Insta-slam face to face social interactions in garbage

Younger, older generations agree that people depend too much on media, to mixed effect



Elain Ding discusses the pros and cons of social media’s effect on society and herself Wednesday in the Bookie.

MARY GINTHER, Evergreen columnist

Social media: we all have it and we all use it.

Social media has provided the opportunity to be able to instantly connect with each other, businesses and other services. Despite this being an exciting technological advancement, arguments arise regarding whether or not it has a negative effect on younger generations ability to communicate face-to-face.

Elain Ding, a student studying broadcast production and public relations, said echo chambers affect how people communicate with each other.

“I feel like in that way it has disconnected us because then we find people that have the same views as us,” Ding said. “We distance ourselves from diversity because we stay [connected] with the people we are comfortable with.”

Echo chambers are self-created. When you build up your social media profiles and accounts, a site’s algorithm will recommend groups and resources for you to see which generally conform to your original viewpoint. This eliminates the possibility of being exposed to opinions different from your own and this can make people more dependent on these platforms.

Sandy Hofland, the house director of Sigma Kappa, said she has an advantage in terms of understanding social media because she lives with more than 45 women who are all dependent on their technology.

Younger generations have been lucky in terms of being given different platforms to communicate on, she said. While these new advances have proven to be remarkable, they don’t always come off that way and this technology has a different impression on older generations.

“One of the few things I’ve noticed is that [a younger] generation tends to live on Instagram,” Hofland said, “which is one of the things that I find hysterically stupid in terms of communication.”

Social media has changed the way people interact in person and lessens a human connection, Hofland said. She was shocked to see how people interact with each other using their phones rather than their voices despite being in the same room.

“At lunch I don’t let anyone use their phones so that they can talk to me about what’s going on in their lives,” Hofland said. “That’s why everyone is afraid of me.”

As social media becomes more relevant in your daily routine, the easier it is to become addicted to your phone. Perhaps it’s inevitable.

“I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to my phone,” Ding said. “It’s horrible and I don’t want to be, but I am.”