With the false idea of community, social media is making people forget about real contact.
Following The dark side of social media, we pass from the negaive effects they can have on people's political attitudes and the individual itself to the effects it can have on society.
People's relationship with the internet and social media is influencing their behaviors. It is common to encounter situations where they prefer to communicate with others through their devices than speaking with the ones around them.
To portray this phenomenon photographer Eric Pickersgill released in October 2015 a series of photographs in which he removed the mobile devices. The pictures show various scenarios in which people are missing real experiences with friends and family because of their devices. He named his work "Removed".
Pickersgill said "Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves"
While these pictures show the addiction to devices themselves, social media is creating other problems beside people missing on everyday contact.
The false sense of connection caused by social, according to Cornell University professor Steven Strogatz, is making harder for people to distinguish between meaningful relationships and casual ones. Paying more attention to the second ones may weaken the others.
Similarly, social media allows the creation of new and solid communities, the problem here is people are thinking they're participating, but unless they're creating their own content and sharing genuine thoughts analysis and criticism they will not be really being part of the communication process social media allows.
Yes, they offer the opportunity to re-connect with old friends and family and share ideas and content. But they can also negatively impact productivity, this is why many companies have blocked social media sites in their offices to avoid much distraction.
Published in Wired.com one study by Nucleus Research reported that Facebook shaves 1.5% off office productivity while another study by Morse claimed that British companies lost 2.2 billion a year to the social phenomenon.
People tend to overlook the negative effects social media has because of the wonders they believe they brought. But it is important for people to understand the implications social media is having in their personal, professional and political life and wisely used them.
As shown in this series of articles, the dark side of social media is yet a matter of study whose implications will continue to appear as they continue to become part of the 21st century life.