Social Media Era: Socialization Made Easy

I had a dream last night. It was just the computer and me. I had an internet connection and logged in my facebook account. Then suddenly, people I don’t know posted a couple of comments in my wall and all of them either gives me a compliment or greets me. With the complexity of interpersonal dynamics in mind, all I can say is, “This is way too easy.”

Social media is definitely one the most significant milestones of the 21st century. It managed to make the world a lot smaller than anyone could have imagined in the last decade by connecting people all over the earth via the internet. Its biggest impact by far, is the communicative power it provides people. A person can speak to another person thousands of miles away in real time.  People from all over the world can form groups and freely discuss among themselves.And these are just two of the very long list you can do with social media.

What exactly has social media brought upon us that literally reinvented the dynamics of human interpersonal communication?

Attachment to online social life

People of today take their social network life seriously. Even if someone throws you a random flame that is obviously just a pathetic attempt to make you cry, you can’t help but feel disturbed by this act.

I’ve yet to make a final conclusion about this perceived amplified effect of social network messages  to people but so far, people do appreciate a comment or two on their facebook wall just as much as a friendly hello, maybe even more.

This may stem from the fact that more and more people are going online and social networking is turning into a way of life. As time passes by, people may be more attached to their online lives more than they are at the present and soon, new social media will not only be embedded in our lifestyle but integrated to it. Even right now, people are already making a living in social networking sites. Just imagine what could happen in a few years.

The little things are the new big thing

I don’t know if evolution had a hand in this but human attention span seem to be decreasing as each generation takes the stage. People are becoming more impatient and are in dire need of fast and credible information.

The last thing you’ll want to see in your facebook is a wall of text that would take you ten minutes to read. That’s why comments and statuses that are not longer than three lines are very common in social networking sites.

Some people fear that this phenomenon makes the internet guilty of breeding stupidity in the incoming generations. I don’t think so. Less words does not necessarily mean less intelligence. In fact, being able to efficiently say what you want to say is a skill most people in this day and age revere as a sign of intelligence.

Of course lines like, “LOL, I had pancakes for breakfast too >.<” will always be prevalent SNNs. What people fail to understand is that New Social Media is a venue of communication, not publication. It does not have to be academic to serve its purpose. It connects people, and the rest is up to the users themselves whether they want to make it productive or otherwise. Function-wise, I think that the internet have served us well.

People are now more social than ever

Imagine taking a two-hour drive just to meet a couple of  friends and chat. Don’t forget that you have to go back home sometime today. With the sun hot as ever and transportation costs rising. Sucks right?

New Social Media enables you to chat with other people,even when they are miles away. This gives you more time to communicate, less hassle, and more flexibility in handling your social life. Being social has never looked easier, thus more people are engaging in this rapidly rising trend of going for online conversations over face to face communication.

Using New Social Media, you can meet a lot more people from all over the world, express your ideas, have fun, share experiences, build friendships, and even establish a long-term relationship with that special somebody.

What makes New Social Media so popular is that it does not only facilitate the transfer of information from one place to another like Old Media does, it facilitates communication between people and gets its strength from people’s natural need to belong.

New Social Media is rapidly being integrated with our lifestyle and most people see it as one of the biggest technological advancement of the 21st century. But like most big things, it comes with its own risks and dangers. Issues of privacy violation, identity thefts, and other security issues have flooded the internet for years now. In the end, wise use of this technology is of utmost importance when using NSM.

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13 Responses to Social Media Era: Socialization Made Easy

  1. Karen says:

    Good choice of photos, Lem! Those pictures either support or summarize your main points. However, I have to disagree with this: “People are now more social than ever.” Sir Barry used the term “superficial social connections” to describe online connections because, let’s admit it, FtF conversations are still better than chatting via Y!M or Facebook. At some point, we could think that electronic devices dehumanize conversations among its users.

    • melem1 says:

      I should have said “People are now more social than ever, depending on what “social” means to you.” Hehe thank you for the comment Karen.
      First of all I agree that FtF is still the best channel for communication, and I believe it will always be the best out of everything else in the list. I guess what I wanted to point out is the rising popularity of online communication trying to describe the dynamics of Social Network Communication.
      The part where I said online comments maybe more effective than a brief FtF is to point out the fact that there are such cases. Maybe it has something to do with our dwindling attention span. Reading the word “Hello” that is posted in your wall is easier to remember than hearing someone say hello to you a couple of days ago. Well, that’s as long as you didn’t delete the post.
      Thank you for the comment Karen 🙂

  2. juolpindo says:

    What I fear about this is that people are becoming very dependent on new social media. We tend to forget that face to face communication is still the most effective means of communication.

    I fear that once new social media reaches its limit, it would create massive global catastrophe, so big that it would destroy the entire planet. It take years or probably decades for our leaders to create a strong economy but would just take a massive movement of plate tectonics to destroy the fiber optics that connects computers to the internet to create a massive and global economic turmoil.

    Thus, I believe that as our lives become integrated to this social media, we should not forget our responsibilities as ‘communicologists.’ I believe that being mere consumers of this technology is a part of our job. However, we should also learn contribute to the betterment of new social media and learn to maximize its potentials.

