amount of our time. I personally (not quite the level of commitment as Oliver) turn off my Wifi when I'm working on essays etc so I stop myself from looking on the internet. So when necessary it is possible to keep the addiction at bay! However, is it just social networking that causes us to spend our lives avoiding what we should be doing? I'm pretty convinced if I didn't have Facebook I'd still be procrastinating but on Forever21's website picking out clothes I have no money to buy.

  2. You should investigate what's known as the 'attention economy'. The best account of this is Richard Lanham's The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information (Chicgago, Il: University of Chicago Press, 1996). There is an interesting interview with him here.


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