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Current Event Comparison: Social Media Kevin Knudsen Humanities 1100 11A.M.


The topic that I found most intriguing was the issues that are arising from our society being heavily involved in the use of social media. Ive personally been affected by this epidemic by recently coming home from living conditions that didnt allow me to use social media. Having been engulfed in all the new technology has been overwhelming and has given me ideas that have led to critical thinking. Some of the questions I posed to myself is how does social media affect a person as an individual? How is our society being shaped by the customs or norms of social media trends? What are the benefits of this wide variety of mediums to portray information? The newspapers articles most interesting to me included CNN, Time, and New York Times. Each had a little different angle on the topic and gave further depth to the problem at hand. I choose two additional writings that gave insight into the why of these arising problems. They are the Bill of Responsibilities and Universal Declaration of Human Rights from It Begins with Our Questions.

With CNNs article titled Social media users migrating to smaller circles, this grabbed my attention because my personal opinion on this topic and the connections I saw. Doug Gross explains the situation we find our society in "First, young people are always looking for the coolest new thing, and now that their parents and grandparents are on Facebook, it's certainly not a cool new thing. Some of it is social currency, in general. Second, younger people have truly embraced the move to apps that are a combination of visual, mobile and social. They carry phones that are set up to shoot

photos and videos and they are quite conditioned -- perhaps by their early years on Facebook -- to sharing experiences in a way that previous generations might not be." (Gross, Social Media) This idea of social currency is fascinating. Its true that in our fast paced culture if youre not up to date with the new technologies youre left behind. I feel that we as people are losing our human senses. We negotiate, communicate, socialize, and work all through the means of social medias. The human characteristics of touch and smell have been replace with sight and sound.

The New York Times newspaper gave a different perspective from the point of fashion through the medium of social media. The author Matthew Schneier gives the audience a sense of whats lost through one app in particular, called Instagram. This is fashion in the age of Instagram, a heady era in which digital media is changing the way clothes are presented and even the way they are designed. As shows are calibrated to be socially shared experiences, and fashion itself is rejiggered to catch eyes on a twodimensional screen, some skeptics wonder what is being lost or sacrificed as fashion becomes grist for the digital mill. (Schneier, Fashion in the age of Instagram). Even as we take this idea of sight as I mentioned before its been shifted to a different perspective. Whereas fashion before had angles, curves, and 3-D dimensions. With the new age of technology things have been lost through the flat images now portrayed. Its unfortunate that were so engrossed with these means of sharing images that we have to lose the art with which they were born. I know fashion seems like a strange angle to look at but to me it was interesting angle to see even entire industries are moved by such a movement.

Times magazine stated very bluntly in their title labeled Social Media is Making you Stupid which came off as a very one sided argument. However in the next line in smaller print you find but theres some good news(Stillman, Social Media Stupid). This approach of good and bad gave a list of some of the pros weighed against the cons that had readers questioning themselves. Social media, we all know, can make you unproductive. If youre indiscreet or offensive, it can complicate your relationships. But can it also make you downright dumb? In the short term, more connections yielded more right answers, but not because members were learning. Nope, they were just stealing.Social networking probably isnt making you smarter. In fact, it could be making you dumber by supplying answers and insights without requiring any actual thinking, so that your analytic powers begin to waste away like an unused muscle. On the other hand, the bias may very well decrease the frequency of analytical reasoning by making it easy and commonplace for people to reach analytical response without engaging analytical processing. (Stillman, Social Media Stupid). The view from a standpoint of intelligence portrays that we need to use the capacities weve been given as people and individuals rather than rely on the information thats been processed by others. While the fast paced sharing of information has become such a significant advance in our society, where were headed I fear what that may lead to. I would hate for a doctor when hes about to perform a surgery, go to youtube and type in how to perform open heart surgery, I know the ideas a little extreme, but the point is theyre certain skills and information that we must gain as our own individuals not through other means.

In a reading from It begins with our questions the article is called the Bill of responsibilities. It relates to a topic we discussed in class how with each freedom we

enjoy there is generally a corresponding responsibility. Some that caught my attention to this topic were freedom of press and speech 1. To be fully responsible for our own actions and for the consequences of those actions. 2. To respect the rights and beliefs of others.. 5. To respect and obey the laws. 6. To respect the property of others, both private and public. 7. To share with others our appreciation of the benefits and obligations of freedom. (Freedom Foundation, Begins with questions p. 254) All of these applied so well to the use of social media. We all enjoy the freedom of it and whats expressed on there. The idea of respecting others property and sharing appreciation and obligations I found to be somewhat contradicting and revealing into just what really happens with social media. Were enthralled to share our ideas and personal lives with others and yet still taking original ideas from others happens all the time leaving us following in someones footsteps claiming it our own. I feel that as we rely more heavily on this way of communication well risk losing the one on one communication that is so key to our development as human beings.

The ideas behind these bills gave backbone to another reading I came to find supportive of the same statements. The United Nations General Assembly came together and made the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is very similar to the United States Articles of Confederation. In the declaration Article 18 and 19, support this uprising of social media. Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in a community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold

opinions without interference and seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (United Nations, 1948, Begins with questions p. 227). These rights or privileges were written in 1948 almost a hundred years before this phenomenon of social media. While theyre have been different ways of expressing media throughout time as stated by the UN everyone should hold opinions and freedom of thought. Today we can see that freedom of thought through the mindless things we view through the social media that seems to turn our brain into mush. While thats my opinion I think we can all agree we have seen far too many commercials and advertisements through social media. The subject of social media is so very broad and narrowing it down to one simple problem would be near impossible. With these advances in technology there is much to be gained and learned on such a faced paced learning curve. There is much to be lost mainly social skills and real life communication. Consider what these articles have shown and look at life through the eyes you were born with rather than adjusting to the social currency that society demands we use.

Works Cited
Online Articles Stillman, Jessica. "Social Media Is Making You Stupid." Time. Time, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. <http://time.com/9207/social-media-is-making-you-stupid/>. Gross, Doug. "Social media users migrating to smaller circles." CNN. Cable News Network, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/tech/social-media/smallersocial-networks/index.html>. Schneier, Matthew. "Fashion in the Age of Instagram." The New York Times. The New York Times, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/fashion/fashionin-the-age-of-instagram.html?_r=0>. Books Allen, Paul, and Jennifer Bauman. "Bill of Responsibilities." It Begins with Our Questions. Plymouth: Hayden-Mcneil Publishing, 2013. . Print. Allen, Paul, and Jennifer Bauman. "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." It Begins with Our Questions. Plymouth: Hayden-Mcneil Publishing, 2013. . Print.