    • melem1 says:

      I think for now, we don’t have that much to worry about the invasion of New Social Media. Dedicating your body and soul to your online life is still generally regarded as unhealthy even in the online community. People on the internet still convince each other to get out there and live life to the fullest. And that’s when good things will come to your mind and you’ll blog about it a couple of hours later.

      I see no limit to the evolution of New Social Media. With the rate our technology is improving, I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole world will be wireless in a couple of decades. But even if that’s the case, I also think that too much dependence on New Social Media would be a risk. I do not deny the possibility that what you said could happen in one way or another, its times like these that you could really appreciate that you live in a country where most people are still not that dependent on NSM compared to other technologically advanced countries.

      The last paragraph was right on target. There are still many things yet to be discovered and explained regarding New Social Media. Many technological, sociological, legal, and other aspects and issues of NSM will come to light in the coming years. As you said, it is our duty as communicologists to not only be open, but also critical to these issues for the betterment of humankind.

      Thank you for the post Jerick 🙂

  3. sarahforward says:

    I agree that most people using social media has turn into it as their way of life. And those are hard to let go of. If their lives were okay before without it then all the more it is better now that they have found an avenue to look for and express what they want. It’s crazy–yes. But it’s fun too. To be able to know more about the world we live in today and be on board with a network of people who also enjoys this rollercoaster ride 🙂

    • melem1 says:

      It is FUN. Maybe that’s the main selling point of the internet. Lots of things to do, no boredom, less restrictions. I acknowledge the fact that it has become a way of life to some and who can blame them? Its the internet for crying out loud 😀

  4. Yes, I agree with you that small things are now the opposite. I panicked four days ago when there was a blackout here in our place. More dreadful, it lasted for almost four hours. During those times, I thought that I was really paralyzed. I could not do any thing worthwhile. Moreover, I was like being attacked by depression, thinking how could I finish my papers on time, do research for the following day, and chat with my online friends who are seldom online.

    Social media changed the way we perceive the Internet in a sense. Internet is already a commodity rather than an additional help to us or something. It’s like it’s now in the same hierarchy of food, shelter, and clothing in a man’s basic needs. This may be a joke for some (haha), but some of my male friends sacrifice not to take their lunch just to fertilize their crops on Farmville before or play Dota. :p

    • melem1 says:

      Hi Jody. Haha well, the internet IS important to us. I may be one of the few people who can live without it. I guess the only way I could get depressed is if my PSP shatters to pieces in front of me or if my girlfriend dumps me. Anyway, too much net dependence may be a bit dangerous to our health especially with the recent barrage of storms. Luckily, people are further improving network technology to allow us access to the internet in a much effective and efficient way.

  5. I wonder if God monitors our tweets now. Gah, more ammunition against us. LOL.

    But really, I think since people have embedded their life so closely to SNS now, a simple blank wall on your birthday somehow translates to a brush off like in real life. We haven’t graduated at all from wanting the basic courtesies that we experience in real life by going online. It has just become a new medium for us to practice real world courtesies. Like saying thank you back to people who greet.

    The net, much like our earth, is very much real and full of people. By just having people in the Internet guarantees that we can see here pretty much the whole spectrum of the human communication functions that we tend to perform offline – except things that involve being physically present of course.

    • melem1 says:

      I try not to take my online life seriously and so far, I think I got the hang of it. The fact that I’m online in fb once or twice every two weeks tells the story. But I do understand that people are now integrating their lives with sns. Heck I’ve seen people quarrel in real life over facebook. If this is for good or worse, I guess we just have to hope for the best.

      Haha if God judged us based on what we tweet, a lot of people will be going to heaven. There are somethings we don’t really want to share online. And those some things are… 😉

  6. Hi Debate Partner! 🙂 Everyone just has to have Twitter now. The last photo made me really laugh. The “Didn’t you read my tweets?” part overwhelmed me. 🙂

    I agree with you when you said that the new social media “facilitates communication between people and gets its strength from people’s natural need to belong.” I know some people who would click refresh every ten seconds after posting a “witty” status message. These people need affirmation and they somehow get a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when after their tenth refresh, there’d be a red number one in the upper left corner of their screen signifying a notification. Be it a like, or a comment, the author of that post/status seem to have realized their need of affirmation. 🙂

    Another point. Tweeting every single thing that one is doing, in my opinion, is an act of desperation for the realization of the need to belong. Although it’s human nature to actually “crave for” belongingness, it can get pretty annoying. No one ever needs to know what’s going on in another’s life in minute details! Unless, it’s your mom who follows your Facebook or monitors your Tweets just because. 🙂

    • melem1 says:

      Hello Debate Partner! Well that’s just how social media works. (^_^)

      It may be somehow pathetic and odd for a person to be doing that in real life (refreshing for updates every 20 seconds, posting just to get attention) but the fact of the matter is, nobody knows for sure.

      Anonimity plays an important role in the social media landscape. Its what give people the guts to be as they are (or what they are not) and generally gives “power” to the people in terms of voicing out and actually being heard 🙂

  7. What I believe new social media has brought to us is the ability to connect with people all over the world with minimal effort. I think that this is great since it allows us to connect with people we normally wouldn’t able to in new ways not available to us before. This helps maintain, and to some extent strengthen the bonds we have with people. Although it is important to note that we should not depend on social media alone.

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