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Jonathan Hernandez
Professor Lewis
English 113A
12/11/15
Social Media: The New Epidemic
In todays modern society technology is a big part of everyones life. We have become so
attached to technology that it has become a second instinct to us, and it has consumed us. We
even have virtual friends that we talk to everyday but havent met once. This is where social
media comes in. Apart from being consumed from technology we are also consumed by social
media. Social media has become a big part of our lives; it allows us to communicate and share
our lives with our real life friends and family. But it also allows us to do the same thing with
virtual friends, people who we have never met before but have as friends on social media.
What makes us even more attached to social media is that we have access to it everywhere we go
on our smart phones. Virtually everybody has some sort of social media account: moms, dads,
children, teens, and everything in between. Social media apps, specifically Instagram, Snapchat,
and Twitter, affect our face-to-face interactions with other people. Social media apps like
Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, destroy our real life relationships, makes us loose our social
skills, and makes us sound less intelligent than we really are.
We spend a great deal of time each day on our phones using social media. People are
interested in looking at whats trending, what their friends have posted, or what others have said
about them. Since most social media sites are open to anyone, this could lead to potential
relationship problems. For example if Mike writes something bad about Sally then Sally could

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see what Mike wrote about her and it may lead to a messy dispute. The Pew Research Center
states that the majority of relationship disputes consist of:
15% of adult social networking sites (SNS) users said they had an experience on the site
that ended their friendship with someone. 12% of adult SNS users had an experience that
resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone. 11% of adult SNS
users had an experience on the site that caused a problem with their family. 3% of SNSusing adults said they had gotten into a physical fight with someone based on an
experience they had on the site. 3% of adult SNS users said their use of the site had
gotten them in trouble at work because of something that happened on the site. (Rainie,
Lenhart, Smith)
This means that approximately 30% of adults experience some type of relationship problem
because of issues relating to social media. Not to mention teens which are significantly higher
according to Rainie, Lenhart, and Smith in their Pew Research study. Meaning that the
percentage of teens who experience some sort of dispute because of social media is significantly
higher. This may be because teens use social media more than the adults. In addition teens also
tend to speak their mind more when on social media. Teens are also more aggressive than adults
which leads to more harmful disputes. As long as there is social media there will always be
friendship and relationship problems.
Another way that social media is affecting people is by making us lose our social skills.
With all the social media that we encounter, our social skills have decreased dramatically. On
social media people tend to make their sentences short and less grammatically correct. We also
tend to speak in our txt language using shorten phrases and abbreviations such as lol, k, rofl,
brb, g2g, etc. A social app called Snapchat is making us loose our social skills. Instead of talking

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with someone face to face this social app allows people to communicate via their cameras on
their cellular devices. People take pictures on this app and send them to another person. The
other person receives the picture and is only able to view it for a short period of time, which is
about 10 seconds. This is not an effective way of communication because of many reasons:
because the time to view this picture is so short people often forget what they are talking about,
also the captions that you are able to put on the pictures are so short that a conversation doesnt
really last long. Not to mention that most of the time people using Snapchat do not really have
much to talk about. Jasmine Fowlkes even mentions this in her article Why social media is
destroying our social skills, Social media interaction now dominates both online and offline
conversations. In a society where interacting and over-sharing online is the norm, youre
probably more likely to speak to friends and family through electronic devices than face-toface. People also spend most of their time on social media apps than talking to people in real
life. A study conducted for online casino Yazino found that one in four people spend more time
socializing online, via sites such as Twitter, than they do in person (Fowlkes). Our verbal social
skills are decreasing every time we log onto our social apps.
Some people might argue that social media is the only way that they keep in contact with
their loved ones. People us social apps like Snapchat and Instagram to keep in touch with their
loved ones who are far away. Snapchat allows people to video chat with their loved ones and
Instagram allows them to see what their loved ones are doing in their lives. Although social
media is a good way of keeping in touch with loved ones it is not the only way. People could also
make phone calls, which is a better way of communication. Verbal communication is more
efficient and simpler than non-verbal communication. People could also write letters to their
loved ones. Writing letting has become a pastime but people still do it if they really want to keep

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in touch with their loved ones, and if this method takes too long the is always the option of phone
calls.
Another way social media is affecting is negatively affecting people is by making us less
intellectual. A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface researchers found
that even though social media make people appear smarter, but in reality it might be making us
stupider. Researchers put groups of people in several social groups and one nonsocial group
they then gave them brain puzzling tests. The group that didnt socialize got an average score but
the groups that did socialize got higher scores which was odd because it was a difficult test.
What the researchers found is that they just stole the answers from their fellow peers. And
thats what people on social networks today do; instead of making things up on their own they
get their information from other sources but dont even bother in mentioning where they got it
from. People on social media tend to say statements but dont really know what they are talking
about; they do not take the time to do research. They just say these things to make them seem
smart. There is so much information on the internet that we cannot retain it all. So social media is
making us stupider by stealing other peoples words.
Social media is a big part of our lives, and a part of everyones lives. Majority of people
have some sort of social media and because of that it is affecting us in some very negative ways.
Social media apps destroy our real life relationships, makes us loose our social skills, and makes
us sound less intellectual than we really are. We are so addicted and attached to our social media
that we do not value the real friendships that we have. The only way to stop this ongoing
epidemic is by limiting our social media use or disconnecting from social media completely.

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Sources
Fowlkes, Jasmine. "Why Social Media Is Destroying Our Social Skills." Usatoday.com. World
Press, 11 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
Lee Rainie, Amanda Lenhart, and Aaron Smith, "The Tone of Life on Social Networking Sites,"
www.pewinternet.org, Feb. 9, 2012. Web. 19 Nov, 2015.
Society, The Royal. "Is Social Media Making Us Stupid?" Phys.org. Science X Network, 6 Feb.
2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

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